The Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Health

· March 14, 2016
Learn about the best and worst cooking oils for your health in this article.

Are you worried about what kind of oil you should be using for cooking? In today’s article, we’ll provide a list that identifies the best and worst cooking oils, so keep reading!

In recent decades, fats have earned a bad reputation as being one of the main causes of being overweight and obesity, in addition to leading to a variety of other serious health problems.

But several studies have shown that there are, in fact, healthy fats that should be consumed in certain quantities to keep your body and organs functioning properly.

One of the main sources of fat in your diet comes from the oil you use to cook with. Most cooking oils are plant-based in origin, although some are animal-based, which have been shown to be more harmful to your health.

Many people think that because they’re vegetable oils, they must be good for your health. Yet while some of them are recommended, others are subjected to processing methods that can end up causing your body harm.

The best cooking oils for your health

Cooking oils that aren’t harmful for your health are those that are composed of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, also known as the “good fats.”

Olive oil

The Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Health
Without a doubt, the number one healthiest cooking oil is olive oil. It’s a staple and basic ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, and is a monounsaturated fat that has excellent benefits for your cardiovascular health.

The best olive oil you can buy is an unrefined variety that’s been pressed at cooler temperatures. The cold press process helps preserve the polyphenols that are beneficial for your health.

Also read: 10 Uses of extra virgin olive oil that may surprise you

Coconut oil

Although its high content of saturated fat has given it a bad name, more recent studies have shown that coconut oil is actually quite good for you.

The majority of saturated fats contained in this oil are known as triglycerides, which your body is able to convert into energy instead of body fat.

Coconut oil contains antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that protect your body from various types of pathogens. It’s also a source of energy for your brain and contributes to a healthy body.

Avoid overheating coconut oil, or combining it with other types of oil.

Sesame oil

The Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Health
This common oil in Asian cuisine is a known source of monounsaturated fats. Its main benefits are thanks to the high content of antioxidants, which remain in tact even when exposed to heat.

Sesame oil also contains phosphatidylcholine, a nutrient that’s closely related to a healthy brain. Still, you should limit your use of sesame oil because it also contains omega-6 fatty acids.

The worst cooking oils for your health

Most vegetable oils that are sold at a low price in the grocery store are made up of “bad fats,” also known as saturated fats, or trans fats.

The use of these oils is known to be one of the main causes of high cholesterol problems.

Soybean oil

The Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Health
Soybean oil is subjected to a hydrogenation process to preserve its shelf life and stabilize flavor. Unfortunately, this same process is responsible for making it an unhealthy oil for cooking.

In order for it to not be considered harmful to your health, it’s best to choose organic soybean oil.

Margarine

Once upon a time it was believed that margarine was better for you than butter because it was vegetable-based. But several studies have shown that it’s actually much worse thanks to the high content of trans fats.

To make margarine, fats are subjected to a hydrogenation process that makes it look fresh, creamy, and delicious. This also makes it hazardous to your health, especially when you use it for cooking at high temperatures.

We recommend: 7 Things that happen when you quit sugar

Lard

The Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Health

Lard is a fat that’s favored for cooking in many parts of the world thanks to its signature flavor. In spite of this, it’s one of the lowest on the list because of its high content of saturated fats that can clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol.