Top 10 Healthiest Cooking Oils
With such a range of cooking oils available on the market, it can be tough to know which are the good ones and which the bad.
Here is a selection of oils with proven health benefits.
This popular choice is hugely heart-healthy, especially in its extra virgin form. The reason for this is the large amounts of monounsaturated fat that it contains. This type of olive oil also includes powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against cell damage, disease, and the aging process.
Less well known than olive oil, avocado oil is no less healthy. It is also immensely rich in monounsaturated fat. Alongside this, the oil also has other beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, and powerful antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein. The latter one of these is particularly important for maintaining eye health.
Compared with others, almond oil has one of the lowest amounts of saturated fat at just 8%. A recent study concluded that it could even be used to reduce cholesterol. Additionally, it is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E. This protects the body against free radicals and boosts the immune system.
Safflower oil, derived from the seeds of the safflower plant, is also a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids. These are evidenced, among other things, to improve markers of inflammation. This oil may be a more healthful option than olive oil when cooking at higher temperatures due to its high smoke point.
This intensely flavored oil contains a mix of mono- and polyunsaturated acids. These are said to be effective for cutting cholesterol. It also includes two unique antioxidants, sesamol and sesamin, which studies suggest can be used to lower blood pressure.
Abundant in omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids, Hazelnut oil is another excellent option for cooking. Like avocado oil, it has quantities of vitamin E. This nutrient is essential for strong immunity, as well as healthy skin and eyes.
Tea seed oil, also known as camellia oil, is rich in catechins. These are a type of polyphenol that can reduce the formation of free radicals, protecting cells from damage, and promoting vascular health. In addition to this, tea seed oil has more anti-inflammatory omega-3s than even olive oil does.
Misunderstood canola oil can be considered to be a healthy oil because of its higher levels of monounsaturated fats compared with saturated fats. It also contains a significant amount of phytosterols, which can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the body.
This type of oil, although sensitive to heat due to its high polyunsaturated content, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies also indicate that it may be useful for lowering blood pressure and improving the elasticity of arteries.
With more monounsaturated fat than olive oil, algae oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are linked to boosting good (HDL) cholesterol. This unusual oil also boasts the lowest amounts of saturated fats of any cooking oil.