Cooking oils have picked up a bad reputation, but not all oils and fats are as bad as others. What is important when choosing an oil is the type of oil or fat that you are eating. Most American diets include too much saturated fats and trans fats and don’t include the better unsaturated fatty acids.
Oils do increase the fat content of what you cook but they also add flavor. If you are using the right oils they have many health benefits and can actually help reduce cholesterol and may help reduce the chance for cancer*. When unsaturated oil or fats are mixed with food containing vitamin D & E or lycopene, the vitamins are more easily absorbed by the body.
Which Cooking Oils Should I Watch Out For?
The bad fats are saturated fats and saturated oils (found in dairy and meat) and trans fats (found in processed foods and hydrogenated oils). Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels in blood including the bad LDL cholesterol. Trans fats not only increase LDL cholesterol they also decrease HDL the good cholesterol in your blood. Some of the oils that contain bad fats include vegetable shortening, margarine, butter, palm oil and coconut oil.
Various Types of Good Oils for Cooking (monounsaturated oils and polyunsaturated oils)
Follow this link to learn more about good cooking oils such as:
- Canola Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
- Grape-Seed Oil
- Olive Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Walnut Oil
Cooking with Oil Tips:
Since most oils are sensitive to heat and light; store them in a cabinet, pantry or other cool dark place.
Oils that have a short shelf life can be stored in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.
When frying with oil use oils that are made for frying and can withstand the heat, if the oil smokes the heat is too high.
*As compared to other oils. Some experts believe that any type of fat or oil increases your risk for heart disease and/or cancer.