Cooking Oils: Know the Basics

olive oilsAnybody loves a delicious pan-fried meal every now and then. Or even when not cooking fried food, there’s just too many recipes that include oil. The trick is how to make it delicious by trying to make it as healthy as possible. The most common thing people ask is "What’s the best oil for cooking?"

Here’s what’s behind cooking oils:

Vegetable Cooking Oils

Cooking oils that come from vegetables are generally the same. They are not hydrogenated, which means they do not solidify at room temperature which also means they do not contain any trans fat. Cooking oils from vegetable sources also do not contain any cholesterol since they do not come from animal products.

Cooking oils that come from vegetable sources are a mixture of three types of fat:

  • saturated
  • polyunsaturated
  • monounsaturated

Different vegetable cooking oil are made up of varying proportions of these three kinds of fat.

Vegetable cooking oils contain about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per one table spoon. Aside from different tastes, vegetable cooking oils also have varying smoke points (the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke).

Most Nutritious Cooking Oils

Nutrition-wise, the best oils to use for cooking are those with low saturated fats and high monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Some cooking oils that demonstrate this are:

  • olive oil
  • canola oil
  • flaxseed oil

Some oils to be used minimally are coconut oil and palm oil, due to their high saturated fat content.

You can use various types of cooking oils. Just remember what is written above about healthier cooking oil options. And also, keep in mind to measure cooking oils with a spoon so you can keep your proportions in check.