Our Top 3 Cooking Oils to Always Have on Hand

It can feel overwhelming to try and understand which oils to cook with and why. You might look at them and wonder “really, what’s the difference?” It is important to understand the oils that you’re cooking with so that you can get the most benefit out of them! Oils are a great source of healthy fats as they contain fatty acids that your body can easily use for energy. Certain oils are great for drizzling and dressings while others are great for roasting and broiling. We will look at our top 3 cooking oils to always have on hand.

  1. Coconut Oil and Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil – coconut oil have become more increasingly popular over the past few years. There are many benefits to coconut oil, one being its ability to raise the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which can lower risk of heart disease and improve metabolic health. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which help your metabolism and aid in ketone conversion. The smoke point for coconut oil is lower at just 350 degrees, so you don’t want to roast or broil this oil at high temperatures. Once heated past the smoke point, the oil loses most of its benefits and can become toxic. This occurs because the oils are known to oxidize at high temperatures. This oxidation can cause the oil to react with oxygen and create harmful substances. We will make a note here that coconut oil is a great option for baking at low temperatures.
  2. Olive Oil – You will want to look for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)as it has a lot of antioxidants and nutrients. It contains a substantial amount of vitamins K and E. The antioxidants in EVOO are shown to reduce inflammation, so it is a very powerful oil to use in cooking as the benefits to the body are endless. EVOO is less refined than other olive oils, and therefore, the best option. This oil has a very robust flavor, so it is great to use for drizzling over roasted vegetables or making dressings for salads. It has a slightly higher smoke point than coconut oil, landing between 375 and 400 degrees, depending on which type of olive oil you use. For this reason, it is not the best choice for high-temperature broiling and roasting, either. The toxicity of the broken down, cooked oils can cause inflammation in the body. Because of this, it is a great choice for lower temperature cooking.
  3. Avocado Oil – This oil is very similar in composition to olive oil. Avocado oil has antioxidants and healthy fats. Interestingly, avocado oil is high in lutein, an antioxidant that is good for eye health. It is also high in oleic acid which is known to aid in heart health. The main difference between this oil and the others is that it is a great choice for roasting and broiling. Of these three recommended oils, avocado oil has the highest smoke point at 500 degrees. What does this mean? It means that the fatty acids in avocado oil are stable at high temperatures, unlike those found in coconut or olive oil. Therefore, it is the best choice for roasting and broiling meat, veggies, etc. It has a mild, nutty flavor. It can also be used for marinating, drizzling, and dressings which make it an incredibly versatile oil.

One reason that we love these three oils is that they are easy for the body to breakdown and use for energy. Other oils that we use, but not quite as often, are sesame oil, grass-fed butter and clarified butter which is also known as ghee. This product is created when the water and milk solids are boiled and removed making it more concentrated in fat. Butter has a low smoke point, so you want to be careful when cooking with it. It is easy to burn butter just cooking on the stovetop! Ghee does have a higher smoke point than butter, so it is a good alternative when higher cooking temperatures are needed. Sesame oil is very flavorfuland contains antioxidants. It also has a smoke point of aboutonly 350 degrees, so it is a good choice for dressing or drizzling. Most people are probably familiar with its use in Asian foods, as it is used a lot for stir-frying and sautéing.

Note that you should avoid highly processed oils such as vegetable and seed oils including canola, peanut, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and grapeseed. They are so processed that almost all the benefits that could have been there are completely stripped from the oil. They are also known to cause inflammation in the body. If you are eating out, be careful, as fried foods are often cooked in cheap vegetable oils that are usually overused. Think about how many orders of food go through the fryer in between oil changes! It is heated up over and over which as we’ve mentioned is not good for the fatty acids in most oils and can become very problematic in your body.

We hope that this helps you understand which oils to cook with and why. With this information, it should be clearer to see what the differences are between our top choices. You can get the most benefit out of oils if you understand what you’re cooking with! Remember that oils can be a great source of healthy fats and they can be used for sautéing, grilling, drizzling, dressings, marinating, roasting and broiling. Just make sure that you are using high quality, organic options whenever possible. We suggest that you be cautious of highly processed oils and avoid them at all costs as they provide very little nutritional value and are often more harmful to your body. Our top 3 cooking oils to always have on hand are coconut/MCT oil, olive oil and avocado oil. They each have so many benefits and can be used for cooking in so many ways!

Check out our “Keto Recipe Tips for Beginners” Ultimate Guide.

Our Top 3 Cooking Oils to Always Have on Hand

It can feel overwhelming to try and understand which oils to cook with and why. You might look at them and wonder “really, what’s the difference?” It is important to understand the oils that you’re cooking with so that you can get the most benefit out of them! Oils are a great source of healthy fats as they contain fatty acids that your body can easily use for energy. Certain oils are great for drizzling and dressings while others are great for roasting and broiling. We will look at our top 3 cooking oils to always have on hand.

  1. Coconut Oil and Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil – coconut oil have become more increasingly popular over the past few years. There are many benefits to coconut oil, one being its ability to raise the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which can lower risk of heart disease and improve metabolic health. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which help your metabolism and aid in ketone conversion. The smoke point for coconut oil is lower at just 350 degrees, so you don’t want to roast or broil this oil at high temperatures. Once heated past the smoke point, the oil loses most of its benefits and can become toxic. This occurs because the oils are known to oxidize at high temperatures. This oxidation can cause the oil to react with oxygen and create harmful substances. We will make a note here that coconut oil is a great option for baking at low temperatures.
  2. Olive Oil – You will want to look for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)as it has a lot of antioxidants and nutrients. It contains a substantial amount of vitamins K and E. The antioxidants in EVOO are shown to reduce inflammation, so it is a very powerful oil to use in cooking as the benefits to the body are endless. EVOO is less refined than other olive oils, and therefore, the best option. This oil has a very robust flavor, so it is great to use for drizzling over roasted vegetables or making dressings for salads. It has a slightly higher smoke point than coconut oil, landing between 375 and 400 degrees, depending on which type of olive oil you use. For this reason, it is not the best choice for high-temperature broiling and roasting, either. The toxicity of the broken down, cooked oils can cause inflammation in the body. Because of this, it is a great choice for lower temperature cooking.
  3. Avocado Oil – This oil is very similar in composition to olive oil. Avocado oil has antioxidants and healthy fats. Interestingly, avocado oil is high in lutein, an antioxidant that is good for eye health. It is also high in oleic acid which is known to aid in heart health. The main difference between this oil and the others is that it is a great choice for roasting and broiling. Of these three recommended oils, avocado oil has the highest smoke point at 500 degrees. What does this mean? It means that the fatty acids in avocado oil are stable at high temperatures, unlike those found in coconut or olive oil. Therefore, it is the best choice for roasting and broiling meat, veggies, etc. It has a mild, nutty flavor. It can also be used for marinating, drizzling, and dressings which make it an incredibly versatile oil.

One reason that we love these three oils is that they are easy for the body to breakdown and use for energy. Other oils that we use, but not quite as often, are sesame oil, grass-fed butter and clarified butter which is also known as ghee. This product is created when the water and milk solids are boiled and removed making it more concentrated in fat. Butter has a low smoke point, so you want to be careful when cooking with it. It is easy to burn butter just cooking on the stovetop! Ghee does have a higher smoke point than butter, so it is a good alternative when higher cooking temperatures are needed. Sesame oil is very flavorfuland contains antioxidants. It also has a smoke point of aboutonly 350 degrees, so it is a good choice for dressing or drizzling. Most people are probably familiar with its use in Asian foods, as it is used a lot for stir-frying and sautéing.

Note that you should avoid highly processed oils such as vegetable and seed oils including canola, peanut, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and grapeseed. They are so processed that almost all the benefits that could have been there are completely stripped from the oil. They are also known to cause inflammation in the body. If you are eating out, be careful, as fried foods are often cooked in cheap vegetable oils that are usually overused. Think about how many orders of food go through the fryer in between oil changes! It is heated up over and over which as we’ve mentioned is not good for the fatty acids in most oils and can become very problematic in your body.

We hope that this helps you understand which oils to cook with and why. With this information, it should be clearer to see what the differences are between our top choices. You can get the most benefit out of oils if you understand what you’re cooking with! Remember that oils can be a great source of healthy fats and they can be used for sautéing, grilling, drizzling, dressings, marinating, roasting and broiling. Just make sure that you are using high quality, organic options whenever possible. We suggest that you be cautious of highly processed oils and avoid them at all costs as they provide very little nutritional value and are often more harmful to your body. Our top 3 cooking oils to always have on hand are coconut/MCT oil, olive oil and avocado oil. They each have so many benefits and can be used for cooking in so many ways!

Check out our “Keto Recipe Tips for Beginners” Ultimate Guide.
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2019-05-14T06:19:52-04:00