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Old 08-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #1
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icecreammm HB User
What is the best cooking oil?

Hi everyone. I just joined. What a cool place!!
Well I have a question . sorry if it has been asked before... I'm trying to find a healthy oil for cooking which is:
-low in saturated fats
-low in omega 6 (linoleic acid)
-high in omega 3 (linolenic acid)
-high smokepoint suitable for strifrying and sauteeing
-high stability i.e. will not oxidize or degrade easily
-packaged in a dark glass bottle or tin can (not a clear plastic bottle . light oxidizes oils)

i like olive oil but it has a very low smoke point. so if you use it for cooking it breaks down and loses all its nutritional value and even produces harmful free radicals.

canola oil has a good fatty acid profile but it is highly processed and nearly always in clear plastic bottles which makes is susceptible to oxidzation. it also has erucic acid which also causes inflammation of the arteries

sunflower and safflower oils have way too much omega 6. they are also in clear bottles.

i have heard about avocado oil and rice bran oil and they both seem good but i dont know too much about them

what oil do you use for cooking? please share, thanks !!!

 
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:24 AM   #2
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JohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB UserJohnR41 HB User
Re: What is the best cooking oil?

When I cook, I never use oil. Why should I? I have never found anything that I can't cook without oil. I think using cooking oil is just a bad habit that many people have learned from their parents. There's nothing healthy about frying; so why look for a healthy oil to do something that's unhealthy?

You don't want any oil that is too processed, like canola oil, but when you cook ANY oil, you are processing it more because cooking is a form of processing. When you cook oil, I have learned that it becomes more saturated. (If "light oxidizes oils", imagine what cooking does.)

In order for me to choose a healthy oil for frying, I would have to accept the premise that frying is healthy. But I can't do that.

 
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: What is the best cooking oil?

icecreammm,

I use good quality cold-pressed oils. I am able to find them in dark glass bottles. I won't mention any brand names, because I live in northern Germany, so my options would likely be different from yours.

I don't worry so much about the smoking point, because I don't allow the oils to get that hot. I heat up the empty pan a bit first on medium heat, then put in a small bit of cold-pressed canola oil or olive oil (extra-virgin is cold-pressed), then immediately put in the first of the foods (usually onions or meat) that I'm going to saute. The oils don't become overheated as long as the pan isn't too hot.

Perhaps others can address the balance of the various Omegas in the oils. I don't worry too much about that.

JohnR41 mentions cooking without oil. A well-seasoned cast iron pan will need much less oil than a stainless steel one. I would not ever use a pan with a non-stick coating, because I am concerned with the chemicals that outgas with each heating session.

--Rheanna

 
Old 08-15-2010, 01:07 AM   #4
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icecreammm HB User
Re: What is the best cooking oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
When I cook, I never use oil. Why should I? I have never found anything that I can't cook without oil. I think using cooking oil is just a bad habit that many people have learned from their parents. There's nothing healthy about frying; so why look for a healthy oil to do something that's unhealthy?

You don't want any oil that is too processed, like canola oil, but when you cook ANY oil, you are processing it more because cooking is a form of processing. When you cook oil, I have learned that it becomes more saturated. (If "light oxidizes oils", imagine what cooking does.)

In order for me to choose a healthy oil for frying, I would have to accept the premise that frying is healthy. But I can't do that.
thanks for your reply john! you're right... it is a habit but a hard one to break out of.... food tastes so tasteless without oil!! then there are other times where i have to use oil.. e.g. making an omelette otherwise it will stick to the pan. most nonstick pans arent very good and the omelette ends up tasting like paper. its basically a taste. vs. health issue i guess. i heard that heating oils was very bad too. it produces free radicals ( the "anti" anti-oxidants). but i also heard the higher the smoke point of the oil, the less damaged during the cooking process

 
Old 08-15-2010, 01:14 AM   #5
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icecreammm HB User
Re: What is the best cooking oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rheanna View Post
icecreammm,

I use good quality cold-pressed oils. I am able to find them in dark glass bottles. I won't mention any brand names, because I live in northern Germany, so my options would likely be different from yours.

I don't worry so much about the smoking point, because I don't allow the oils to get that hot. I heat up the empty pan a bit first on medium heat, then put in a small bit of cold-pressed canola oil or olive oil (extra-virgin is cold-pressed), then immediately put in the first of the foods (usually onions or meat) that I'm going to saute. The oils don't become overheated as long as the pan isn't too hot.

Perhaps others can address the balance of the various Omegas in the oils. I don't worry too much about that.

JohnR41 mentions cooking without oil. A well-seasoned cast iron pan will need much less oil than a stainless steel one. I would not ever use a pan with a non-stick coating, because I am concerned with the chemicals that outgas with each heating session.

--Rheanna
thank you for the cooking tips rheanne. i will try them out. i try to cook with a low flame too but it takes a long time. i always use cold pressed oils. usually extra virgin olive oil. i just bought some cold pressed avocado oil in a dark green bottle. it has a very similar fatty acid profile to olive oil and a much higher smoke point so i will try that out and see what happens.. the only thing is that it is super expensive (almost 3 times the cost of extra virtgin olive oil!! and i use a lot of oil. )

 
Old 08-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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fanman HB User
Re: What is the best cooking oil?

I would have to say coconut oil is the best oil for cooking (even the best overall). It is the most stable cooking oil. Yes, it's high in saturated fats, but if you look into the issue, saturated fats are not really bad. In fact, saturated fats are by far the most stable and can take the most amount of heat without oxidising. Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which have a lot of health benefits and means it doesn't raise your cholesterol.

Olive oil is quite reasonable too.

As for omega 3 and 6, you'd be hard pressed to find an oil rich in either of these that is stable for cooking. Both are polyunsaturated fats and therefore very unstable, especially omega 3. They're not really suitable for cooking. So you'd be best off using something like cold-pressed flax seed oil (rich in omega 3) as a dressing, but never for cooking.

Last edited by fanman; 08-20-2010 at 10:45 PM. Reason: had to add a little more

 
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