Walk into any supermarket and be prepared to be overwhelmed when you reach the cooking oil aisle. With so many options, it's tough to know which ones are the healthiest. Thankfully, the Yes Health coaches are here to help you choose the best oil for the job.
First, keep in mind that different oils have different uses. Some are perfect for baking, while others excel at roasting and sautéing and a few are best kept cool for drizzling and dressings. So how do you pick?
Your coaching team's favorite cooking oils are:
Some oils are naturally healthy, while others are best avoided completely. In addition, cooking certain types of oils can impact how healthy they are, which has a lot to do with something called the smoke point–the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke and therefore becomes ineffective (and less healthy for you to eat). Oils with high smoke points (typically above 375 degrees) are typically more refined, because their heat-sensitive impurities are often removed.
Grass-fed butter – If you think you need to steer clear of butter, think again! Grass-fed butter means that the cows were fed a diet of grass rather than grains, and the resulting butter is much higher in vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and other key nutrients. With a high smoke point of 300-480 degrees F, butter also works well for high-heat cooking.
Grass-fed ghee– A century-old staple in Indian cuisine, ghee is clarified butter, meaning its' water and milk solids have been removed. Similar to grass-fed butter, ghee is a bit higher in conjugated linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that might even promote a healthy weight. Ghee has the same smoke point as butter, and is perfect for high-heat cooking.
Sesame oil – This highly flavorful, unrefined oil is packed full of antioxidants and is popular in Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It has a medium smoke point (350-410 degrees F) making it a great sautéing option on medium heat. Like extra-virgin olive oil, it’s cold-pressed rather than chemically processed. Keep it in the refrigerator for a longer life.
If you're confused about the many types of fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans), check out The Skinny on Fats for more info.
The options listed above aren't the only healthy cooking oils. Also consider lesser-known but delicious and healthy choices like hemp, flax, walnut and macadamia oils for no-heat cooking (like dressings and dips), and well-sourced duck fat and tallow for high-heat cooking.
Based on the latest research, your coaching team recommends ditching the more processed cooking oils like canola, cottonseed, grapeseed, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and margarine.
Reach out with questions in-app, and happy cooking!