Cooking oil is used everyday to cook food. There are so many kinds of cooking oils but only a handful are actually healthy. Just because you prepare your own meals more than you eat out doesn’t necessarily mean that it is healthy or the right kind for cooking.
- Coconut Oil
- Rice Bran Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coconut oil has the second highest saturated fat content (90%) of any vegetable oil, making it super resistant to oxidation. It’s smoking point at 177°C/350°F makes it the most stable oil to resist mild heat-induced damage.
49% of coconut oil consist of lauric acid, a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the second most lauric acid of any oil on earth, first being babbasu oil (50%). Coconut oil is also nature’s richest source of medium chain fatty acids which are easily digestible and have the ability to help stimulate metabolism.
Coconut oil is best used for sauteing. The perfect coconut oil is unrefined, virgin, and cold pressed. A 1.5kg/54oz jar costs about US$30. It’s roughly about 100 tablespoons worth.
Rice bran oil has the highest smoking point of all unrefined cooking oil at 254°C/490°F, making it the most suitable oil for pan frying, stir frying and especially deep frying. It’s highly stable and lasts at most 2 times longer than most vegetable oils.
Rice bran oil is naturally rich in antioxidants (2%), especially gamma oryzanol, vitamin E, and helps improve cholesterol levels by increasing HDL cholesterol while reducing LDL cholesterol.
As there is virtually no taste to the oil, it takes on the flavor of whatever you are cooking it with. ½ gallon/1.9 liter of unfiltered, minimally processed, GMO free rice bran oil costs about US$25.
Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats and contains a modest amount of vitamins E and K. Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful health benefits.
While subjecting extra virgin olive oil to high heat can alter the taste, it’s actually fairly resistant to oxidative damage from cooking. As the smoking point is at 191°C/375°F, extra virgin olive oil should not be used as a frying staple. It is best used at room temperature.
A 2L/67oz bottle of extra virgin olive oil costs about US$25. That’s about 130 tablespoons worth.