Which Cooking Oils to Use
Every time you look to cook, it seems there is a new outlook on the different types of cooking oils. This is a look at the major cooking oils in an effort to clarify the unknown. We will not be looking at the likes of palm, coconut, grapeseed, avocado and many other growing oils. Instead, you find a more focused view on the readily available options: canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
Canola has emerged as a regular substitute to vegetable oil in recent years. The originally healthy option has since become more dangerous with genetic modification and increased hydrogenation. Organic and non-modified canola options remain a favorite alternative given its easy use and familiar flavor. However, store brand and generic selections often lead to kidney and liver problems, heart troubles among other issues. Canola is a versatile choice with usage in both standard cooking and naked uses (as a salad dressing).
Vegetable oil may be your run of the mill aggregate option, but it remains one of the all-time favorite. A combination of many refined oils, vegetable oil has limited effect on taste and as a result, works well in stove top sautéing and frying. This option was, like many others, initially a health option. Vegetable oil proved to be a strong advocate for heart health. However, overuse has reversed that effect as consuming too much oil results in new health issues. Variable in use, moderation with vegetable oil makes it one of the better options.
Unlike the first two options, peanut oil adds a clear taste to foods. It functions best in high-temperature cooking (deep frying, pan frying, stir fries) with flavors that play well with the nutty taste. Asian foods and many chicken-based dishes are common suitors for the oil. Outside of the clear nut-allergy based issues, peanut oil remains one of the healthier oil options. Naturally free of trans fats and cholesterol, it is more heavily consisting of unsaturated fats.
Olive oil is often considered one of the best oils to use in cooking when utilized properly. It works well at hotter temperatures as well as being mixed into vinaigrettes. However, high smoking temperatures often leave cooks targeting lower-heat, unhealthier options. Olive oil is not as good for the heart as many may argue, but it does have it’s benefits. Monounsaturated fatty acids are a preferred fat to saturated and trans fats with the chance to lower risks of stroke and blood pressure.