Tips about Cooking Oils

Cooking oils can be used to keep food from sticking to the pot or pan while you cook it. There are many different options out there, and it pays to be informed about them.

A pot over heat with two pats of butter melting in its bottom
Butter is fine in moderation | Photo by Elizabeth Layman

Oils to Use

  • Olive oil: It cooks best on low or medium heat. Full of healthy fats, olive oil raises levels of good cholesterol and may also lower risks of heart disease and cancer.
  • Coconut oil: It cooks best on high heat. Also, full of healthy fats, coconut oil controls weight, eases digestion, and supports immune systems.
  • Avocado oil: It cooks best on high heat. Full of healthy fats and Vitamins A, D, and E, avocado oil has a slight buttery or mushroom-like taste but goes well with many different foods.
  • Palm oil: It cooks best on high heat. Full of Vitamins A and E and antioxidants, palm oil may lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
  • Butter: Even though it has developed a bad reputation over the years, butter is perfectly fine for cooking. It cooks well on medium or high heat, and it’s full of Vitamin A, E, and K2.
  • A note for baking: Much like cooking, baking requires some amount of oil to prevent sticking. We recommend that either you use a pat of butter (a small chunk) to grease your muffin tins or cookie sheets or you use baking or cooking spray to do so.
Grocery store shelves full of coconut oil and  olive oil
Seek out coconut oil and olive oil | Photo by Elizabeth Layman

Oils to Avoid:

Vegetable, nut, and peanut oils, such as:

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Macadamia oil
  • Peanut oil

These oils aren’t nearly as good for you as the oils on the first list are. However, if these are the oils that you are used to cooking with or if they are the easiest for you to find at the grocery store, continue to use them–in moderation.

Grocery shopping shelves full of different vegetable oils like canola oil
Avoid large amounts of vegetable oils | Photo by Elizabeth Layman
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