What oil should you be cooking with?

Olive? Coconut? Avocado? With so many oils available in the supermarket and at the health food store it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. Which ones are the healthiest? And what should you use them for? So we decided to break it down for you!

Olive Oil

Jam packed full of monounsaturated fats and polyphenols, this oil is healthiest when it is raw. If you do choose to cook with olive oil, keep in mind that it has a low smoking temperature. So heating it over roughly 185ºC will cause it to lose flavour and oxidise. When purchasing olive oil remember that a cold-pressed option holds more nutrients than other refined types. So looking for an extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil will ensure you’re getting the best quality oil.

Best ways to use olive oil: raw and drizzled over salads or steamed veggies. Or try it for low-heat sautéing or slow-roasting at lower temperatures.

Coconut Oil

Hailed an ‘all-star’ of the kitchen, coconut oil is a beloved by nutritionists and for good reason. Coconut is a great option for cooking as it withstands high heat without turning rancid. The fatty acids in coconut oil are comprised of over 90% saturated fat. But don’t be scared by the bad rep that saturated fat has previously had. Research has now shown that not all saturated fats are bad. Coconut oil is a case-in-point. It can lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and is high in antioxidants. Look for raw, extra virgin coconut oil

Best ways to use coconut oil: for cooking at any temperature and helping set raw desserts (coconut oil goes solid even at room temperature in colder months). It’s also a great addition to smoothies.

Avocado Oil

This oil has a mild nutty flavor and the highest smoke point of all the oils; it and can withstand heat up to about 270°C. It’s also full of monounsaturated fat. These are the good fats that are great for your heart and help lower cholesterol levels.

Best ways to use avocado oil: try it for any type of cooking, including stir fries or searing meat, or as an alternate base for salad dressings.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially for vegetarians or vegans who won’t be getting their omega-3 fix from fish. However, it’s also really heat sensitive and needs to be kept in the fridge. So definitely don’t cook with flaxseed oil!

Best ways to use flaxseed oil: as delicious and nutrient-rich base for salad dressings.