Let me guess, your Grandma used olive oil to fry chicken cutlets. CRINGE. The use of cooking oils (or misuse) can be a major deal breaker in our otherwise healthy lifestyle. Most of us don’t question the cooking oil, we just use whatever and go on with our dinner. The fact is Americans have so much oil in their bodies from cooking the wrong way to eating out too often. This oil leads to inflammation, disease and overall chronic illness.
The Standard American Diet is full of bad oils actually. From packaged items to the way we cook at home and especially when we order food. Even though they are toxic, transfats do not have to be listed as an ingredient on a package up to a certain % so you may think your items are oil free but really aren’t. When you order food or go to restaurants they are most likely using canola oil – because canola oil comes from rapeseed the way it is transformed turns a portion of the oil into transfat which is not on the label and again, is toxic to our health. Keep in mind when you see rapeseed oil, it is the same thing as canola oil. Just another way to try and trick consumers.
Here is a simple guideline to use when picking oils: First, try to buy organic whenever you can.
Olive oil: choose extra virgin, make sure it comes in a dark container (preferably glass) or tin, when light hits olive oil it turns rancid. This is not meant for high temp cooking ever, the oil will become rancid and not only be harmful but it won’t taste good. Use it for light sauteing, in dressing or to finish a dish. When buying olive oil most companies will list a harvest date or a best buy date, pay attention as olive oil does expire over time. ZOE organics and California Olive Ranch are two affordable staples to keep on deck.
Avocado oil: my go-to for higher temp roasting and light pan frying. I also use this in baking or in my grain free pancakes. I really like Chosen Foods or Thrive Market Expeller Pressed for cooking and Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin for salad dressings or to finish a dish.
Pasture Raised / Grassfed Butter: I use this in small amounts but saturated fat has some room in our diets as it anti-microbial / anti-inflammatory / key component for EPA/DHA Omega-3s and helps stabilize cell membranes.
Coconut Oil: This is another saturated fat, I mostly use it for beauty purposes or to oil pull. It is great as a base to saute veggies for creamier soups as well as baking. I also love to use it to grease the pan for pancakes or light sauteing certain veggies as it gives a naturally sweet flavor.
That is it. I really don’t pull away from these staples. I do like sesame oil as a light drizzle in some asian-influenced dishes but keep it to a minimal. Also please note that some people will say grapeseed oil can be used for high temp cooking – this is not true. It is a polyunsaturated fat which means it is completely destroyed when exposed to light, heat and air it will then lead to inflammation. A great method for cooking is to use a little water or broth to do a “wet saute” then finish the dish with olive oil or avocado oil to give that flavor.
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