A Guide to the Best and Worst Oils for Cooking

Olive Oil

Best and Worst Oils for Cooking - Olive Oil


Choosing the right kind of oils for cooking can be troublesome, particularly for people looking to eat healthy.

There are numerous oils to choose from, and a ton of conflicting advice on choosing cooking oils, so it can be especially hard to figure things out. While opinion is split around some cooking oils there are several great oils who’s benefits are inarguable, as well as some not-so-great oils that you’d do best to avoid.

Let’s have a look at some of the best and worst oils for cooking.


The Best – Olive Oil

Olive oil is perhaps the king of oils.

With a smoke point of somewhere between 160 and 210 degrees C (320F to 410F), olive oil is not ideal for high heat cooking. However, it’s hard to overstate its health benefits. Olive oil is rammed full of antioxidants that have proven health benefits, and with a number of varieties of oil available, you can easily ensure you choose a high quality, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Olive oil has a very good monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat ratio, making it great for heart health.


The Very Good – Avocado Oil

Avocados are starting to be recognized as somewhat of a superfood, so it’s unsurprising to see that avocado oil is another great option. With a smoke point of about 250 to 270 degrees C (480F – 520F), it is better suited than olive oil for higher temperatures, but you’ll still want to avoid using it for high heat cooking.

Avocado oil is full of vitamin E, which is strongly linked to positive immune system support. Avocado oil is also pretty close to olive oil in terms of its monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fat ratio.


The Not-So-Good – Corn Oil

Corn oil has a ratio of monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat of around 1 : 2.5. Compared to that of Olive oil at roughly 8 : 1 and the difference becomes quite clear. Additionally, corn oil has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s over 10 times greater than is thought to be ideal. This all adds up to corn oil looking like it’s a bad choice for cooking and best to avoid.


The Worst – Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils are generally the cheapest oils for cooking available, and with good reason. The heavy refining process used to produce these oils results in the production of trans fats which have been linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease, among other health issues.

If you’re looking to keep an eye on your health, you should stay well clear of any and all hydrogenated oils.


What are your favorite oils for cooking? Let us know in the comments below.

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