Figuring out the healthiest cooking oil can be very confusing.
First, we need to consider…
What are we using it for cooking, frying, salads, or baking?
What is the oil’s smoke point level and its fatty acid healthy balance?
On one hand, you want to cook with an oil that has a high flash (smoke) point, but you also need to use cooking oil that has a healthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids–and even better if the oil is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins!
When possible, buy and use organic, unrefined, cold-processed vegetable oils.
For Salads: or to add to cooked foods: use extra virgin olive oil, but not for high-temperature cooking.
For Baking: use virgin coconut oil (high in beneficial saturated fats) for most mid-temperature cooking. However, coconut oil has a smoke point of about 171C / 350F degrees. This means it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.
For Cooking: at high temperatures, use avocado oil, it has a very high smoke point by comparison to other cooking oils. It will not burn or smoke until it reaches 271C/ 520F, this is ideal for searing meats and frying in a wok.
For Frying: Schnitzel, falafel, or donuts on Chanukah, avocado oil will be your oil. If it’s not available, you might want to choose an oil that is not that healthy from the fat point of view, but yes from the smoke point of view. Peanut oil can stand a high smoke point and not cause the oil to oxidize quickly, which causes body inflammation. Peanut oil may not be the healthiest oil but it is the healthiest choice when it comes to frying if you don’t have avocado oil.
Where it might not be so easy to find Kosher avocado oil in many European countries, and yes, it might be more expensive than others, however, isn’t your health worth the expense?
Good news are that Iherb.com delivers internationally to your door Kosher avocado oil La Tourangelle, Delicate Avocado Oil with StarK hechsher, so might be worth the investment for your health.
To help clarify some confusion with oil usage here is a chart with the basic ones.
COOKING OIL COMPARISON CHART
|Cooking Oils / Fats||Smoke Point °C||Smoke Point °F||Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio
(plus other relevant fat information)
|Extra virgin olive oil||160°C||320°F||73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9|
|Unrefined walnut oil||160°C||320°F||5:1|
|Coconut Oil||177°C||350°F||86% healthy saturated, lauric acid (has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties). Contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).|
|Canola Oil||200°C||350°F||Canola oil 200°C 400°F 2:1, 62% monounsaturated, 32% polyunsaturated|
|Palm oil||232°C||450°F||46:1, mostly saturated and monosaturated|
|Avocado Oil||271°C||520°F||12:1, 70% monounsaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids)
High in vitamin E.