Not all oils are equal

Are you using the right oil to cook with?

We all need some amount of healthy fats in our diet.

Think unsaturated, not saturated, and avoid trans fats.

Healthy fats can come from a variety of sources such as nuts, oils, seeds and fish. 

But, did you know that not all oils are created equal, especially when cooking?

That’s because the process of cooking involves heat and heating something breaks it down.

And with oils, depending on the type of oil, the point at which this degradation happens (known as the flash / smoke point) and the end product of degradation varies.

Why does this matter?

Because once the oil passes its flash / smoke point, many of the nutrients in the oil degrade and the oil releases harmful chemicals known as free radicals. While “free radicals” are not always bad and our body has some right now anyway, if not regulated properly, free radicals can cause what is called “oxidative stress” which can induce a variety of chronic and degenerative diseases, including inducing aging.

Now, we are not claiming this will happen but if you can easily control the type of oil you are cooking with to reduce the number of free radicals you are consuming, why wouldn’t you take this step to protect yourself?

Here are our top 3 choices for cooking oils (i.e., at high temperatures), given their nutrients and composition and high flash / smoke point:

  1. Avocado oil 
  2. Olive oil 
  3. Peanut oil 

Other oils like flaxseed oil, walnut oil are good choices at room temperature eg. on salads.

To the extent possible, try to avoid Canola / vegetable oils. In North America, these tend to be highly processed and lacking nutrients. Coconut oil is not as bad, but it is loaded with saturated fats (which is why it is solid at room temp) which should be consumed in moderation.

Takeaway: Not all oils are created equal. Make sure you do your research and pick the best one for your purposes!

Questions about fats, oils, or other nutrition items? 

Book a 15 minute chat with our Registered Dietitian >>HERE<< to learn how our nutrition program can help you filter out the misinformation on the internet on oils and so much more!

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