Your Cooking Oils – Healthy vs Unhealthy

The truth may surprise you! Can you choose the healthy oils from the unhealthy oils listed here?

  • Soybean oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Corn oil
  • Etc.

Most people are confused about which oils and fats to choose when cooking and baking. There are some that are actually harmful to your body.  Today, let’s find what are the healthy oils and fats…

Here’s the deal….

Vegetable oil is NOT healthy!

Most of what is hidden under a “vegetable oil” label is nothing but highly refined soybean oil, which is processed under high heat and pressure, as well as with industrial solvents such as hexane. Yuck!  “Vegetable oil” can also contain other heavenly refined oils: cottonseed, safflower, corn, grapeseed and others.

In most instances, almost all of these processed oils are NOT HEALTHY for you.

You can almost be certain that if you buy processed foods or deep fried foods, you will be consuming these unhealthy oils. Worse, you may be ingesting hydrogenated versions of these oils – the worst trans fat possible for you.

Unfortunately, these seem unhealthy cooking oils are in the cupboards and cabinets of your own home that you use to cook with.

Let me tell you why these are unhealthy.

The problem with soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and other similar oils is that they are mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats, which is the most highly reactive type of fat possible. As a result, the volatile combination of oxidation and free radical production means inflammation inside of you.

When exposed to heat and light, these processed polyunsaturated oils are highly reactive, causing internal problems such as heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases that are associated with inflammation.

Note: Whole foods such as nuts and seeds are okay as a polyunsaturated fat source. These are not inflammation risks if they haven’t been exposed to high heat. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturates, and a healthy balance of 1:1 to 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is considered healthiest. To score these kinds of numbers, it is best to choose raw nuts and seeds whenever possible.  This way, you avoid the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats from roasting the nuts and seeds.

Keep in mind though that some nuts are mostly monounsaturated, (for example, macadamias), so the issue of roasted vs raw nuts is less of an issue for highly monounsaturated nuts.

However, all of the vegetable oils listed above are generally heavily refined during processing, so that makes them already inflammatory before you even cook with them (which does even more damage).

The list of fats from least stable to most stable are:

1. polyunsaturated
2. monounsaturated
3. saturated

BUT, health professionals will never tell you this:

Saturated fats are actually the healthiest oils to cook with!

Why?  Because they are much more stable and less inflammatory than polyunsaturated oils.

This is why oils such as palm and coconut oils (and even animal fats such as butter) are best for cooking. These tropical cooking oils are high in natural saturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats, which make them least reactive to heat and light, making them least inflammatory and reactive in your body.

That’s also why natural butter is one of the best fats for cooking (but NOT margarine)! Most healthy professionals don’t understand the biochemistry of fats, so they lead you to falsely believe that saturated fats are bad for you.  However, contrary to mainstream health talk, saturated fats are actually neutral in most instances. When they are from tropical oils (like coconut oil), they are actually good for you because they contain mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are lacking in most people’s diets.

To summarize… your best cooking or baking fats are generally butter or tropical oils such as palm or coconut oilOlive oil (extra virgin preferably) is ok for lower cooking temps as it’s mostly monounsaturated, so moderately stable.  The mostly polyunsaturated oils such as soybean, grapeseed, cottonseed, safflower, etc, are the least healthy for cooking or baking.

My choices for top healthy cooking oils that I use:

  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (only for low temp cooking)
  • Real Butter (grass fed if possible)

Of course, with all of that said… we should keep in mind that trying minimize our cooking with oils can help to reduce overall calories. Cooking with oils in moderation is ok and can actually help satisfy your appetite more, but be careful not to overdo it as the calories can add up fast.

Also, please don’t be fooled by deceptive marketing claiming that canola oil is healthy for you — it’s NOT!  If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share this with your friends or family on facebook, twitter, email, etc.