There are many varieties of oils talked about and sold today in the market. One of the most common oils sold is olive oil. Olive oil is a great oil but it is not always your best cooking solution. Other common oils I hear people talking about using are avocado oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, sesame seed oil and canola oil. So the question of this blog is what are the better oils for cooking food on high to medium high heat?
The first thing to know is every oil has a smoke point. An oils smoke point is the point at which the oil will start smoking on your stove top. Once oils reach this point the good nutrients begin to break down, a burnt flavor may be imparted on the food and a possible carcinogenic effect takes place in the oil.
Some of my favorite oils for sautéing and searing foods on the stove top include avocado oil (smoke point of 520 degrees), coconut oil (smoke point of 350 degrees).
Benefits of cooking with avocado oil: first off it obviously has a very high smoke point making it almost impossible to burn. Secondly it contains nutrients that are stable while cooking and help fight off inflammation. Avocado oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids which help lower inflammatory messengers in the body. Also, Avocado oil also contains high levels of oleic acid, carotenoids, lutein, vitamin E and phytosterols that combat inflammation.
Benefits of cooking with coconut oil: coconut oil contains saturated fats which are more stable under high heats. The fats found in the oil are medium chain fatty acids which are easier for your body to break down than long chain fatty acids found in other vegetable oils. These fats are easier used body to be broken down into energy and are also processed by the liver which means they are not readily stored in the body as fats. Also expeller pressed coconut oil is not processed using chemicals, it also does not have a heavy coconut taste unless you get extra virgin coconut oil which tastes more like coconut.
- Dr. Chris