8 must-try cooking oils

Good oils are known for their health properties as well as flavors which complement any meal.

One of the pleasures of a lower-carbohydrate lifestyle is the use of oil. Whereas on many low-calorie plans, margarines are pushed as fats, suddenly a new world opens and the creative cook is now enjoying using a varied compendium of flavor-filled fats in the kitchen.

1. Coconut oil. Among the most stable of oils, coconut oil can last up to 2 years, especially when stored as a solid at slightly cooler temperatures. Its higher smoking point makes it an excellent choice for stir frying or pan cooking. While raising LDL cholesterols, coconut oils are finding their way into more homes for its promising medical research for aiding in symptoms such as killing some strains of candida and other fungal infections. This oil could exacerbate allergies due to tree nuts. Those with nut allergies should be aware that this is a tree nut oil.

2. Sesame Oil. Extremely high in fat, sesame oils are used in smaller doses for maximum flavor punch. One of the more stable oils for cooking due to its very high boiling point and considered least likely to go rancid, sesame oil is also touted for oil-pulling and has been said to help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. This oil is deliciously rich.

3. Macadamia Nut Oil. With a high smoking point, macadamia oil, with its light and fruity flavor, lends itself well to stir frying. Due to its low polyunsaturated properties, macadamia oil is also more stable than certain other oils. Liquid at room temperature, and with a slighty nutty odor, this oil lends itself well to frying, and has unrefrigerated shelf life of up to 2 years. Those with nut allergies should be aware that this is a tree nut oil.

4. Walnut Oil. Due to its high cost and low demand, this oil is not as readily found as other oils. While this oil can turn rancid quickly, this could nonetheless be an excellent choice for baking and cooking flavorful dishes when it can be located. Omega-3’s found in this oil also add an attractive quality not seen in many other oils, but antioxidants are easily destroyed in cooking. Those with nut allergies should be aware that this is a tree nut oil.

5. Olive Oil. This light-colored, flavorful liquid, long touted for its cardiovascular health properties, is another flavorful option in cooking. With a very low smoke point and its ability to become rancid at high heat, olive oils are best used in pestos, on salads or mixed into specific dishes where low-heat (or no heat) is involved.

6. Soybean Oil. This oil comprises most of vegetable oils found commercially. While it contains some of the omega-3’s found in other oils such as Walnut oil and Canola oil, this oil-seed has also been tested as an insect repellent. Some have an allergic predisposition to soybeans, so keep this in mind if you react adversely to soybeans.

7. Sunflower Oil. Light in appearance and high in Vitamin E, sunflower oil is low in saturated fat. Known for its cardiovascular benefits, sunflower oil lends itself well to high cooking temperatures, and is known for its clean, refreshing taste.

8. Peanut oil. An oil favored by many fast food restaurants, peanut oil has a high smoke point which lends itself deliciously to stir frying and frying in general. It’s expense can be off-putting, as even most peanut butters expel the peanut oil and replaces it with a cheaper source of fat. Those with nut allergies should be aware of the severe allergic reactions due to nut oils.

For more information:
Healthy Cooking Oils

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