There is so much information on cooking oil out there, and so much confusion! On my coaching boards we discuss this a LOT, mostly because restaurants STILL think they are smart cooking with VEGETABLE oil. NO! Do NOT use canola, corn or soy! They are:
- not heart healthy
- they do NOT help your cholesterol
- they CAUSE inflammation
- they are NOT good for high heat cooking!
So, with that in mind, what oils SHOULD you use? Here’s the lowdown, and it is pretty simple. The first question you should ask yourself is what are you using it for? If you are heating it to saute or roast, then only certain oils are safe. Many “good oils” degrade when heated, so you need to stay away from them.
When I teach my “Food as First Medicine” class, I use this great graphic from The Academy of Culinary Nutrition: (original here)
One caveat I would add: if you use butter or ghee, use only organic PASTURE RAISED butter or ghee. It is much healthier nutrition wise. For our family, we rotate olive oil and walnut oil for salad dressings, and we use coconut, avocado and ghee for higher temp cooking.
So, if we all began telling restaurants to STOP USING VEGETABLE OIL, maybe we could convince them? If you think you’re eating clean, and you eat out a lot, even the BEST restaurants may be sabotaging your road to health. Those restaurants using beef tallow, duck fat, ghee and coconut oil are actually doing you a favor. Once thought of as bad for your health, in moderation, although saturated fats, they are much less inflammatory than alternatives. Again, it is like one of my favorite “rules”: “If your Grandma could have eaten it, it’s probably safe”. (Ok, I’m older, you millennials will have to say Great Grandma…). And no, I’m not advocating eating tons of fried food. In fact, don’t. But if you want to have french fries once a month, make them yourself and use a high temp oil. Then sit and savor them.