Top 10 List – The Best and Worst Kitchen Cooking Oils

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Today’s article is about a cooking oils, because, I don’t know about you, but I had a hard time figuring out what is good! And what about those that can be used for salad dressing! I often mix different oils depending on flavor, and smoke point (how hot it needs to be until it smokes).  Some oils can’t be heated and that’s important to know. You certainly don’t want to generate free radicals in the foods that you’re consuming to get healthy.

Cooking oil for your kitchen

The oil you use in your kitchen can make or break your dish because if it goes rancid, you may not taste that, and you’ve lost all the health benefits of it. Olive oil is a cooking oil that shouldn’t be heated to a high temperature.

Furthermore, did you know that some oils are actually harmful to your health?
Did you know that fried chicken or French fries often use “hydrogenated” oils which increase your risk of diabetes, heart attack, obesity and cancer? Some “partially hydrogenated” oils are even derived from soybean oil, discussed below.

What Cooking Oil Do You Use Most?

GOOD- High in Monounsaturated fats.

Let’s go over the top 10 List right now, olive oil is a great place to start!

1. Olive Oil is everyone’s favorite cooking oil

olive oil and cooking oil

Excellent source of antioxidants, polyphenols and essential fatty acids. It supports cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Unfortunately many olive oils are adulterated, there are fake or contaminated products everywhere so choose wisely. The Zoe brand is USDA certified organic and it comes in a dark bottle which prevents oxidation.

Most of all, it was awarded the NAOOA (North American Olive Oil Association) certified quality seal ensures complying with the highest international olive oil standards. 

If you’re interested in another article, take 5 minutes to read, Olive Oil Reduces Cancer and Risk of Stroke.

2. Coconut oil is an easy cooking oil to use

I’m referring to the unheated, unrefined, virgin coconut oil which is healthy raw, or baked; don’t use super high heat. Please avoid “hydrogenated coconut oil” which is man-made and contains trans fats.

3. Almond oil is another favorite cooking oil

A source of natural vitamin E, it has even less saturated fat than olive oil.  Almond contains monounsaturated fat (like olive oil). It contains salicylate in case you’re allergic. Almond oil goes rancid easily, store it in a dark cabinet, or buy it in a can. A good brand is made in California, click here to see LaTourangelle almond oil.

4. Hemp oil is not cannabis, and it is a great cooking oil

hemp seed oil is a cooking oil
Hemp Seed Oil

Unrefined oil have a good amount of Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA) which is considered a healthy omega 6 that may relieve PMS and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

5. Walnut oil has a low smoke point

This oil has a strong taste and some brands are heavily refined. Maybe toss a dozen nuts on your salad instead? I wouldn’t heat or bake with this oil due to the low smoke point.

6. Flaxseed oil can be sprinkled on your salad

flaxseed oil and cooking oil
Flaxseed Oil

A fragile oil that shouldn’t be heated. It’s good to make salad dressings with.  Refrigerate the oil. Too much may be goitrogenic (suppress iodine absorption) so avoid consuming high dose supplements for extended periods of time. A little oil on your salad should be fine though.

7. Tea seed oil is a cooking oil that comes from a flower

Tea seed comes from the seeds of Camellia oleifera. That’s the plant that is a cousin to Camellia sinensis, which gives us green tea, as well as black tea, Oolong tea and white tea.  The Tea Seed oil is cold-pressed. Tea Seed oil is also called “Tea Oil” or Green Tea oil.

The color as you can imagine is a pale yellow to green color, often described as an “amber-green” color, and it has a sweet aroma but a mild, neutral flavor. What I like most about this oil is the anti-inflammatory properties it offers, just like green tea. Aside from grape seed oil being used in the kitchen as a cooking oil, I also think it is great for the skin!

I also like it because I can use it at high temperatures (the smoke point is high), the flavor is similar to grape seed oil, and it contains many antioxidants including vitamin E, natural calcium and phosphorus. It has both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. If you’d like to learn about the health benefits of tea seed oil, CLICK HERE. 

⚠️ Do not confuse “tea seed oil” the essential oil of “tea tree” (maleleuca) which CANNOT be ingested.
Tea seed oil is NOT Tea tree oil! Be careful.

In fact, if you’re looking for Tea Seed oil, here’s a link to the product I’m referring to which is sold mainly online or in culinary stores. There are other brands too. You can apply this to your skin, it has wonderful moisturizing benefits, and remember it has some antifungal properties too. As with green tea, the tea seed oil can neutralize free radicals. Chinese research conducted on tea seed oil suggests that it slows the growth of 3 different types of human cancer cell lines, including colon cancer, breast and uterine cancer.

8. Grape seed is one of my favorite cooking oils

Grape seed oil is a cooking oil
Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is actually high in Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, as opposed to Omega 3s.  So if you’re eating a typical, fried, fatty diet, this oil won’t help you and in fact might contribute to problems. But if you have a diet rich in Omega 3s, or you take fish oils that are high in Omega 3s, I think this would be fine for you.  Grapeseed oil contains some monounsaturated fat similar to olive oil, however it has a higher smoke point so you can heat it without too much concern that it’s going bad.

We all know grapes and grape seeds have health benefits, this one has approximately twice the amount of vitamin E than olive oil. The flavor is mild, and I think it bakes well, that’s why it’s my favorite cooking oil. I’ve used it to make pesto many times with perfect results.

BAD- High in Saturated fats or Trans Fats

9. Canola or Rapeseed is not something I recommend

Some of you think this canola (aka rapeseed oil) is a “healthy” oil because it’s very low in saturated fat and like olive oil, it’s high in monounsaturated fat. However, hexane is used as a chemical solvent to extract canola oil from the seeds, and pesticides are sometimes used. Bleaching too. It’s used for baking or stir-fry.  I don’t recommend it!

BAD- High in Omega 6 which can increase inflammation

10. Corn Oil is not the best cooking oil!

It’s hard to find a non GMO version of this, unless it specifically says “organic” and plus it maybe bleached.
Corn oil increases “oxidized” or bad cholesterol. Cooks (not me) recommend it for high heat.

Honorable Mention: Soybean Oil – is this your favorite cooking oil?

This is another cooking oil that’s heavily refined and often genetically modified (GMO). Soy plants are somewhat toxic to humans, you didn’t know? Soybean oil, milk and tofu contains a lectin called PHG, short for phytohemagglutinin. PHG may interfere with digestion, affect memory and make your blood cells stick together (like clot). People use soybean oil for stir-fry because of the high smoke point.
Read your supplement bottles, soybean oil is used rather frequently in many dietary supplements and it may be something you want to avoid.  I leave this up to you.

Dishonorable Mention: Margarine

This is a completely man-made fat so I don’t use it, or recommend it. You should use plain butter instead of this.