Choosing which oils are heart-healthy and which are not can be confusing. If you have ever stood in the cooking oil aisle of a grocery store just staring at the endless bottles of different oils stacked in shelves not being able to decide which bottle to pick, don’t worry. You are not alone.
To make choosing which bottle of oil is healthy for your heart easier, we have made a guide on heart-healthy cooking oils. You can just have this guide printed or you can copy it and tape it to the inside of your cupboard door or anywhere in the kitchen where you would be able to see it easily.
Fats that are healthy for the heart are generally derived from plant oils. However one should note that fats just like oils are not created equal. Rather than just using one particular type of oil for all the dishes you whip up, it is best to have various types of oil in your kitchen.
You Need to Know the Smoke Point
– One of the things you need to understand is that the chemical makeup of oils varies. There are some oils that are more ideal for lower-heat cooking compared to some. It is important to understand the smoke point of oils. First let us discuss what the “smoke point” is all about. All oils reach a certain temperature where they begin to smoke hence the name smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts producing toxic fumes and dangerous free radicals. You should avoid heating the oil up to its smoke point. A general rule of thumb is that the more refined the oil is the higher is its smoke point.
- Oils with High Smoke Point
Oils having a high smoke point are best for searing, browning and deep frying. However, if you want to keep your heart healthy, you should avoid deep frying. Examples of oils with high smoke point are almond, avocado, sunflower and light-colored or refined olive oil.
- Oils with Medium-High Smoke Point
Oils with medium-high smoke point are great for baking, oven cooking and stir frying. Examples of oils having medium-high smoke point are canola, grapeseed, macadamia nut, extra virgin olive oil and peanut oil.
- Oils with Medium Smoke Point
If you are doing light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking, oils having medium smoke point are the best to use. Examples of these oils are corn, hemp, pumpkinseed, sesame, soybean, walnut and coconut oil.
- Oils Requiring No Heat
No-heat oils are best suited for dips, dressings and marinades. Flaxseed oil and wheat germ oil are examples of these oils.
- Culinary Argan Oil
The culinary Argan oil is very healthy for the heart. For thousands of years, Moroccan tribes have used this oil in their cooking. The oil is used almost the same way as olive oil and is great for dips, dressings and light heat cooking. Its smoke point is comparable to that of pure olive oil.
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