The Three Oils that You Should be Cooking With

Healthy Cooking 101

by Abra Pappa Comments2
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Oils are potentially the most debated topic in the natural food world, and this is one of my most frequently asked questions. Which oils should I use and why?

I broke this down into 3 simple cooking oils that should be in your kitchen, BUT remember one thing:

Oils, no matter what, are still calorically dense (120 calories per tablspoon) so if you are on a weight loss program it is always beneficial to evaluate just how much concentrated calories, or oils, you are using. I have found that most recipes use about 2x the amount required for flavor and ease of cooking. Except for my recipes, they are of course perfectly balanced ;-)

Let’s simplify with 3 oils that serve 3 distinct purposes and will become the staples in your healthy kitchen.

#1 Coconut Oil – Used for high heat cooking and baking. Β When cooking at hight heat you want an oil (or fat) that is stable to resist heat induced damage, an oil that is free from oxidation or going rancid. Here is why:

When an oil goes rancid or oxidizes, it produces free radicals. Free radicals are the ANTI anti-oxidant. Anit-oxidants help prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and heart disease. Free radicals–the ANTI anti-oxidants– actually cause premature aging and diseases.

So, when cooking at high temps or with a high flame you should use a good, hearty saturated oil or fat that will remain stable when being heated and not produce any free radicals.

My pick is coconut oil. This oil will impart a bit of a coconut flavor, which works exceptionally well for some dishes and not for as well for others. Coconut oil is also excellent in baked goods, like in my chocolate muffins.

#2 Olive Oil – holds a place of high esteem in my kitchen. Choose extra virgin, first cold pressed organic for the best quality, heart healthiest and least processed version. I use olive oil for low temperature cooking or raw in salad dressings or to drizzle on top of a dish.

#3 Grapeseed Oil – Grapeseed oil is extracted from the nutrient rich seeds of grapes, it has a higher smoke point then olive oil but offers a neutral flavor. It is a great choice when making asian inspired dishes. For baking, grapeseed oil offers a buttery rich flavor.

Ditch all the other oils in your kitchen and simplify with these 3.

Abra Pappa
About Abra Pappa, Health and Wellness Expert

Abra is a wellness expert that has inspired thousands of people to reach their health and weight loss goals through whole, natural food and mindful lifestyle shifts. Her food philosophy is simple; keep it real, keep it simple, and it sure as heck better be delicious!

  • Tiffany

    I recently bought sunflower seed oil…Is this a good oil for high temps? Also how can one detect if an oil goes rancid when it hits heat? I sometimes fry (i know not the best) things on the stovetop in a pan using sunflower seed oil on high heat…Is this bad or good???

    • http://www.nutritiousamerica.com Abra Pappa

      I personally do not use or recommend sunflower seed oil. It is extremely high in Poly-Unsaturated Fats and has little to no omega 3′s to balance that out.

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