TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The choices are endless when it comes to cooking oils. But the health benefits are all over the map, depending on what oil you choose to use.
“Extra virgin olive oil is really known for its health benefits, and it is really healthy for us. It’s really high in mono saturated fats, which have been shown to help lower the bad cholesterol in our body. It’s also high in antioxidants,” said Topeka Hy-Vee Dietitian Amber Groeling.
Research shows replacing saturated and trans-fats with unsaturated fats, like mono and poly unsaturated fat, can provide many health benefits. Some of the main healthy oils amber suggests are olive, canola, safflower, and avocado. Now, depending on how you’re cooking your meal, always make sure you’re keeping an oil’s smoke point in mind.
“Smoke point is the point at which the oil starts to smoke and what we don’t want to do is heat oil past its smoke point, because in addition to smoke there’s a chemical transition that occurs and harmful chemicals are produced. So we really want to keep oil under its smoke point,” said Groeling.
For cooking on the stovetop, Amber said she would stick to more of a canola oil, sunflower oil, or even an avocado oil.
“Avocado oil has almost the same health benefits as the extra virgin olive oil, but almost 500 degrees smoke point. So much more versatile and a lot of flavors in it, much like the extra virgin olive oil so you can use it in salad dressings as well.”
While baking, Amber said most of the time, especially if you’re doing the holiday baking, most of the time you aren’t going to want that olive oil flavor in.
“So you could use an extra light olive oil or a canola oil. It also has the healthy fat profile and is a very mild and easy to use oil.”
Amber cautions us on using coconut oil as our main cooking oil, based on a recent study by the American Heart Association – https://news.heart.org/advisory-replacing-saturated-fat-with-healthier-fat-could-lower-cardiovascular-risks/.
For more information on recommended cooking oils call Amber at Hy-Vee in Topeka at 785-272-1763 and visit the American Heart Association’s website – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/SimpleCookingandRecipes/Healthy-Cooking-Oils_UCM_445179_Article.jsp#.WjE1_lWnGUk.