What is the healthiest oil for cooking? We Asked Health Experts

When it comes to cooking your meals, one ingredient that seems to be a staple in most dishes is oil. It is an essential element, especially in cooking processes such as frying and sautéing. From olive oil to canola oil to vegetable oil, the options are endless. But what exactly is the best – and healthiest – oil for cooking? We asked a dietitian Katie Tomaschko, MS, RDNContributor to Sporty smiles and naturopath and general practitioner Dr Elena Deshko discover. Keep reading to see what they have to say.

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Which type of oil has the greatest nutritional value?

According to Dr. Deshko, “The top contender with the most scientific evidence demonstrating health benefits is extra virgin olive oil.” She explains, “Extra virgin olive oil is rich in healthy heart monounsaturated fats and has the benefit of a specific type of antioxidant called polyphenols. The polyphenol content olive oil is largely responsible for its many benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and even supporting immune health.”

Tomaschko agrees, “Extra virgin olive oil has the greatest nutritional value.” She points out that “extra virgin olive oil” and regular olive oil are two completely different things. “EVOO is not heat treated and therefore retains its nutrients intact (it is unrefined compared to regular olive oil). EVOO is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats (the good fats!) – both attribute to a reduced risk of heart diseasecancer and inflammation“, she notes.

Types of Oil You Should Avoid

“While cooking with vegetable oils such as canola, corn, or soy was previously thought to be beneficial due to their higher smoke points and the presence of vitamin E, new research has shown that it wasn’t,” Dr. Deshko tells us. . “Vegetable oil is very susceptible to oxidation when heated and oxidized oil has been shown to have a number of adverse health consequences in particular: increase in LDL or “bad cholesterol”, changes in the functioning of the immune system, [and] changes in kidney function. »

Plus, Tomaschko shares that coconut oil is surprisingly unhealthy. “It’s loaded with saturated fat – it has a higher percentage than butter!” However, she says, “I’m a big believer in moderation and I don’t believe any food should be banned.”


Tips for cooking with oil

Overall, Dr. Deshko reminds us to “always choose the highest quality organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from a small producer if possible.” She advises, “Keep cooking temperatures and frying times as low as possible.” For an enhanced meal, she recommends “Add other antioxidant herbs and spices such as rosemary, oregano, and garlic to improve the antioxidant profile as well as the flavor of the food.”

In conclusion, Tomaschko points out, “Oils are very calorie-dense. So if you’re looking to watch your calorie intake, it’s a good idea to watch how much oil you use. But one more times, no food needs to be off limits to stay healthy!”

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