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Which oils are healthiest for cooking?

Over the years we have all heard some oils are better for cooking than for others.  And one year we will hear this oil is the best and then later on the next year we will hear it's not.  I have also spoken to some people in the medical field who have access to journal papers who have conflicting information with what is known publically.

I would really like to know which oils are the healthiest for cooking, specially for stir-frying.  

I used to use normal vegtable or canola oil, and then I switched to olive oil, but then I heard olive oil is not good as the oils when heated turn to transfats and other nasty things.  I was then told that pig fat is a natural oil that can be used for cooking, and the list goes on and on...  I know have some brown rice oil on my hands, but wondering if that is safe or not.

I have been browing the web and have found many sites which compare the oils, but some sites are conflicting.  

I would love to hear from people in the medical field and nutritionists who have actually done tests on these and know which oils are actually good and which ones are not.

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From Dr. Douglass
a combination of several vegetable oils that offers a nice balance of omega-3s, omega-6s––including Evening Primrose Oil––and omega-9s, plus coconut oil and a little bit of vitamin E. I recommend 2 to 3 tablespoons per day.

                        The margarine meltdown: What you should do now

When reporters weave their college- and media-induced references to "low-fat, healthy foods" into their articles, I can excuse it on the grounds that reporters aren't expected to be experts in everything they report on. But when it comes to the FDA commissioner and a doctor who has written "more than 60 books on nutrition, fitness, and performance," we should expect to get something informative and intelligent. In this case, we get neither.

"Trans fats can no longer lurk, hidden, in our food choices," FDA commissioner Mark McClellan told reporters. Oh, they have been "lurking and hiding" there, have they? But, like rats in a sewer, the FDA didn't know they were there. If you believe this propaganda, then margarine has eaten your brain away.

McClellan's announcement came on the heels of a new government mandate that all food manufacturers begin labeling the trans-fat content of foods by 2006.

But what are people supposed to do in the meantime? Well, the first step is to know the enemy. Trans fats come from unsaturated vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated. So, knowing that, "corn, sunflower and soybean oils are examples of vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids--the kind…to avoid," reports Sue Schwendener of Reuters Health. Sue is right on target and scores 100. The "author of 60 books" scored a 30:

"If you were to rank all the oils that are best to cook with, certainly the two or three that rank highest would be canola, olive and perhaps safflower oil," said Dr. Frederick Hatfield, president of the International Sports Sciences Association and the author of those 60 books on fitness and nutrition.

Tell me, Fred, do you read your own books? You should know that canola oil is one of the worst free-radical-forming offenders when it's heated. And there's nothing "perhaps" about safflower oil--don't use it for cooking.

One step forward, two steps back

At least the American Dietetic Association has reversed itself somewhat: "I would put olive and flaxseed oil toward the top, and going on down the list: canola, peanut, soybean, safflower, sunflower," the ADA's nutritionist Lola O'Rourke said. Let's make this clear: Do not to use canola, peanut, soybean, safflower, or sunflower oil for cooking.

But then Lola really falls into the old, discredited vegetable oil can: "…while vegetable oils are preferable to animal fats, quantity consumed still needs to be limited. More is not always better." Vegetable oils are NOT preferable to animal fats, and neither monounsaturated oils (olive oil) nor animal fat need to be limited in the diet. When are we going to put that myth to rest?

Although the gods of the disinformation machine have finally decided to reveal what has been common knowledge in nutritional biochemistry for four decades, i.e., trans fats have been ruining the health of the American people, the bad advice they continue putting out will not improve things.

The best options for cooking are butter and the saturated oils, coconut and palm oil.
They were on the way to eliminating butter  but the trans fat revelations have busted the margarine mavens.

"Right cooking oil key to avoiding trans fats," Reuters Health News, 11/20/03
Helpful - 0
773755 tn?1328119777
i have heard that coconut oil makes brilliant popcorn! :)

i've recently added GHEE [clarified butter] to my ingredients list.
it also makes great popcorn
it's suitable for those with lactose-intolerance because, uh, it has no lactose.
reasonably priced too.
get it from a deli or indian store or such. i use it instead of vegetable cooking oil now. i've almost stopped using butter.
it stores outside of the fridge although due to habit i keep mine in the fridge.
i haven't deep-fried food in it yet - in fact i've never deep-fried anything in my cooking experience - however that's about to change, and this is exactly what it's good for.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Spiced Popcorn Recipe
Total Time: 10 mins
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash(es) pepper, cayenne
dash(es) cinnamon, ground
12 cup(s) popcorn, air-popped
cooking spray
Recipe Tip:
Indian Spiced Popcorn: Prepare Spiced Popcorn as directed, except substitute 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper for the cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Nutrition Facts per serving: 31 cal., 0 g fat, 0 mg chol., 49 mg sodium, 6 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein. Exchanges: 1/2 Starch Carb Choices: 1/2
1. In a small bowl, stir together cumin, chili powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.

2. Spread popped popcorn in an even layer in a large shallow baking pan. Lightly coat popcorn with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the cumin mixture evenly over popcorn; toss to coat
Helpful - 0
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