Skip to content

Which healthy cooking oils should you know and which ones should you rather avoid? Here you will find the answer!

When it comes to losing weight, fats and oils have been frowned upon as our number one enemy for a long time. But that is far from the case. Whether it’s fitness pancakes for breakfast or Fat Bombs on the go, fat is just as essential to a balanced diet as protein and carbohydrates. Whether for frying, baking or as a dressing – oils add flavor to our dishes and should not be missing from any kitchen. But if you want to buy a bottle of oil in the supermarket, you are literally spoiled for choice. Should it be olive oil? Or would you prefer coconut oil? And then the question arises: So which are healthy cooking oils and which should we rather avoid? So that you do not stand next time haphazardly before the shelf, we reveal to you in the following the best and the worst oils on the market.

What’s the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?

bad and healthy fats distinguish which cooking oils are healthy

Whether certain cooking oils are healthy or unhealthy depends on various factors. The composition of the oil and the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids play a decisive role. Saturated fatty acids are the so-called “bad fats”, which are mainly found in animal foods such as meat and butter, and in vegetable fats such as palm oil and coconut oil. Industrially processed foods, such as cakes, cookies and frozen meals, are also rich in unhealthy fats. Since these are produced by the body itself, they are not essential and should only be consumed in moderation. Excessive consumption of saturated fats slows down the metabolism and can therefore lead to weight gain or higher cholesterol levels.

which cooking oils are healthy and unhealthy saturated and unsaturated fat difference

In the case of unsaturated fatty acids, a distinction is made between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. For example, nuts and avocado are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which lower the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good one. Excellent suppliers of polyunsaturated fatty acids are salmon, tuna, but also different healthy cooking oils. Since these are not produced by the body, we need to get them from food. Unsaturated fatty acids offer different benefits to our health. They can lower cholesterol levels and are also important for our brain, blood pressure and cell formation.

Healthy cooking oils: It all depends on the smoke point.

which oil good for frying cooking oils healthy unhealthy comparison

Have you ever had the oil in the pan start to smoke when you fry something? The most important factor in choosing the right cooking oil is its smoke point. This refers to the temperature at which the oil begins to break down. If the cooking oil becomes too hot, it loses not only its flavor, but also the healthy and valuable ingredients it contains. In addition, oils that have reached their smoke point release harmful compounds that could have negative effects on our health and even cause cell damage.

Smoke point healthy cooking oil olive oil for frying yes or no

Depending on whether you want to use them to fry, bake or just season your salad, some cooking oils are healthier than others. As a rule, it can be said that the higher the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the lower the smoke point. Or in other words – although these cooking oils are healthy, they are rather unsuitable for frying. For this purpose, it is best to use oils in which more than half of the fatty acids are saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids. Since refined cooking oils become heat-resistant through hot pressing, the smoke point is also somewhat higher and in most cases is over 200 degrees.

Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils around

which olive oil for cooking cooking oils healthy unhealthy

Almost all of us have a bottle of olive oil in the kitchen, and that’s a good thing! Regular consumption of olive oil can lower bad LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation and prevent a number of chronic diseases. It is made up of more than 70 percent monounsaturated fatty acids. The oleic acid it contains regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. No wonder, then, that olive oil is considered one of the healthiest cooking oils on the market. Olive oil is divided into virgin and extra-virgin. While the two edible oils are healthy and cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil contains more than 30 different phenolic compounds and thus belongs to the goods class. According to the latter research, extra virgin olive oil contains a natural compound called oleocanthal, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and scavenges cell-damaging free radicals. And the best part? Since olive oil’s smoke point is about 180 degrees, it’s great for baking and cooking.

Healthy cooking oils: Linseed oil

Flaxseed oil effect health cooking oils healthy unhealthy

When we talk about healthy cooking oils, then of course linseed oil must not be forgotten. It is characterized by a slightly nutty taste and is often called “liquid gold” due to its extremely high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Just 1 tablespoon of linseed oil a day has a digestive and anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, linseed oil contains more alpha-linolenic acid than almost any other product. Alpha-linolenic acid prevents strokes, dilates blood vessels and regulates cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, linseed oil is rich in numerous vitamins, including vitamin E, A, B1, B2, B6 and C. To benefit from all the advantages of linseed oil, it is best to choose a natural and cold-pressed oil. It is important to note, however, that linseed oil does not tolerate high temperatures and is therefore rather unsuitable for cooking and frying.

Avocado oil as the new superfood 2022

is avocado oil healthy which are the best cooking oils

If you love avocados, why not try avocado oil? It has a neutral flavor and can be used similarly to olive oil. Its smoke point is around 240 degrees, which makes it perfect for frying and grilling. Avocado oil consists of almost 80 percent omega-9 unsaturated fatty acids, which lower cholesterol and boost metabolism. Also, the high content of vitamins A, E, D and K makes avocado oil one of the healthiest cooking oils around. As a plus, it acts as a kind of catalyst and ensures that important nutrients from fruits and vegetables are better absorbed by the body. The quality of avocado oil depends on several factors, including where the avocados were grown and the extraction method used.

Grapeseed oil

Grape seed oil benefits health cooking oil healthy unhealthy

Like most vegetable oils, grapeseed oil is a healthy edible oil. It contains about 90 percent unsaturated fatty acids and scores with a high content of the important linoleic acid. In addition, grape seed oil is very rich in vitamin E, which strengthens the immune system and is crowned as an anti-aging agent. Its high smoke point of about 200 degrees makes it one of the best cooking oils for cooking and frying. However, its nutty and mild flavor also goes well in salad dressings.

Rapeseed oil is also one of the healthy cooking oils

What cooking oils are healthy and unhealthy is rapeseed oil bad

Because canola oil is often used for frying, it has a bad reputation. However, this is far from the case and it is actually one of the healthy cooking oils that can be used without hesitation. Just 10 grams of it is enough to cover our daily requirement of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, the relatively high content of alpha-linolenic acid makes rapeseed oil one of the best oils of domestic origin. Not to be underestimated is the relatively unbeatable price-performance ratio compared to other edible oils, such as olive oil. With its neutral taste and high smoke point of 220 degrees, canola oil is a real all-rounder in the kitchen. Whether for frying, deep-frying, baking or as a dressing – the healthy cooking oil simply always goes.

Unhealthy and healthy cooking oils: Avoid palm oil

why is palm oil harmful healthy and unhealthy cooking oil

After we have clarified which cooking oils are healthy, we will explain which ones you should preferably avoid. As you know, palm oil is mainly used in the food industry for the production of finished products. Especially in nut spreads, cookies and bread products, it is often used as a stabilizer. The main reason why palm oil is unhealthy is its rather high content of saturated fatty acids. As already mentioned, excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids can have a negative effect on blood lipid levels and increase the bad LDL cholesterol. However, this only applies to refined palm oil. Untreated and cold-pressed palm oil is actually good for your health and provides about 20 times more carotene than carrots. It is also rich in vitamin E and coenzyme Q1 – two antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body and are thought to prevent cancer. Untreated palm oil is characterized by a strong reddish color and is available in some health food stores.

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil effect health cooking oils healthy unhealthy comparison

Due to its fairly low price and high smoke point, sunflower oil is often used in many households. However, experts recommend replacing it with other cooking oils. Sunflower oil contains about 120 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, and the fatty acid ratio is therefore not considered particularly favorable for health. A ratio of 1:5 (omega-3 to omega-6) is considered optimal, and in the case of sunflower oil, it is 1:20. An excess of omega-6 fatty acids can actually clog arteries and promote inflammation in the body.

Walnut oil benefits health the healthiest cooking oils