When it comes to cooking, the oil that you use actually matters. Oil can be a great way to add in some healthy fat to your meal too. However, it’s important to choose wisely and understand that when it comes to cooking oil that every oil is different. All oils have their own unique “smoke point”, which means the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. This is the point where the oil can lose its nutritional benefit too. Different oils have different smoke points, and therefore, some are better to use than others. The same goes with the type of fat content they contain. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy, plant-based fats and an important part of your macronutrient intake.
First on the list, a classically deemed “health” food, olive oil. Olive oil has a smoke point of 350 F (depending on the type used) which is considered a medium smoke point. It’s packed with healthy fat and vitamin E. It works well for cooking, baking and homemade dressings. Depending on the type of olive oil used, the taste will vary slightly. Unrefined, cold-pressed virgin olive oil packs the most flavor with a peppery olive taste, while refined olive oils will be almost undetectable flavor-wise.
A newer oil on the market, avocado oil is ideal for high heat cooking. Its smoke point is at 520 F. Avocado oil is nutritionally very similar to olive oil, which makes it a great option to have on hand. The fat, of course, is good plant-based fat. It has a very neutral taste. Typically, avocado oil has a higher price than other oils because it’s made in smaller batches.
Has a smoke point of 450F. This oil is best used for cooking, or in a salad dressing. It brings a mild nutty flavor to the dish. Nutritionally it’s packed with healthy plant-based fat (it’s made from sesame seeds after all), and contains high amounts of antioxidants. It’s important to make note that sesame oil is in fact different from toasted sesame oil (which will appear to be darker in color). Toasted sesame oil has a very bold flavor which makes it better as a finishing oil.