A Guide to Cooking with Fats and Oils
Some fats and oils can be used when cooking over high temperatures, while some are better suited for use over low or no heat. The following guide lists preferred cooking oils, their smoke points, and their best uses. The smoke point of a fat or oil is the temperature at which the oil will burn and become damaged. Smoke points for a fat or oil can vary depending on the quality and variety of the source ingredients, and on whether the fat or oil has been refined. It's important to not exceed a fat or oil's smoke point when cooking. There are many different ways to describe oils, and deciphering food labels with these different words can be confusing.
Avocado oil - High-heat cooking, low-heat cooking, dressing, finishing
Butter, ghee - High-heat cooking, baking. Ghee is butter with the animal solids removed. Some people who are sensitive to dairy may not be sensitive to ghee.
Coconut oil- High-heat cooking, sautéing, baking. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. If it sold as a liquid, it has been blended with another oil.
Duck fat - High-heat cooking
Olive oil - High-heat cooking, low-heat cooking, dressing, finishing. Olive oil will lose its flavor if heated too high.
Peanut oil - High-heat cooking. Easily damaged, prone to rancidity.
Rice bran oil - Low-heat cooking.
Sesame oil- Dressing, finishing. Sesame oil has a high antioxidant content.
What About Other Fats and Oils? Most of the fats and oils listed below have high smoke points and seem safe for cooking, but these fats and oils undergo heavy processing. These processing methods counteract any potential health benefits. These fats and oils are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to chronic inflammation in the body.
Purchase oils that are packaged in dark glass bottles.
Purchase oils that are packaged in containers with a tight-fitting lid or seal.
Store your fats and oils away from the stove and other heat sources.
Store your fats and oils in a dark place.
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