With all the misinformation and different opinions out there, unless you know anything about bio-chemistry, it can certainly get confusing.
When choosing an oil to cook with, you want to look at:
1. The smoke point (the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke)
2. The extraction method (I recommend looking for pressed/cold-pressed methods vs conventional methods such as chemical solvents or high heat extraction)
3. Nutrient quality and balanced omega ratio (and choosing more MUFAs over PUFAs)
When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize easily.
When oils undergo oxidation, they naturally form free radicals and harmful compounds that you want to avoid at all costs (which can lead to various health problems, chronic inflammation being the most common)
My favourite oils to cook with:
1. Avocado oil (Avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with due to it’s high smokepoint)
3. Coconut oil
4. Extra virgin olive oil (TONS of health benefits but I personally do not cook with olive oil due to it’s lower smoke point, as higher temperatures can change it’s molecular structure and also destroy many of the nutritional properties – but use it as a dressing very frequently)
Almost all vegetable oils have multiple double bonds between atoms in their molecular structure, which results in it being more susceptible to attack by free radicals that can damage the molecule.
The oils I personally avoid:
Soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and safflower oil.
Which oils do you cook with?