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Best & Worst Vegetable Oils

Learn which vegetable oils are the healthiest and which are bad for you from nutrition expert Alex Jamieson in this Howcast video.


You might be a little confused when it comes to choosing the best type of vegetable oils for you and your diet. That's because there are different benefits and different drawbacks to so many of them.

Now, olive oil is the most common, and it's high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. But it's also low in the omega 3 fatty acids that we need more of. Canola oil is lower in saturated fat, and higher in omega 3 fatty acids, and it doesn't have that olive oil taste. So it can be better to use in kind of a neutral baking way. It won't add the olive oil taste and aroma to it. But you want to make sure that you're getting organic canola oil, because canola can be genetically modified, and we're not sure what the health implications of that are yet.

Another oil to consider using is coconut oil. Now, coconut oil is saturated, meaning that it is solid at room temperature. But it can be wonderful in baking, and it has a different aroma and texture to it, which can be healthier for people who need to avoid dairy, like using butter in their baking.

Other oils that you might want to use for finishing, and that means not cooking with them, but instead drizzling on finished cooked foods, or as a salad dressing, are the more tender oils. The oils that will be degraded by heating them. Things like pistachio oil, or almond oil, or toasted sesame oil can be really a delicious way to add some extra flavor, and aroma to your dishes. But you don't want to cook them, because that will degrade the quality of the oil.

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