Which Oil is the Right Oil?

By Jhodie-Ann Williams and Kelly Martin

We've all been there, in the aisle at our local grocer staring at the vast array of oils; Extra virgin, Expeller pressed, cold pressed, etc. With so many choices it can be overwhelming, so we've created a guide on our best oil practices, how and why we use them and what oils we avoid all together. When deciding on oils it's important to understand saturated and unsaturated fat. 

  • Grapeseed:

If you're looking for a healthy oil to use for frying, then here it is. Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point (does well in high temperatures), it has a neutral flavor, and is very low in saturated fat, and high in unsaturated fat. The fatty acid of grapeseed oil can steer in the direction of "unhealthy," so be mindful, and keep everything in moderation. 

  • Coconut:

The holy grail of oils...Put cocout oil on your bank account and watch it flourish. seriously, from eating, to moisturizing and conditioning coconut oil is quickly becoming a staple in the "healthy home". The main thing to remember, though, is that coconut oil has a distinct flavor. It isn't neutral and can overpower a dish. If you are looking for a flavorless oil, then skip this one. 

  • Olive:

Always opt for the extra virgin kind. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, which helps with free radicals in your body. Try tossing this in a salad with some fresh lemon juice for a healthy dressing. 

  • Canola:

This oil is low great for high temperature cooking, because it has a high smoke point, BUT it is a GMO product (genetically modified organism). It derives from the rapeseed plant, which in its natural form is toxic to our bodies. Through plant breeding--this is where the GMO comes in--scientists were able to create a plant that could produce a safe oil. 

  • Vegetable:

I know it says the word vegetable in it, but PUT. IT. DOWN. This oil is tempting (not only because of its misleading name), because it is cheap, it seemingly never expires, and it is ideal for frying. It's long shelf life is a clue to its unhealthiness. Think about it. Something that doesn't expire is swimming in your arteries. Ewwww. It is like the poster child for GMOs, because it is so heavily processed. You can easily swap this oil out for the much healthier grapeseed oil. 

  • Avocado:

What could go wrong when avocados are involved? I say, nothing. It has a relatively high smoke point for cooking, but this oil really shines when it's used raw. Think about all the things that you would use avocados for: toss into a salad, drizzle into a smoothie, spruce up a sandwich.

Hopefully this information helps you in your oil picking, or pulling.