Knowing which oils are healthy and which are not, can be very confusing. Especially as there is an information overload and many websites have not been updated with the most recent research.
There is quite a range of oils on display in the supermarket and knowing which ones to chose in the lineup of coconut oil, olive oil, canola oil, soya bean oil and vegetable oil, can make a huge difference to your health and that of your family. So if you are roasting a chicken in the oven, sautéing fresh vegetables in a saucepan, or making another tasty meal using cooking oil, you need to know which one to go for.
Substantial research has shown us that when we heat and cook with these oils, under particular temperatures, some of them can go through an adverse chemical reaction called oxidation. This generates damaging free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are unstable molecules which can result in disease and aging and damage cells. This is particularly serious for people suffering with heart disease, as it can damage the arteries.
Polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil and soya bean oil, are generally the cheapest and used the most. Unfortunately, they oxidize very quickly when heated and because of this, they should be avoided. Canola oil, has more saturated fat than polyunsaturated oil and so it is slightly better. It is however, highly processed and is often genetically modified.
Olive oil, on the other hand, helps generate good cholesterol and lowers the bad form. So it is excellent for heart health. It is great for salads and dripping on bread, but if you are cooking something and using over 310 degrees Fahrenheit, then it is not recommended, as it starts to degrade.
Coconut oil is the best option whenever you are cooking with a high heat. This is because out of all the cooking oils, it contains the highest quantity of saturated fat, thereby making it the most stable.