What Is The Healthiest Oil To Cook With?

Through the years, there has been speculation on what kind of oil is best to eat and which is the healthiest to use while cooking. There are many oils to choose from, including, but certainly not limited to, almond, soy, avocado, coconut, and olive oil. Each of these oils offers a different flavor, and some are better for smoothies, like hemp seed oil, while others are better for dressings, like flaxseed oil (via Eat This, Not That!).

Time Magazine reports there is some disagreement among experts on which is the safest for cooking. Coconut oil has been hyped up in recent years, deemed healthy for consumption. Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Time that "...the industry has done a good job to make it seem like it's a superfood. The research is definitely not there." Additionally, the American Heart Association cautions against over-indulging in coconut oil, which is high in saturated fats. A 2017 study published in the journal Circulation suggests that coconut oil can increase low-density lipoprotein ("bad cholesterol") levels. 

For cooking, try these healthy oils

The American Heart Association shares that choosing healthy oils over those with a high saturated fat content is beneficial for your heart's health. The association also recommends choosing oils with 4 grams or less of saturated fat per tablespoon. A 2019 study published in the Molecules journal found that avocado oil is a great cooking choice, as it holds its nutritional value, even at high temperatures. Eat This, Not That! points out that avocado oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can decrease the risk of arterial damage and heart disease.

If you are cooking at low to medium temperatures, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the way to go, according to Time Magazine. Unrefined oils, like EVOO, are of higher quality than other oils, according to Lisa Howard, author of "The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils." She told Time, "It's also one of the healthiest oils to use when baking. As a dressing it's great, too." Healthline deems EVOO the "healthiest fat on Earth" due to its many proven health properties, making it worth adding to your diet.