Cooking Oils Rated: A guide to the healthiest oil for every situation

When thinking about nutrition and maintaining a healthy diet, it’s easy to be cautious about oil. Whether you’re frying meat, baking, dressing a salad or dipping bread, oil is used in almost all types of food preparation, service and presentation. It’s natural assumed that because of their fatty nature, oils should be avoided or ditched entirely as part of a healthy diet. The truth is, that oils are an essential part of cooking and there are so many different types that all vary greatly in terms of nutrition, so it’s far better to understand which are the healthiest oils for every situation than get rid of them entirely. Here’s a helpful guide to help you make the right choice every time:

For Frying: Sunflower Oil Out of all the oils used for frying, sunflower oil is perhaps the best of the bunch as far as nutrition goes. It contains impressively high levels of vitamin E, and its low saturated fat, zero trans-fat, content means that it is ideal for cholesterol-reducing diets too. Peanut oil is perhaps an even better option, but should be used with caution around those with allergies.

For Roasting: Rapeseed Oil Rapeseed oil is easily one of the healthiest oils there is. It is made up of just 6% saturated fat, less than half that of olive oil, and contains 50% more vitamin E. Crucially, it also contains 10 times the amount of omega-3 as olive oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are not only important for your body to function well, but they’ve also been shown to boost your brain health and help it to fight against dementia. Unlike other oils, rapeseed oil isn’t too sensitive to heat and remains stable, making it the ideal choice when roasting meat or veggies.

For baking: Hempseed Oil Hempseed oil is a super versatile oil that can be used for frying or in salad dressings. But because of it’s unique flavor, which may not to be to everyone’s taste, it is perhaps best used in baking where it will be disguised by other flavors and spices. It is rich in omega-3’s and contains just half the saturated fat of olive oil.

For dressing a salad: Walnut Oil Walnut oil has a very distinct nutty flavor, as could be expected. This makes it perhaps best suited for salad dressings. It is also sensitive to heat and so should not be used in frying or roasting. Nevertheless, it is a great healthy alternative to other oils. The fatty acids it contains can help decrease your risk of heart disease, and it is a rich source of anti-oxidants and essential vitamins.