All about OilsWith all the talk of the different kinds of fats and which oil is the healthiest, it can be hard to distinguish between them all. There are many types of oils and each one has various health benefits and can be used in a variety of ways.
Canola Oil is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant. It is considered healthy oil that is low in saturated fat and a good source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s. Canola oil has a light flavor, making it versatile in cooking. It can be used to replace butter or margarine when cooking or baking.
Olive Oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol and raise the good (HDL) cholesterol in your body. This may help reduce your risk of heart disease. What is the difference between virgin and extra-virgin olive oil? Extra-virgin has less acid and a fruitier flavor and stronger aroma, so a little goes a long way. “Light” olive oil is lighter in color or flavor, but is not lighter in calories. Olive oil can be used in place of butter to reduce saturated fat in the diet. Due to the low smoke point of olive oil, it should not be used in frying. It is best used for dipping bread in and sautéing vegetables and meat.
Coconut Oil is extracted from the fruit of mature coconuts. It is a saturated fat and “virgin” coconut oil high in a medium-chain fatty acid that raises both good and bad cholesterol levels. Due to these factors, coconut oil should be used in moderation. Coconut oil is often used as substitute for butter or shortening in a vegan diet.
monounsaturated fats and contains the antioxidant vitamin E. Peanut oil is often used in deep frying because of its high smoke point (meaning it can reach high temperatures and not burn).
Walnut Oil is made from nuts that have been dried and cold pressed. It contains a high amount of alpha-linoleic acid that converts partially to omega-3s which are good for heart health. The rich, nutty flavor of walnut oil makes it great for salad dressing or drizzling into a pasta dish. Since it cannot stand up to high heat, it is best used as flavor enhancer rather than cooking oil.