The top three oils I have in my house at all times are extra virgin olive oil, butter and coconut oil due to their nutritional benefits and flavor profile. There are several healthy oils available such as hemp, flax, walnut, almond, avocado, pumpkin, etc. however these are the ones I have on hand at all times.
All of these oils are all different and should be used and stored in specific ways so as not to destroy the nutritional benefits. An important consideration is an oil’s ‘smoke point’ which indicates the point at which the oil will begin to smoke when heated. When this occurs, it releases carcinogens into the air and free radicals within the oil – essentially it goes rancid. So, if your oil has been heated beyond its smoke point, please discard it!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Nutritional Benefits: Very high in antioxidants (polyphenols), has plenty of anti-inflammatory fatty acids and contains vitamins E & K. It helps lower blood pressure, can prevent blood clotting and protects LDL particles from oxidation.
Maintaining Nutrients: Not ideal for cooking, however it can be used to sauté at medium heat. Its smoke point is 320°F and it should be stored in a dark bottle away from heat and light.
Ideal Use: A full flavour oil, EVOO is ideal for sauces, dips (like hummus or yogourt dip) and salad vinaigrettes.
Nutritional Benefits: Yes, butter is considered a saturated fat, BUT when it is consumed in moderation there are several nutritional benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. It contains antioxidants, is high in vitamin D, and it contains conjugated linoleic acid which is a potent anti-cancer agent, immune booster and muscle builder.
Maintaining Nutrients: A good all-purpose cooking oil, butter has a high smoke point of 350°F, and is ideal for sautéing, frying and baking. It’s best to store butter wrapped in the fridge, however its ok to be left out at room temperature even for a couple of days.
Ideal Use: Seriously, what doesn’t taste better with butter? *
Nutritional Benefits: Half of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid which is good at killing bacteria and viruses. It boosts the immune system, supports hormones and helps convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol.
Maintaining Nutrients: Pantry-safe for up to 2 years.
Ideal Use: A great alternative to butter, use coconut oil to sauté or bake. With a smoke point of 350°F it can withstand medium-high temperatures. I also even use it in my moisturizer and my toothpaste :)
* If you are lactose intolerant, it’s best to avoid butter, but if you only have a mild sensitivity to lactose, you might find you do just fine because it only contains trace amounts of lactose. If you still find it bothers you, try ghee (clarified butter) which has even less lactose than butter or no lactose at all.