When you look around your kitchen countertop, what do you see? Many people have a cooking oil that they prefer to use when making their favorite meals. Some people select cooking oils based on their price, their personal preference, or what their family likes. You may have never thought too much about the oils you cook with, but cooking oils can affect your health.

Here’s everything you need to know about healthy cooking oils, including types of cooking oils and when to use each kind of oil.

Different Types of Cooking Oils

Not all cooking oils are created equally. Some popular cooking oils can break down into chemicals that are not healthy when they are heated beyond a certain temperature. The way that an oil is made can also affect its health. Some oils are made using chemicals, and some are made by squeezing oil from a plant or seed. Usually, the oils made from the natural process of squeezing or pressing are healthier.

Why Good Cooking Oils Matter

Think about how often you use cooking oil. For many people, it is every time they prepare food on a stovetop, which can be several meals a day. Cooking oil doesn’t just help you cook your food a certain way. When you use cooking oil, you are eating a small amount of it, too. This is why good cooking oils matter. Some cooking oils can add healthy fats to your diet. Healthy fats help your heart. However, cooking with other oils can cause changes in your food that can be bad for your heart and your overall health. This is especially true if your cooking oil causes a lot of burning or charring of your food.

Healthy Cooking Oil Options

Using butter or shortening when preparing meals may make your food taste delicious, but it is not healthy to do all the time. You may be wondering if the cooking oil you use is a healthy option. Make sure to look through the list below for some ideas about oils that can help your health.

  • Olive oil: This oil is made from olives, and it has many healthy vitamins and fats. It may also help your body fight cancer and other health conditions. Olive oil is healthiest when used for baking, cooking food in a pan, or dressing. It should be heated to a medium temperature.
  • Avocado oil: This oil is made from avocados, and it also has health benefits. It can be heated to a high temperature, so it is good for cooking foods on high heat, like grilling.
  • Sesame oil: This oil is made from sesame seeds, and it may help people fight chronic diseases. Sesame oil can be used for cooking food in a pan and as a dressing. It should be heated to a medium temperature.
  • Safflower oil: This oil is made from a safflower plant and may help people with various health conditions. It can be used for sauces, dips, marinades, and for cooking on high heat.
  • Sunflower oil: This oil is made from sunflower seeds. It can be used for cooking but should not be used at high heat.
  • Peanut oil: This oil is made from peanuts. There are different kinds of peanut oil available. The healthiest option is peanut oil which is made by simply crushing peanuts. Peanut oil can be used at high heats.

Keep in mind that each oil will have its own taste. Some people like to use different oils for preparing different types of food.

How to Start Cooking with a Different Oil

It can be hard to switch to a new oil, especially if you have been using the same cooking oil for many years. Choosing one new oil at a time can make it easier to get started. The next time you go grocery shopping, have a few oils in mind that you would like to try. Then, spend some time looking at the oils on the shelf and reviewing bottle sizes and prices.

How to Learn More About Healthy Cooking Oils

At Jai Medical Systems, we want you to have all the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about how cooking oils can affect your health, visit the American Heart Association’s page about healthy cooking oils. And to find out how to join Jai Medical Systems, contact us today.