For health reasons, it is always better to be mindful of the cooking oils you use for family meals. Some cooking oils contain saturated fat which is ultimately bad for the heart, and some are just bad for grilling or frying because they become smoky, while others just have a bad or short shelf life.
Home cooking oils are made from various plants and ingredients, but it is ultimately better to avoid cooking oils derived from animal oil like turkey, pork, chicken, and other fatty sources. However, the following guide will help you choose the best cooking oils for good family health and great family meals.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is great for cooking family meals because it is natural from safe plant sources like the olive oil. It has a rich flavor and can be drizzled on steamed vegetables or even mixed in dressings for salads. It is also a good alternative for butter when you desire to bake cakes, muffins, cookies, and breads. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fat which contains good LDT cholesterols, and it is equally rich in polyphenols which are good antioxidants for preventing high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- Canola cooking oil: Canola cooking oil is wonderful for preparing rich family meals and its health benefits cannot be overemphasized. Canola oil is very high in alpha-linolenic acid, which happens to be an Omega-3 fat that is good for the heart. Canola oil does not have much antioxidant, but it lasts longer on the shelf than olive oil or other kinds of cooking oils. It also has a good smoke point which preserves its nutrients at high temperature points like frying and grilling, and it is excellent for sautéing, roasting, and baking.
- Walnut cooking oil: Walnut oil is great for salad dressings and for baking among others, and it has a nutty flavor that enriches your taste to the delight of your palate. Walnut oil can be quite pricey but it has a rich blend of Omega-3 which is good for your heart health. It lasts for a long time on the shelf or in the fridge, and can be used for multi-cooking purposes.
- Grape-seed cooking oil: With 17% mono-unsaturated fat, 73% poly-unsaturated fat, and 10% saturated fat, the grape seeds oil comes with a grapy flavor and tasty aroma that gets you licking your fingers. It can be used for roasting, sautéing, salad dressings, and other baking purposes; and you can be certain that it great for high heat cooking.
- Peanut cooking oil: Containing great amounts of phytosterols which is a natural plant fat essential for lowering body cholesterols and inhibiting cancer growths, peanut oils is great for cooking under high heat. Its 48% mono-unsaturated fat, 34% poly-unsaturated fat, and 18% saturated fat content makes it suitable for roasting and sautéing among other cooking needs.
- Sesame cooking oil: Very common among Asians, sesame oil is wonderful for enriching your local meals and family cuisines. It can be toasted or untoasted, but its nutty flavor makes it a delight among many families and hotel chefs. It is good for frying, or drizzling into salad dressings and other family menus.
As a bonus, you might find it advisable to skip using:
- Soya-bean oil because it is too high in Omega-6 fats, and these edge out the Omega-3 fats necessary for healthy hearts and brains. In fact, excess Omega-6 fats have been found culpable for depression, alcoholism, and other related illnesses.
- Palm oil because half its fat adds about 1.5 grams of saturated fats to each 2-tablespoons of food. Although palm oil is mostly used for cooking in Africa and Asia, it is very trans-fat-free; but its noted grams of sat fat in each tablespoons has been linked increased levels of cholesterols and elevated heart disease risks.