We have always heard that vegetable oil is SO healthy for us.  Canola, Corn, Soy Bean; Sunflower; Safflower; Peanut (etc.) – they will all decrease your cholesterol levels as they are low in saturated fats.  They are the ultimate in ‘heart healthy’ cooking and inexpensive. They can also take high heat – and rarely turn rancid.

Yes, they are low in saturated fats.  But, let’s look at how these oils are made.  For example – ‘Canola Oil’. By the way – there is n such thing as a ‘canola’ – CanOLA actually stands for Canadian Oil, Low Acid and is made from rapeseed.

So, here is the basic process (and, it is similar for many of these oils)…

  • Crush the seeds and heat them
  • Continue pressing the seeds to make a ‘presscake’ that can be used in the next step.
  • Extract the oil with hexane (a chemical solvent).
  • Remove the solvent (not a 100% process).
  • The crude canola oil goes through a process of water or organic acids (these are chemical organic acids – ‘organic’) to remove other compounds and initial color.
  • Then, it goes through another step to remove unpleasant odors and taste.

YUM – does that sound good to you?

What is worse – these oils are not heart healthy because their Omega 6 fatty acid composition (more inflammatory) is higher than their Omega 3 fatty acid composition (often 2:1).  This is NOT heart healthy if you want to limit inflammation.

So, what do I suggest?  Here are the cooking oils that I use.

These oils are natural – no solvents required and incredibly easy to use.

Other oils that I suggest – but, not for cooking…

Walnut oil – GREAT for an addition of taste in salad dressing – or, as a finishing oil.
Truffle oil – I love it in aioli and as a finishing oil. A little goes a long way.
Sesame oil – ah yes.  It tastes great in Asian cooking – but, discretion is the better part of valor – this stuff packs a punch!

To quote one of my favorite TV chefs (Jaques Pepin)…” Happy Cooking!”


 

 

 

 

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