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Cooking Oils: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Thankfully the old myth that fat is something that should be feared has long been debunked and healthy people now know the importance of fat in a balanced diet. However, even though fat is a vital part of a healthy diet there is still some fine print concerning the types of fats that should be eaten. In particular, cooking oils can be tricky territory when it comes to making smart choices. Follow this simple guide to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about cooking oils and you’ll be master of fat in no time at all.

cooking oil

The Good: The good news is that not only do cooking oils make cooking easier and more flavorful, there are also plenty of choices that are good for you. Choices like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, and avocado oil are among the top choices for healthy cooking oils. These oils are credited with helping both heart and brain health, metabolic function, energy levels, and more.

The Bad: The bad news is that just as recipes need to be followed in order to be successful, cooking oils also come with inherent instructions that must be followed for maximum health benefits. The “instructions” of cooking oils lie in their smoke point. When oils reach certain temperatures they begin to oxidize and become “rancid” or unhealthy for people to consume. The smoke point varies by the type of cooking oil, so it’s important to know which oils can be used for high temperature cooking and which are better for low or no heat cooking. For example, coconut oil and animal fats are best for high temperature cooking, while olive oil’s low smoke point makes it better for low/no heat recipes such as dips and dressings.

The Ugly: The ugly news is that some cooking oils really shouldn’t be used at all. Oils such as vegetable oil blends, canola oil, corn oil, and peanut oil have been highly processed and contain a tremendous excess of omega 6 fatty acids. These cooking oils promote internal inflammation, increase the risk of heart disease, and are processed with toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Though these cooking oils are widely available, taking steps to avoid them as much as possible is a hugely important step for good health.

And that’s what you need to know to start making good choices when it comes to cooking oils and, hopefully, avoiding the Ugly!!!

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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