How to choose a healthy cooking oil – rogue health and fitness electricity laws physics

Oils for cooking and dressing are common food items, yet some are unhealthy and definitely to be avoided, and others are healthy. Which oils and fats should you consume, and which should you avoid? Here’s how to choose a healthy cooking oil. Why some oils are unhealthy

I’ve written quite a bit on this site about why you should avoid vegetable oils, which are better known as industrial seed oils. It’s easy to see why they use the term “vegetable” since it makes them seem healthy, when in fact they are not. It’s PR.

The most important reason why these oils are unhealthy is because of very high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which are harmful both in themselves, and because they lead to a very unbalanced omega-6/3 ratio in body tissues. (See articles above for more detail.)

The main problem with olive oil is that much of it, maybe most of it, may not really be olive oil, but adulterated with soybean or other seed oils. There are a few ways to discover whether the olive oil you buy is pure or adulterated (which you can find online), but probably the most important is to get it from a reputable source. Unfortunately, Italy doesn’t appear to be a reputable source, and even big, well-known companies have been caught red-handed adulterating their olive oil.

The second concern with olive oil is in cooking. It has a lower smoke point than some oils, and high heat may cause it to break down. The concern that cooking with olive oil is in some way unhealthy appears to be lacking in evidence. Nevertheless, some fats or oils may make better choices for cooking.

Lard and beef tallow may be better for cooking at high heat, since they’re largely composed of saturated and mono-unsaturated fat. Leftover animal fat may also be suitable here. One concern about lard or tallow is that some of it in supermarkets may be hydrogenated, so definitely avoid those.

Lastly, palm oil. Palm oil was demonized for years due to its saturated fat content. Now that we know that saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, that concern appears moot. On the other hand, its saturated fat content makes it good for cooking. When I lived in West Africa, they cooked all the food in palm oil and it tasted great, although it left an orange residue on the plate. Palm oil may have a few other issues however, so unless you live in West Africa and have nothing else to cook with, other choices may be better. Why cook at high heat?

Since in my house we eat whole, unprocessed and mostly low-carbohydrate food, there’s not a lot of need for frying or cooking at high heat. Eggs get cooked in butter, but meat gets cooked in its own fat. But we’re not frying up batches of potatoes. Chicken, which we hardly eat anymore due to its high omega-6 content, gets cooked in the oven or broiler. Likewise, pork or tri-tip is cooked in the oven. You get the idea.

My point is, if you need some kind of oil that needs to stand up to high heat, ask yourself what you’re cooking and do you really need to eat it. (Admittedly since I’m not a cook and have little imagination as well, there may be foods I’m missing here, so feel free to let me know.) Conclusion: Industrial seed oils

Fully hydrogenated (full hydrogenation does not produce transfats, it’s partial hydrogenation that does that) cottonseed oil may be an exception to the industrial seed oil rule. It’s 93.6% saturated fat, more than any other oil. I’ve never heard an explanation of why refining and bleaching are supposed to be bad. That said it’s not something I would buy as it’s not Lindy tested and we have other good alternatives.

With respect to olive oil I purchase olive oil from the California Olive Ranch company. Adulteration seems like a lower risk with an American company, and their products have received praise for their purity and quality. The prices are also reasonable. Greek olive oil is also a good option–Costco is switching to Greece for Kirkland Signature owing to the adulteration issue in Italy.

The reason is the Maillard Effect (browning). This is especially important with red meat. To get a great crust on steak, you must sear it at the highest possible heat. Steakhouses for instance typically have specially made gas-fired broilers which reach 1,300 F. We don’t have this at home, so you use a cast iron pan on the stove (or if the whether is nice, use a Weber chimney for the “afterburner” method).

Cook your steak at a low temperature (250 F or less) in the oven until it gets to 100-110 F, then throw it in a cast iron pan that has been on the maximum heat burner for at least five minutes if not more. Only 45 seconds per side are needed.

Outside of red meat high temperatures are important when cooking fish on the stove. If you don’t have a high temperature in the pan when you place the fish in it, the fish will stick. You can however lower the temperature afterwards (and should).