healthiest oils for cooking

Top 9 Healthiest Oils for Cooking You Need to be Using

Are you looking for the healthiest oils for cooking or for the healthiest vegetable oils to include in your vegan diet?

In this article we are talking about a list of the top 9 best oils for cooking. As well as how they are best used when cooking with them.

Most oils by nature are pretty healthy if they are natural but not all are made to be used in the same way. Whether an oil is good for you or not can often come down to how you are cooking with it.

This is why it is so important to understand which oils do best under what conditions. So that you can include them in your diet in the best ways possible. So, if you are curious about which oils are best for using in the kitchen or about the best healthy vegan fats. Keep reading to learn more!

Healthiest Oils for Cooking

This list of the top 9 best oils for cooking will not only tell you which oils are good for cooking. But how to use them as well in order to keep them healthy and nutritious.

Oils are an excellent way to get in those healthy vegan fats on a vegan diet. As vegan diets can sometimes be quite low in fat since vegetables contain little to not fat content.

It is extremely easy to get in the necessary daily fats simply by cooking your food with a bit of oil. But what oil should you choose? That is exactly what we are going to be talking about. As well as what oil should be used for certain cooking methods in order to choose the safest and healthiest option.

Keep reading to also find out how much fat should be in your vegan diet!

1.    Olive Oil

Olive oil is a wonderful oil to cook with and it might just be the best option available.

You will need to specifically look for cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to get the best and purest quality. Otherwise you will be getting a cheap knockoff of what olive oil should be.

Olive oil is an excellent source of healthy monosaturated fats and has plenty of health benefits. Making it a good option if you need some extra healthy vegan fats in your diet. It also contains many antioxidants.

Smoke Point: 325-375ºF

How to Use it:

Because cold pressed extra virgin olive oil has a relatively low smoke point it is best to use it in cooking that requires minimal heat. In order to not negatively impact it when you are cooking.

Such as when you are sautéing over medium heat or roasted food at temperatures below the smoke point.

Olive oil is also a very flavorful oil, so it is great in salad dressing or simply drizzled over food.

2.    Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is one of the best sources of monosaturated fats that are also healthy for you.

It is one of the healthiest oils for cooking as well as being very versatile as it has a very faint flavor. Allowing it to be used without affecting the flavor of your food.

It is especially good when used in baking as it adds nutritional value without altering the flavor as olive oil might do.

This brand of pure avocado oil is a great one to buy!

Smoke Point: 375ºF

How to Use it:

Because avocado oil has a slightly higher smoke point then olive oil you can use it in a few more ways.

It is excellent in baking as we spoke of earlier and it can be used in sautéing, searing, or roasting within the smoke point temperatures.

3.    Walnut Oil

Walnut oil is an amazingly nutritious oil and a great source of healthy vegan fats as it contains omega-3 fatty acids!

It has a slightly nutty flavor that can make a wonderful pairing with many dishes that you might make.

It is also considered to be a very delicate oil that should be used carefully in cooking. Make sure to purchase the extra virgin walnut oil for the best quality.

It is even recommended to store pure walnut oil in the fridge or freezer in order to protect its delicate nutrients.

Smoke Point: 320ºF

How to Use it:

Because walnut oi is very delicate it is best to not cook with it at all but to instead use it as a finishing oil.

You can drizzle it over bread or salad or toss freshly cooked veggies in it for a finishing touch.

healthiest oils for cooking

4.    Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a bit controversial as research is here and there on whether or not it is healthy to cook with.

It has a relatively low smoke point so it should be cooked with at low temperatures only. 

But coconut oil still contains plenty of healthy vegan fats and can be very handy especially in baking as a butter substitute.

It isn’t necessarily one of the top healthiest oils for cooking, but it is still good for you in small quantities.

Make sure to get organic coconut oil as some other kinds can be heavily processed.

Smoke Point: 350ºF

How to Use it:

Coconut oi is a great option as a butter substitute in baked goods that cook under the smoke point.

It can also be used in sautéing under medium to low heat. It can even make a tasty salad dressing if you enjoy a slight coconut flavor.

Related: Healthy Vegan Fats You Should be Eating

5.    Canola Oil

Canola oil might get a bad reputation, but it is one of the healthiest vegetable oils when it comes to cooking with high temperatures.

It has an outstandingly high smoke point making it a good option for frying food at home. Which of course, should be an indulgence that isn’t taken regularly.

It is one of the only healthy oils that has a high enough smoke point for cooking at very high temperatures.

The only issue to keep in mind is that canola oil, like coconut oil, can be highly processed. So, look for extra virgin, cold pressed, or organic canola oil.

Smoke Point: 400ºF

How to Use it:

Because of its high smoke point canola oil is an excellent option to use when making those occasional deep-fried foods.

It can also be used when roasted food at high oven temperatures or for sautéing over high heat or searing.

Related: Vegan Omega-3 Sources You Need to be Eating

6.    Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is an excellent option of healthy cooking oil as it shares many qualities with olive oil.

It has an amazingly high smoke point making it a safe oil to cook with at very high temperatures without it breaking down.

This safflower oil contains less saturated fat than olive oil and has more healthy monounsaturated fats. Safflower oil is also very mild tasting so you can use it generously in your dishes without altering the flavor.

Smoke Point: 510ºF

How to Use it:

Safflower oil is an excellent option for any kind of cooking method that you wish to use. It is especially good for higher temperatures such as frying or baking foods.

Since it is light tasting and healthy you can also use it in milder dishes such as stir fry’s, searing, or baked goods. You could even drizzle it over bread or salads!

7.    Sesame Oil

Though sesame oil can withstand relatively high cooking temperatures it is not usually used for cooking in those methods.

Sesame oil is mostly a sautéing or a finishing oil as it adds its intense nutty flavor to dishes.

It is usually used in Asian, Indian, and middle eastern meals as it yields extra flavor to the dish and becomes one of the star ingredients.

It is one of the most bold oils that you could cook with and should be used more sparingly then other oils. Otherwise it can overpower a dish.

This is the pure sesame oil that I personally use as it is very fragrant and flavorful!

Smoke Point: 410ºF

How to Use it:

Even though sesame can hold up under high temperatures it is best to only use it to lightly cook food or as a finishing oil.

It is excellent when used to gently sauté veggies or a stir fry. It can also be used drizzled over salads or to dip bread into.

8.    Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is another good mild oil that can be used in many different dishes without interfering with the original flavors.

100% grapeseed oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils for cooking at higher temperatures much like canola oil.

It is one of the healthiest oils for cooking as it is able to hold up to higher temperatures without breaking down like other oils would.

Smoke Point: 420ºF

How to Use it:

You can use grapeseed oil in any way that you would use canola oil, only you can use it at slightly higher temperatures.

This makes it ideal for deep frying and roasting at high temperatures without altering the oil in a negative way.

9.    Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a wonderful heart healthy oil to use in cooking to get in your healthy vegan fats.

It is another neutral flavored oil that can be used in a variety of recipes without altering any additional flavors.

100% sunflower oil is another one of the healthiest oils for cooking as it can stand temperatures even higher than grapeseed can!

Try to avoid sunflower oil marked as ‘high-oleic’ as it has been modified.

Smoke Point: 450ºF

How to Use it:

You can use sunflower oil to deep fry foods, roast, sauté, or sear at high temperatures without altering the oil negatively.

It is a great oil to have around for when you will be cooking at higher temperatures than your other healthier oils can handle. It can one used in deep frying without negatively impacting the oil either, which is an important thing to factor.

How Much Oil Should be in Your Diet?

The amounts of oil that are healthiest for people will vary from person to person but there is a general scale that you can follow. This scale is loosely based off of how many calories you eat in a day.

Anyone who follows a diet consisting of 2,000 calories a day can have 5 to 6 teaspoons of oil per day. Men can have up to 7 teaspoons of oil a day.

This is a healthy amount of oil to include in your daily diet. Giving you enough healthy fats without going overboard and consuming too much.

Just keep in mind that you should try to eat the healthiest vegetable oils that will offer some nutritional value. The best option being olive oil depending on how you are using it.

Also keep in mind that many processed foods contain oil as well. So, you will need to take those amounts of oil into account as well in order to not go overboard with how much you eat.

Conclusion of Healthiest Oils for Cooking

Has this article on the healthiest oils for cooking helped you to understand which healthy vegan fats to include in your diet?

There are so many different oils to choose from that it can become overwhelming when trying to pick one. Especially, when they all claim to be healthy and nutritious.

Hopefully this list will help you to be able to better decide which cooking oil is best for your diet and your health! As well as which oil is the safest to use the using certain cooking methods such as frying. Because when it comes to oils, heat does matter.

Oils get a bad reputation, but they are a vital part of a vegan diet and any diet really! So, don’t be afraid to include more healthy oils into your meals.

Which cooking oil do you prefer to use on a daily basis? Do you fry food a lot, what kind of oil do you use to fry?

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