What is the best healthy cooking oil ? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in any of the low carb and keto groups that I belong to. Walk through the supermarket aisle and you will be faced with a number of different oils, all of them screaming Heart Healthy, non GMO and even Gluten Free.
There is just so much misinformation out there when it comes to choosing a healthy cooking oil that I can understand how people are getting so confused!
Recently, I became aware of a new book written by Lisa Howard called The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils. I agreed to read it and write my thoughts on the book. I have written on this blog before about choosing a healthy cooking oil, but even I had a few things wrong!
What are Healthy Oils?
The first section of the book is just all about the oils. Lisa Howard goes through all the oils and you find out which ones are good, bad and ugly. There are healthy oil comparisons and charts and detailed information on each and every cooking oil.
Using this book you will find out which cooking oils are best for frying, what oils to use for baking and high heat and which oils should never, ever be heated.
You will also know what to do with the many new oils that are showing up on shelves these days. Oils like Macadamia, Avocado and Walnut Oil. I have been using Avocado oil a lot lately and found out that it falls in the category of fruit oils and that it is safe for medium heat cooking such as saute and simmer.
This section of the book is really valuable. I especially liked the healthy cooking oils chart where you can see at a glance what the oil is, what heat can be tolerated, the type (saturated, nut, fruit, seed, tropical, animal fat), the origin of the oil and notes and suggestions about usage.
There is also a lot of good information about what to watch for in the supermarket when buying and proper storage at home.
Bottom line, if you want to know what are the most healthy cooking oils for each situation, this book is an invaluable reference.
Cooking with Unrefined Oils
But we haven’t even mentioned the Cookbook! Yes, this book is also a Healthy oils Cookbook!
The 85 recipes are broken down as follows:
- Recipes with Saturated Fats (Coconut Oil, Butter and ghee, Palm oil). These recipes are high heat recipes.
- Recipes with Monounsaturated Fats (Olive, Avocado, Macadamia oils). These recipes are medium heat recipes.
- Recipes with Polyunsaturated Fats (Flaxseed, Walnut, Sesame, Pumpkin). These are the Do Not Heat oils.
Every single recipe is gluten free and paleo friendly. For those of us doing keto we would probably tweak some of them and even avoid the more starchy ones. But I still got lots of great ideas from the book and plan to ketosize a few of these recipes, so watch for them in a future blog post!
I highly recommend this book both as a reference book for the most healthy cooking oils and as a cookbook to learn how to use these oils.
To learn about Lisa Howard, and get more great recipes be sure to check out her website at The Cultured Cook.