Have you been cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil because you thought it was good for you? Well if so you need to know the latest nutritional information is that refined Extra Virgin Olive Oil can take heat but cold pressed or unrefined cannot. When you heat unrefined and cold pressed the heat creates free radicals.
Definition of free radical: An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.
If you follow the Nutritionist Circle they teach that there are as few as three oils to use for all applications, however, in everyday cooking I find we need a larger selection to prepare what the typical family wants to eat.
So let me do my best to simplify what oil and when to use them. Cold pressed and unrefined oils should be your choice when you want to taste the flavor of the oil such as salad dressing or dipping bread. Use refined oils in moderation for high heat applications like baking, grilling and stir-frying.
|Almond||High||Nutty||Sautéing, stir-frying, searing, baking|
|Butter||Medium to high||Mild sweet and a little salty||Any cooking method|
|Coconut||Medium to high||Mild sweet coconut flavor||Baking, popcorn, stir-frying|
|Fish||No heat||Fishy and some have lemon||Protein shakes|
|Olive Oil||Medium||Neutral||Salads, cooking|
|Walnut||Medium||Walnut||Drizzle on salads and vegetables, add to homemade ice cream|
|Macadamia nut||Medium||Mild nutty flavor||Salads, add to homemade ice cream|
Notice you don’t find margarine, shortening, or vegetable oil mentioned. Reason being everyone agrees that there are better tasting and healthier oils such as those listed in the chart for all cooking application.