Oils and fats have a bad rap and are high in calories (1 tsp oil = ~50 calories!) However, fats also have many benefits. Additionally, not all fats are created equal.
Did you know that the sugar industry played a LARGE role in this bad reputation? This started back in 1965 when the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) funded its first research project that was later published in New England Journal of Medicine. SRF sponsored research by Harvard scientists to single out fat and cholesterol as a dietary cause of coronary heart disease, while downplaying the role of sugar as a risk factor (ref).
Not all oil is bad (but this also does not mean you should go crazy with it either). Oil has some role (like enhancing flavor and preventing burns).
When cooking or preparing meals, it’s important to know the role of oils and how/when they should be used.
For example, sesame oil has a very low smoke point so it’s not ideal for frying. Avocado oil is one of the best oil to use for frying, especially deep frying, due to it’s very high smoke point; your food won’t burn as easily. Olive oil is good for light saute, but making sure it’s not EXTRA-VIRGIN because that is better for dressings/baking.
|Fat||Ideal for||Smoke Point|
|Unrefined canola, sunflower or safflower, sesame oil||Dressing, Finishing||225oF|
|Butter||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||225-350oF|
|Unrefined olive, corn, peanut, walnut oil||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||320oF|
|Coconut Oil, Unrefined Sesame Oil||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||350oF|
|Macadamia Oil||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||380-390oF|
|Refined Canola semi-refined walnut oil||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||400oF|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Baking, Dressings, Finishing||405oF|
|Refined Sesame Oil||Light Saute, Dressings, Finishing||410oF|
|Virgin Olive Oil||Light Saute, Dressings,||420oF|
|Almond, Hazelnut Oil||Dressing, Finishing||430oF|
|Refined Canola, Olive Oil||Cooking, Frying||435oF|
|Refined Peanut, Sunflower Oil||Cooking, Frying||440-450oF|
|Soybean, Safflower Oil||Cooking, Frying||490-510oF|
|Avocado Oil||Cooking, Frying||520oF|