Which oils are suitable for frying, baking and cooking?

When cooking, it gets very hot in the pot – up to 200 degrees. Not every oil can withstand these temperatures. The result: the ingredients of the oil disintegrate, it loses its taste and some dangerous substances are produced.

There are some oils that are very suitable for frying and others that should only be used for cold dishes.

Which oil is suitable for what?

The main reason why oils are good or bad for cooking is because of the ingredients that make up the oil. The individual fatty acids are particularly important. This is because they decide whether fat or oil forms dangerous substances when temperatures are too high.

An oil should not be heated to its smoke point. This is the temperature at which an oil begins to decompose. The smoke point is easily recognized by the formation of smoke. The smoke is created as the individual fatty acids begin to oxidize and break down. Toxic substances are produced during decomposition, which is why oils should not be heated to the smoke point.

Which oils are suitable for cooking?

Some oils in the kitchen are better for cooking, while others are better for using in dressings or vinaigrettes. Here is an overview of which oils are best suited for different cooking purposes.

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1. The best oils for baking, sautéing, and frying

Usually, you only need a small amount of oil for sautéing and stir-frying. To do this, you need an oil with a high smoke point so you can heat it to a high temperature without turning the oil bitter.

Cooking oils with high smoke points include vegetable, corn, soy, canola, peanut, grapeseed, avocado, sunflower, and safflower. Of these oils, peanut oil probably has the strongest flavor and could change the end result. The other oils are all fairly tasteless.

What about olive oil? Olive oil is said to have many health-promoting properties, which makes it very popular. However, it is not the best choice for high-temperature cooking methods. Olive oil generally has a lower smoke point, especially extra virgin olive oil. Refined, light, or pure olive oil has a higher smoke point but can still “burn” and become too bitter.

2. Best oils for baking and frying

Finding oils that are suitable for baking is fairly easy. In fact, all oils with a high smoke point are suitable for cooking or baking. However, you should keep an eye on the flavors. For example, peanut oil may not work well in some dishes.

Pure, refined olive oil can handle heat better than extra virgin olive oil, making it a good choice for roasting vegetables. Also, a touch of olive flavor is added to the dish. Pure olive oil can also be used in baking, although it can change the taste of baked goods.

3. Best oils for salad dressings and drizzling

While you can use any oil for a salad dressing, cold-pressed oil works best. Cold-pressed oils are not suitable for cooking and frying because of their sensitivity to heat.

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Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, has a lower smoke point. It is ideal for dressings, vinegar sauces or for drizzling over a finished dish.

If you don’t like the taste of olives, walnut oil or hemp oil work well. Sesame is also a good oil for refining as it has a very distinct aroma and taste.

Flaxseed oil is another oil that should be used cold. Even a small amount of heat can destroy the oil. However, the strong flavor is not for everyone.

4. Fatty acid composition and health effects

All oils consist of varying amounts of individual fatty acids. In order to evaluate oils according to their health benefits, it is helpful to compare the composition of fatty acids.

In general, healthy oils have more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and less saturated fats. For example, olive and avocado oils are high in monounsaturated fats, and canola and soybean oils are high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats.

5. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Monounsaturated fats are considered health-promoting because they lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind). The Mediterranean diet is high in olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats. This could also be a reason why this diet is associated with better health. Oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids include:

  • olive oil
  • Avocadoöl
  • Senföl
  • rapeseed oil
  • peanut oil
  • safflower oil
  • sesame oil

6. Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Polyunsaturated fats are also good for heart health when used in place of saturated fats because they lower LDL cholesterol levels. Most edible vegetable oils are rich in several types of polyunsaturated fats:

  • Maize
  • vegetable oil
  • sunflower oil
  • safflower oil
  • soybean oil
  • walnut oil
  • rapeseed oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • peanut oil
  • sesame oil
  • linseed oil
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7. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are probably the best polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are especially good for heart and nervous system health. Oils with a high content of an omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid are mainly vegetable oils, such as:

  • rapeseed oil
  • walnut oil
  • soybean oil
  • linseed oil

8. Saturated Fatty Acids

Saturated fats are found in animal fats like butter and lard, and tropical oils like coconut and palm oil. Some experts are currently advising to limit your intake of saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fats has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, it is not clear whether saturated fat from vegetable oils is bad for health or not. In fact, some people believe that coconut oil has additional health benefits, although research is inconclusive here as well.

Because oils are very high in calories, it’s generally best to use them sparingly. All oils have about the same number of calories – about 120 per tablespoon. Plant-based oils also contain some vitamins E and K. Unrefined oils, such as Some foods, such as extra virgin olive oil, contain some antioxidants, which may be one reason they are good for your heart health.

Another tip: store an opened bottle of oil in the refrigerator or in a dark, cool place to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

health is delicious

Integrating healthy foods into your diet is often easier than you think. Combinations of healthy and nutritious foods enliven everyday life, provide more energy and pleasure when eating. Because food should not only be healthy, but taste good, give you strength and make you happy.

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