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Topic: best for you cooking oil?  (Read 2336 times)
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cottonpatch
« on: September 15, 2006 03:01:36 PM »

I've heard many good and bads about different oils.  I don't deep fry very much at all, mostly just saute and stir fry.  I have heard alot of bad about canola oil, but then again I heard it was just rumors.  I also have been hearing that coconut oil is good for you, and also you can stir fry with sweet almond oil as it is cholesterol free so I've heard.  The only oil I haven't heard anything bad about is extra virgin olive oil.  Does anyone have any insite as to which oil is best for you?  Or should I just stick to good ol butter?  Any help would be great, thanks  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006 05:00:10 PM »

Yeah I've heard good things about extra virgin olive oil and butter.  I'm not a doctor or health expert (and don't know these things for sure), but it seems logical that olive oil would be better for you (for saute's) because it has less saturated fats than butter (does this sound right?).  I've heard that butter is better than margarine, because the human body processes the butter better.  I usually saute with olive oil and bake with butter.
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006 07:07:37 PM »

It totally depends on its use. Olive oil [especially extra virgin olive oil] has a fairly low smoke point. Higher than butter but lower than say, canola oil. Canola oil is not "bad" for you. I'm pretty sure that coconut oil has a lot of saturated fat. Olive oil has a stronger flavor than either canola or something like grapeseed oil [also pretty good for you as fats go.] Butter has it's uses [boy, I love me some butter] but has a really low smoke point, so it is not good for frying things, or cooking at a super high heat [like stir fry]. Sesame oil is very tasty, but should be used in small amounts because it has a really strong flavor. I hope this makes sense.
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cottonpatch
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2006 07:45:43 PM »

thanks for all the info, so it looks like I'll stick with the butter for baking and olive oil for saute's and maybe for deep frying i'll keep using the canola, or maybe try grapeseed.  Thanks that was way helpful!
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2006 12:49:02 PM »

I know canola is better than soybean oil. My bf asked me to help him figure it out. Smiley isn't that cute. He is learning to read lables!!!
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2006 06:00:20 PM »

I LOVE butter and since it burns so easily, I still add it to the fried food, just at the VERY end....YUM!!!
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McAuliflower
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2006 10:16:44 PM »

It totally depends on its use. Olive oil [especially extra virgin olive oil] has a fairly low smoke point. Higher than butter but lower than say, canola oil. Canola oil is not "bad" for you. I'm pretty sure that coconut oil has a lot of saturated fat. Olive oil has a stronger flavor than either canola or something like grapeseed oil [also pretty good for you as fats go.] Butter has it's uses [boy, I love me some butter] but has a really low smoke point, so it is not good for frying things, or cooking at a super high heat [like stir fry]. Sesame oil is very tasty, but should be used in small amounts because it has a really strong flavor. I hope this makes sense.

Wow- great response TheBon!  I'm going to echo you for emphasis...

I was just watching an Oprah rerun yesterday that was re-emphasizing the importance of not heating your good-for-you oils too much.   Olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil should not be heated for stir fries. Grapeseed and canola are good stir-fry oils.

But that doesn't mean these good for you oils shouldn't be used with heated foods.  Drizzle a tsp or so onto your food after cooking.  Not only do some of them taste particularly good (yum, toasted sesame), but not heating them will preserve volatile compounds that are thought to be beneficial to us

Also stressed on this show was how using oil in your cooking, or other good fats, is especially important for our bodies being able to absorb particular vitamins.  In particular, the combo of roasted tomatoes with garlic and olive oil was singled out as the oil releases beneficial compounds from the tomatoes and garlic that wouldn't be formed without heat and oil.

And while it does contain saturated fat (the bad stuff), butter is better for you than any margarine or produced fat substitute will ever be.  This one can be confusing... but, it was pointed out how your genetic ancestry can play a special role in how your body deals with certain food types.  Margarine and fat subtitutes are too new to us humans evolutionarily for our bodies to treat them as normal dietary fats.   This is a good example of trusting that factory produced, or manufactured foods will more than likely never be better for you than doing without them.  I have a difficult time really living that one.  Especially in regards to "fake meats" and other vegetarian processed foods.  I love fake chicken nuggets so much more than real ones, but I don't think even fake ones are healthy for me overall.

Another example of genetic ancestry and health
is looking at the diet change in Native American populations.  Particularly in the last 20-30 years, the increase of bleached flour and corn syrup in their diet has caused an increase in the cases of diabeties that even is more prevalent than the American population's increase of diabetes cases.

Didn't mean to go off here... this was all still fresh in my brain, esp as I've been looking around my kitchen and checking out the labels on my fake butter spread in the fridge.  Cottonpatch's questions are very well timed!
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2006 08:49:56 AM »

I use peanut oil for stir frys. It'll add a nutty flavor, of course, but that's not a bad thing. Use the sesame for drizzling - I don't recommend it for cooking with.

Not that I use a lot of oil to begin with, but you need some fat content to make your dish satisfying.
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2006 09:00:35 AM »

I have a few recipes that call for adding a teaspoon or so of dark sesame oil for the very last seconds of cooking and that seems to make it not cooked, but richer. I have to say I can't ever get behind margarine. Just can't do it, it tastes really bad to me. And McAuliflower is right, the more processed something is, the less likely it's good for you [obviously there are going to be exceptions to this although I can't think of any off-hand.] Experiment a little with types of oil, I personally like a really green olive oil and not a light colored one because the darker oil tastes more olive-y to me. Also, oils like olive and sesame are great for making dressings for your vegetables because you can use a lot less since they have more flavor. Add some vinegar or lemon/lime juice and a few spices [garlic is the default spice in my house] and you're good to go.
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2006 01:40:03 PM »

Everyone has provided great suggestions, I saute all my stuff in grapeseed oil. Depending where you live it can be hard to come by.

However I LOVE butter, but butter is pretty bad for you, so I also stock up on ghee. It has a high smoke point and is just fabulous. You can get it at gourmet, Indian or sometimes middle eastern markets.

Here's a wikipedia article on it, turns out it's also noted in Veda texts as being beneficial to the mind and body.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee
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