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Cooking Oils 101 – Which is best for what?



Fats and oils are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide a sustained dense energy of about 40 calories per teaspoon (9 calories per gram) and assist you in using fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Having some fat in your daily diet provides for satiety, good health and is important for everyone. it also makes the food taste good!

Animal fat is solid at room temperature (like butter) and is considered saturated fat. Vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature and an unsaturated fat (like olive oil). Both are important for health in moderation. When cooking any type of fat gives specific taste characteristics and cooking characteristics, such. For example, the temperature at which smoking begins. Oils with a higher smoke point are better for frying and high heat stirring, while low smoke oils are better for salad dressings and uncooked foods. It is sometimes difficult to make the right choice given the wide choice in the market today. Here is some information on different edible oils. Fat will be an issue on another day.

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is a general term for corn, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oils as well as mixtures of these oils. These oils are often mixed together to create a product that is pretty cheap. Vegetable oils contain omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for your health but can also have anti-inflammatory effects. I recommend to use these oils in moderation. Vegetable oil can be used for cooking and baking because it has a mild taste and, depending on the oil, has a smoke point between 400 and 450 ° F.

Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil is unique in that it is modified rapeseed oil, making it healthier for human consumption. According to the Canola Board of Canada, it was originally modified by traditional hybrid techniques, but has since been genetically modified, as are most vegetable oils that are not specifically labeled as GMO-free or biologically. Rapeseed oil is quite cheap and can be a great way to include extra omega-3s in your diet, especially if you do not like greasy fish or fish oils. Rapeseed oil is virtually tasteless and has a smoke point around 400F.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is often used to fry food and stir Asian dishes. According to Bon Appetit, peanut oil is made from steamed and softened peanuts and has a mild flavor in the US, but it can be tastier in other countries. Peanut oil has a smoke point around 400F.

Sesame oil

Sesame oil is aromatic oil that is used in many Asian dishes. Light colored sesame oil is pressed from raw sesame seeds, while darker versions are often pressed from roasted sesame seeds. Sesame oil goes well with soy sauce, but its taste can quickly subside when heated to a high temperature. Therefore, it is best to include it in the recipe at a later date. It can also be added to salad dressings for a nice taste change. Sesame oil has a smoke point around 420F.

Olive oil

Olive oil, rich in antioxidants, is known for its health benefits and an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) comes from the first cold pressing of olives. It has traditionally a deep green color and a slightly fruity taste; It is also the most expensive of the olive oils. If the oil does not conform to the extra native standard, it is often refined to remove impurities, resulting in a lighter oil with a neutral taste. According to the North American Olive Oil Association (aboutoliveoil.org) extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point range of 350-41

0F and up to 470F for the refined, lighter-tasting olive oils.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil, although derived from a plant, is a saturated fat that is solid at room temperature. This "oil" enjoys great popularity due to its taste and renewed interest in its unique health properties. Coconut oil is slightly more fragile than other "oils" with a smoke point around 350F, which makes it better for recipes that are cooked at lower temperatures.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is an oldie that comes to market in health food stores like new. This oil has a nutty taste and is not good for heating to high temperatures. Therefore, it is best for soups and uncooked foods such as salad dressings. Store hemp oil in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer.

Now that you know a little more about delicious and healthy oils, why not try a few new oils to find out what works best in your favorite recipes?


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