How to Choose the Right Cooking Oil?
Using the right cooking oil
not only bring out he taste in food, it can also
ensure good health for your family.
comes to cooking oil, a one-type-serves all approach
will not do. Depending on their sources, oils differ
by several factors, including fat composition,
flavour and smoke point (the temperature at which
oil begins to smoke and deteriorate). These factors
should be considered when selecting cooking oil for
a particular dish, so keep your kitchen well-stocked
with a variety of oils to meet your cooking needs.
Made from pressed canola seed, canola oil is low in
saturated fat-the 'bad ' fat - and has moderate
levels of omega-3 fatty acids-the 'good' fat. Its
mild flavour and medium-to-high smoke point makes it
ideal for frying and sauteing. Making the switch
from margarine or butter to canola oil-based spreads
can help cut a good chunk of saturated fats from
your diet, and you can also use it instead of
shortening or butter when baking.
Peanut and sesame oils
Favoured by many Asians, peanut and sesame oils
contain plenty of healthy nutrients. An antioxidant
called resveratrol found in peanuts is associated
with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease,
while sesame oil is loaded with magnesium, copper,
calcium, iron and vitamins E and B. It also has the
cholesterol-lowering and liver-protecting properties
from its sesamin and sesamolin components. The
medium-to-high smoke point makes these oils ideal
for stir-frying, but the distinct flavour of sesame
oil should be taken into account when preparing
Chockfull of monounsaturated fats -also the 'good '
ones-and polyphenols, which are known for their
anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil can lower
the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Thanks to its distinct flavour and aroma, olive oil
is often used in salad dressing, dips and marinades.
A medium to-high smoke point also makes it suitable
for light frying or sauteing, but try not to heat it
over 200 °C. A few varieties are available, but
extra-virgin olive oil is your best bet.
Flaxseed and walnut oils
These oils are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids,
but their low smoke point makes them unsuitable for
cooking. Save these oils for dishes that require no
cooking, eg, salad dressing, dips and marinade. Both
walnut and flaxseed oils should be stored in the
refrigerator and used within few months.