There such a variety of oils available on the supermarket shelves all with great flavours and unique vitamin profiles and all calorically similar per 100g.
All oils can contribute to a healthy lifestyle within a balanced diet (unless they’re highly processed hydrogenated fats).
They each offer unique nutritional qualities and benefit us in different ways.
Use these to choose well for your diet.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Monounsaturated fats can lower your 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol level and help maintain levels of 'good' (HDL) cholesterol.
Extra virgin olive oil contains higher levels of polyphenols (antioxidants), which has better benefits to our health and ageing.
DO use an affordable blended olive oil for everyday cooking, including baking, frying and roasting.
DON'T cook with more expensive extra virgin olive oil. Use it in salad dressings or just drizzled over dishes or tomatoes ❤️.
Made from the seeds of oilseed rape, this is one of the few cooking oils produced in the UK so is low in food miles. In America it is called Canola oil and their processing of the oil is different to ours in the UK.
Like olive oil, it's high in monounsaturated
fats but has even higher levels of vitamin E. It also boasts the lowest level of saturated fat of all cooking oils.
Extra virgin or cold-pressed rapeseed oil has a particularly delicate, nutty flavour.
DO cook with rapeseed oil as it has a high smoke point. It's also great in dressings and marinades.
DON'T use the extra virgin type if you are after a neutral oil.
Avocado is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option.
It's a good source of vitamin E and very versatile as it has minimal additional flavour.
It loses the grassy richness of a real avocado.
DO use in dressings and for drizzling and frying. Its smoke point is the highest of any cooking oil.
DON'T use with strong ingredients as its mild flavour can get lost.
This is solid at room temperature and can be
good for vegan bakes.
However, coconut oil is also nearly 90%
saturated fat. Claims that coconut oil can aid weight loss are not backed by scientific evidence.
DO use for dairy-free baking and light frying.
DON'T choose this if you're watching your saturated fat intake. Also, that coconut flavour won't suit all dishes!
THE SMOKE POINT
This is the temperature to which the oil can be heated before it starts to smoke.
Once above its smoke point, the oil starts to break down and form harmful compounds, resulting in undesirable flavour but also carcinogenic effects.
Butter has a very low smoke point and will brown and smoke very quickly, use over low heat or make a compound butter to rest meats and fish fillets with.
In your fat intake - approximately 30% should aim to be saturated fat (anything hard at room temperature) with the rest coming from plant based fats - this ensures a broad and healthy range of the different fatty acids.