Update on 03/2019: after reading Radical Metabolism by Ann Louise Gittleman, I only use Thrive’s algae oil or ghee for cooking. She also lists other acceptable oils. I will be updating this post next month based on her recommendations.
The inspiration behind this blog is a desperate message from my college friend who contacted me to find out if the oil she is using is healthy. I was flattered by the trust she has in my knowledge of this subject. Coincidentally I have read quite a few articles about this to make my own decision on which cooking oil is best. Let me try to unpack that here.
Her original question was whether a particular brand of oil is Non-GMO. I told her that just because the oil is non-GMO or organic, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for the body. Canola oil is very bad for health even if bought organic. That’s because of a combination of high-temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. When one uses conventional canola oil, they get the pesticides added to the GM crops.
Choosing oils with the following tags are of higher quality than conventional
- Organic – means the seeds are Non-GMO, free of chemicals and not treated with hexane
- Cold-pressed – as opposed to expeller pressed where the temperature of the oil rises so much that the oil compounds change and become toxic
- Unrefined – refined oil is highly processed with added chemical toxicity. Unrefined will not work for frying. So maybe look into getting an air fryer for that. Apart from that, not all vegetable oils are healthy because of their high omega 6 content. The body’s ideal requirement of essential fatty acids (EFA) is omega6:omega3 of 1:1 but by predominantly cooking with vegetable oils, we are pushing the ratio up to 15:1. High omega6 intake leads to inflammation which can lead to heart diseases. So, it’s best to avoid vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, grapeseed, sesame, sunflower and safflower which are all high in omega6.
I use coconut oil for cooking because it contains a different set of fats which are easily assimilated by the body. Ghee is also great to cook with. I alternate between cooking with coconut oil and ghee on alternate days. Alternating foods is best to reduce the risk of developing any insensitivity to the food. Olive oil is great but you shouldn’t cook with it.
Hope this helps you find your healthy cooking oil.