My partner’s genetics make cholesterol a problem even though he’s pretty young and really watches what he eats (no pork, cheese, etc).
We’ve been trying to figure out the best cooking oil to use while avoiding saturated fats because that was his doctor’s advice.
From what I can tell, it seems like sunflower oil might be our best choice because it’s high in monounsaturated fat, lower in polyunsaturated fat, and low in saturated fat.
Apparently it is not good to cook with oils that have high amounts of polyunsaturated fat because these break down into harmful substances.
We don’t deep fry or anything. We mostly use oils to sautée vegetables. We don’t usually use high heat, but I would like to know which oil would be healthiest if we did choose to cook something on high heat.
We settled on a couple of oils previously, then we did more research and realized they were not ideally suited for cooking. I’m curious what everyone else is using.
I agree with @Chris that total amount is more critical than type of oil. If you’re not using high heat, you’re already better off where oils are concerned. If you’re sautéing every day, that might be a problem, regardless of the type of oil.
I use regular olive oil (not virgin or extra-virgin) for most stovetop cooking, but when olive isn’t appropriate to the dish I really like sunflower. The rare times I deep-fry (I just hate the mess) I use peanut oil. It’s high in polyunsaturated fat, but as I say, I don’t use it often.
Canola is popular as a neutral-tasting, versatile oil, but almost all canola is GMO, if that’s a concern.
I think sunflower oil with oleic acid still sounds like the winner for cooking for us. Canola oil sounds like another good option that I wasn’t really considering. It is also fairly low in polyunsaturated fat.
I’ll keep using extra virgin olive oil for dressings. It seems that it’s okay to use this for cooking on low heat, but I don’t really want to worry about the temperature too much.
I use cold-pressed oils (less refined, not chemically bleached) for cooking (olive oil with perhaps a generous pat of butter) and baking (avocado or sunflower). We don’t do much frying (though a deep-fried turkey is delish as are pommes frîtes) but like peanut oil when we do.
There is some evidence to suggest that canola oil has some less desirable properties. Here is a link you may find of interest:
And shortcrust pastry with leaf lard (NOT regular backfat lard, which can taste too porky) is a revelation. I didn’t mention lard because @Katers87’s boyfriend doesn’t eat pork. But I deep-fry with it when I have it.
Then there’s duck fat for potatoes …
Incidentally, many people say that if you’re cooking with extra-virgin olive oil, you’re wasting your money. You pay for the flavour of that fine oil, and even lowish heat kills the flavour. You’re better off using regular or even “light” olive oil for cooking with, and saving the good stuff for drizzling or dressings and uncooked sauces.