(NBC News) Many people are trying to be healthier around this time of year, so it is important to know the different health benefits of cooking oils and which are the best for you.
“Extra virgin olive oil is pretty well-known for its health benefits, and it is really healthy for us. It’s really high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help lower the bad cholesterol in our bodies,” said dietitian Amber Groeling.
Some of the main healthy oils are olive, canola, safflower, and avocado, but depending on how you are cooking your meal, always make sure you are keeping an oil’s smoke point in mind.
For cooking on the stovetop, you should stick to canola, safflower, or avocado oil. Avocado oil has a lot of the same health benefits as the extra virgin olive oil, but almost a 500 degree smoke point.
While baking, canola oil has a healthy fat profile and is a very mild, easy to use oil.
Groeling cautions on using coconut oil as a main cooking oil, based on a recent study by the american heart association, because of the high amounts of saturated fat it contains. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is higher than butter and lard.