Ironically, a recent Australian study, that I believe was funded by the Olive Oil industry. so in that respect somewhat a tendency to self serving result!…but how else practically are we to get the results! It reminds me of Kiwis being studied, thanks to the financing available from the Kiwi Industry, and so on!..that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is in fact an excellent cooking oil. This is instinct reversal for myself. Always regarded olive oil as a cold oil and ideal for salads or any situation where there was little or no heat! But if there is merit to this study, then it opens up a very definite further option, or at least ends the hard and fast rule! One can just relax a little more, and in the end that is where it is all about! We do not need stress in the oil department! Also provides Cheat List of Good Oils!
In this study coconut oil was ranked down somewhat respecting its naturally occurring antioxidants comparison…but the study did not entertain the fact that coconut Oil contains beneficial medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which weren’t measured.
There are lots of oils out there… so what would be a quick shorthand method of selecting the best and rejecting the likely worst? In other words a Cheat List of Good Oils! Every now and then we transgress…usually because we are victims of the restaurant industry and they are notoriously bad in selecting precisely the wrong oils for us. Let us not even touch the processed foods industry! Also most recipes naively suggest “vegetable” oil or canola oil, but a study also Australian found that vegetable oils, which are extracted from seeds, are literally at the ‘bottom of the barrel’, because of their instability when heated and once heated the production of extremely harmful compounds.
We have generally speaking a vast array of oils, but easy to remember: peanut oil, safflower oil, coconut, avocado, grape seed and olive oils. The solution is to memorize a basic priority and favorite list! Results of Australian study were surprising and contradictory to other studies. Particularly that EVOO was rated best cooking oil for both oxidative stability and lack of harmful compounds produced in the heating process. Coconut was next safest with some wrinkles in its antioxidant level, and Avocado was in a third ranking, despite a previous report by Healthy Home Economist, that stated, “No other oil ranks higher including ghee, tallow and lard, making avocado an excellent choice for high heat cooking and frying.” But coconut also has one extra benefit as being a great source of medium chain tridlycerides or MCTs.
An important factor is that when oils are heated the rate they react with oxygen increases and they breakdown with this oxidation. The longer there is a resistance to oxidation the healthier it is to eat the food the oil has been heated with. It is interesting that the more saturated fat and monounsaturated fat the better this stability. Coconut oil scores high here with peanut oil second. The extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil and virgin oil ranking after. Canola came just ahead of avocado surprisingly. But am prejudiced with respect to Canola except that the bottom of the scale are the ones to avoid such as rice bran which they say is used by Chipotle as an industrial fat and grapeseed and sunflower at the bottom! One big caveat though is that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is subject to a lot of fraud in the industry…this is why I tend to shop for this at Costco who have the resources to check authenticity besides being economic! But in the end still look at olive oil as possessing its best taste when used cold and really useful for drizzling over cooked dishes to get just that taste!
Then coming to a somewhat neat conclusion, and that is the remarkable stability of fats such as ghee and butter...always try for organic and organic soil origin…are in fact very stable under high temperatures and this factor is almost a predominant consideration when looking long term at health consequences. The whole margarine decades debacle Ancel Keys cover up, that affected literally generations of us, is now perhaps becoming more commonplace news. But avoid margarine as being an artery-clogging substitute, along with refined cooking oils and vegetable oils, and avoid vegetable shortening, as well. Polyunsaturated fats may be the worst, as the omega-6 fatty acids are more prone to heat damage...this is an overriding reason to stay away from corn oils, soybean oil, safflower, cottonseed oil, and canola oil. Just adopt this as a general policy without fretting the odd deviation, that just adds stress and issues, when in restaurants, and other persons houses! Cheat List of Good Oils!