I wanted to do a little research into oils and fats because I want to use oils that are healthy and have no GMO*s. After doing my research, I decided that grapeseed oil and olive oil would always be in my pantry; decide what’s best for you and your family.
Fats and oils are a wide variety of edible greasy, solid, or liquid substances. Sounds so appealing, doesn’t it; but they make food so tasty!
*Extraction method: Solvent or Cold-pressed. In solvent extraction, the ground ingredient is soaked in chemical solvent & then boiled. Cold-pressed is actually a misnomer because the ingredient is heated to temps of up to 160 ° before being pressed to extract the oil.
**Types of fat: Saturated or unsaturated: the latter being broken down into monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Imagine a fat molecule as a train of passenger cars (carbon atoms). If every seat on the train is filled by a passenger (hydrogen atom) and no one else can board, then this is saturated fat. If there is one open seat in each car where a hydrogen atom (passenger) could sit, the molecule is monounsaturated. And, if there are several seats available, it’s polyunsaturated.
In general, saturated fats come from animal sources (with the exception of fish). They’re solid enough to hold they’re shape at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats come mainly from plant sources & are liquid (an oil) at room temp. Monounsaturated fats are considered to be cholesterol balancing. Polyunsaturated fats are considered to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Trans fats: Read your food labels, if it says, “partially hydrogenated,” try to avoid them.
***GMO: Genetically Modified Organism: A plant, animal or microorganism whose genes have been altered by the inclusion of foreign genetic material or by the alteration of DNA. The foreign material may come from other individuals of the same or a different species, or it may be synthetic. These laboratory-created mutations are unlabeled, virtually untested & on grocery shelves everywhere. Read the label of the product itself. Many manufacturers are including non-GMO labeling if they are non-GMO.
^Storage: Most oils are sensitive to heat and light; store them in a pantry or other cool dark place. Oils that have a short shelf life can be stored in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid.
Some of the oils I have in the house. In the back: grapeseed, middle: extra virgin olive oil, and in the front: sesame
Comparing Oils – the chart
|Type of oil|
|Type of fat**||Best Use||Flavors|
|Olive oil or “Pure Olive Oil”|
|Monounsaturated. May reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. All olive oils may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol due to the monounsaturated fat.||Low to medium heat cooking, brown meats, soups, stews, sauces, marinade, and dressings||Low acid, fruity, flavorful oil|
Store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Or refrigerate for up to a year (it will become cloudy and thickened, however it will clear once brought to room temp
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
The result of the first pressing of the olives
|Monounsaturated||Expensive, use for salad dressings, drizzling over veggies and soups. Many cooks never use EVOO for cooking because it loses flavor when exposed to heat.||Fruity|
|Virgin olive oil|
Extracted with the use of solvents and is paler in color and flavor
|Monounsaturated||Cooking, salad oils, margarine|
|Light olive oil|
Lighter in color and fragrance (due to an extremely fine filtration process). It has the same calories as regular olive oil.
|Monounsaturated||Dressings marinade. Baking due to the light flavor. Has a high smoke point, so it can be used for high-heat frying, sautéing, stir frying|
The market name for rapeseed oil (you can see why they don’t use that term in the marketing!). A plant from the turnip family (the same plant as the vegetable broccoli rabe). Mass-market oils are typically extracted from seed using a petroleum product called hexane.
|Lower in saturated fat (6%) than other oils. More monounsaturated fat than any other oil except olive oil. Contains Omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fat). May lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol due to the monounsaturated fat. Canola is the oil lowest in saturated fat.||Cooking, salad dressings, frying, baking||Low flavor. Low acid. Light, golden-colored, similar to safflower.Highly likely that this is contains GMO***|
Comes from the seeds of the safflower
|Polyunsaturated fats but lacks vitamin E. Safflower and grapeseed oils contain the highest amount of linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid and is linked to cancer prevention, relief from cystic fibrosis and eczema, and reduction of diabetic complications.||High smoke point makes it good for deep-frying. Good for salad dressings because it doesn’t solidify when chilled||Flavorless & colorless|
Often made from damaged or aesthetically
|Unsaturated fat. Low in saturated fatty acids and high in polyunsaturated||High-temperature frying, sautéing, dipping oil, salad oil||Light, slightly nutty taste|
From the endosperm of corn kernels
|Polyunsaturated||High smoke point good for frying. Also used in baking, salad dressings, margarine, & shortening||Odorless tasteless.Highly likely that this is contains GMO***|
|Soybean Oil||High in polyunsaturated & monounsaturated & low in saturated||Used for margarine & shortening. High smoke point||Light yellow oil.Highly likely that this is contains GMO***|
Made by churning cream until it reaches a semisolid state must be 80% butterfat.
|Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol, butter is not usually recommended as healthy but it has a great flavor and it’s natural. I prefer it in my baking||Cooking, baking, condiment, sauces, flavoring||Mmm, buttery!|
Store in the fridge
Extracted from grape seeds, a by-product of wine making
|Safflower and grapeseed oils contain the highest amount of linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid and is linked to cancer prevention, relief from cystic fibrosis and eczema, and reduction of diabetic complications. High in polyunsaturated fats & vitamin E.||Salad dressings. Has a medium-high smoke point & is good for sautéing & is suitable for medium-temperature frying & Cooking||From light fruity grapey flavor & fragrance to bland or flavorless. Aromatic.|
Made from any number of vegetables (as opposed to minerals) including nuts, grains, beans, seeds, and olives, often made from soybean oil
|Frying, sautéing, dressings. High smoke point almost no flavor, fine for quick deep-frying but will break down and create unpleasant flavors after about 15 mins.|
|Sesame||Fades quickly when exposed to heat, add to Asian-inspired dishes in the last moments of cooking…||Potent flavor.Use toasted sesame oil in dressings, sauces, and marinades.Highly perishable, store it in the fridge|
|Peanut||High smoke point, deep-fry chicken, fish, and potatoes. It doesn’t break down and impart off flavors, even with prolonged heat, stir-fries||Neutral flavor. Unrefined peanut oil has a nutty flavor|