HomeArticles Healthy Cooking Oil Comparison – Choose Wisely

Healthy Cooking Oil Comparison – Choose Wisely

Comments : 24 Posted in : Articles on by : Karen Metz Tags: , , , , , ,

Choosing a good cooking oil can be a daunting task! There are so many conflicting opinions out there, how do you know which one is the right one? Is there one that is healthy and not going to harm my body? Plus, you will want to feed your family the best you can but stay withing your food budget.

I have taken four common cooking oils and did a comparison with them. These are facts, not opinions, so that you can choose the one that best fits your needs as well as your budget. My examples are from some common brand names and some lower cost ones or ones that I have tried and ones that I use on a regular basis.

There are all types of price ranges in each of the types of oils depending on the brand you choose. I got my prices and brands from Amazon. Your local grocery store or health food store may have other brands and prices as well. I divided the price by the ounce to get my comparisons all the same, so if you choose a different brand and want to compare your price to mine, just figure out the price per ounce.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a mix or blend of any plant oils. The vegetable oil on the market today is usually a blend of these plants: corn, soybean, safflower, palm and sunflower oils.

Pros:

  • Price – Vegetable oil is very affordable.
  • High Shelf Life – will keep for a long time.
  • Medium cooking temperature – Will cook the majority of foods without the oil burning.

Cons:

  • High in Omega 6 – Most Americans have way too much Omega 6 in their diets. Omega 6 causes inflammation in the body.
  • Highly Processed – This means that the oil has been heated way above their heat tolerance and has caused it to become rancid even before bottling and selling. Because rancid oil contains free radicals, it can cause long term health problems like cancer and heart disease.

Smoking Point of Vegetable Oil: 360 degrees

Cost Per Ounce:

 

Canola Oil

Canola Oil is a hybrid of the rape seed. The name comes from Canada, where it was first produced and the word “Ola” which means oil. Put together it is “canola”.

Pros:

  • High in Omega 3 – Americans do not get enough Omega 3 in their diets. Omega 3s help with depression, heart disease, inflammation, and auto immune diseases to name a few benefits.
  • Price – The most affordable oil on the market.
  • High cooking/smoking point.

Cons:

  • Highly Processed – In processing, the oil has been heated to such a high point that the healthy omega 3s are rancid and the oil looses its most valuable asset.
  • Because the oil is so rancid, the manufacturers have to bleach and deodorize the to get out the rancid smell.
  • 90% of all canola oils are GMO – genetically modified.

Smoking Point of Canola Oil: 400 degrees

Cost Per Ounce:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a fatty oil or semi-solid oil that is extracted from fresh coconuts.

Pros:

  • 100% food. Unlike some of the other oils, coconut oil is pure food and not unaltered.
  • Anti fungal – can help with a problem of yeast growth.
  • Antimicrobial – can help with the prevention of spreading viruses.
  • Anti inflammatory – helps with inflammation in the body.
  • Anti weight gain – by raising the thermogenic temperature of your body it helps your fat burning potential.
  • Too many health benefits to list.

Cons:

  • High in calories.
  • It is a saturated fat (which is controversial to whether or not it is a pro or con)
  • The organic version taste like coconut and can flavor foods with a coconut flavor. If you do not like the coconut flavor, try refined coconut oil, but you will lose some of the healthy benefits.
  • Higher in price.

Smoking Point of Coconut Oil: 350 degrees

Cost Per Ounce:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Oil is an oil that is pressed from olives.

Pros:

  • 100% real food.
  • Contains mono saturated fat (a healthy fat)
  • Contains antioxidants – protects against free radicals.
  • Anti inflammatory – helps decrease inflammation in the body.
  • Protects against heart disease.
  • May help fight cancer.
  • Decreases blood pressure.
  • Helps fight diabetes.
  • Plus many other benefits too numerous to list.

Cons:

  • High in calories.
  • Very sensitive to heat – when heated it can become hydrogenated and rancid. Better to use raw and not to cook with it to get all the health benefits.
  • Expensive.

Smoking Point of Olive Oil: 320 degrees

Cost Per Ounce:

Conclusion

When trying to figure out what type of cooking oil to use, ask yourself these three questions:

  • What are you going to cook and how are you going to cook it? Sauteing vegetable and deep frying meat will take different types of oils. You can choose a lower smoking point for sauteing but deep frying definitely will require a higher smoking point.
  • Do you want a healthy oil? Coconut oil and Olive oil have higher health benefits than any of the others, but remember Olive oil is not good for heating up on high temperatures. I use coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for things like salad dressings.
  • How much can you spend on oil with your food budget? Canola and vegetable oil are the cheapest oils at .09 cents an ounce for canola oil and .12 cents per ounce for vegetable oil. Coconut oil is the highest cost at .66 cents per ounce and Olive oil is in the middle at .34 cents per ounce, but these two have the best health benefits and can help in the long run with less medical expenses.

After asking yourself these questions, go to Amazon here, and check out different brands and prices that are available in the type of oil you want to use.

I have only covered 4 different types of oils. There are many others out there. Do you have a favorite that you use? Please share with us in the comments below.

**As an Amazon affiliate, I make a commission on sales through qualified links.

24s COMMENTS

24 thoughts

  • Dane
    August 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t joke with my health at all I dont like consuming cholesterol at akk because of my health issue. Now I’m left with a wide range of variety to pick from and I’m really excited. Mist people take some vegetable oil which inturn affect them, its like using Ines money to buy sickness. I’m really thankful for these suggestion and I’d love to star with coconut vegetables oil because of my love for coconuts. Thanks for the educative post. 

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      If you like the coconut taste, you will really like organic coconut oil!  It has a slight coconut flavoring to veggies and cooks wonderfully!  Thank you for your comment.

  • Sondra M
    August 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I found your comparison’s of different types of cooking oil to be very helpful.    

    Recently, I purchased some coconut oil on a whim.   Yet, I have not used it yet.   It sounds to be even more healthy and useful than I had hoped for.  

    After reading your discussion about Canola oil, I think that I want to avoid it completely.    It sounds way to processed for my preferences.  Thank you!    

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      I agree! Canola oil is very processed!  What kind of coconut oil did you purchase?  Is it organic?  Remember if it is organic it will have a coconut smell and give foods a slight coconut taste.  I love it on popcorn.  If you do not want that taste, but still want the health benefits you can use refined coconut oil.  You will not get as many of the health benefits, but it is better than none.  

      Thank you for the comment!

  • RoDarrick
    August 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Since I’m not a big fan of cooking but I’m always conscious of what I eat, this has come very handy to me. Cooking oils are great cooking ingredient that I wish to learn of so as to be sure that I eat healthily. My wife actually make use of the olive oil and sometimes, she dies makes use of the vegetable oil too. I guess I will stop her from making use of vegetable oils henceforth since it is not as beneficial as the olive oil.

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Yes, the olive oil is much better for you!  Just don’t use it on high heat. If you want to use a healthy oil for high heat, use coconut oil!

      Thank you for your comment!

  • Michel
    August 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I have always bought canola oil because it is a better alternative to olive oil because of the price. I read in your pros that it is high in Omega 3 and in your cons I see the Omega 3 is now rancid. So now I am a little confused. Is it healthy or isn’t it?

    I haven’t tried coconut oil yet, and I see that and olive oil is the best to use in most cases. I haven’t bought olive oil for a while because of the price, but I will certainly look at the coconut oil as a good alternative next time I go shopping.

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      I do not recommend Canola oil!  I personally think it is one of the worst, even though it is one of the most recommended by health professionals.  It is basically an oil that has been terribly modified.  They took something that might have been good and ruined it.  The processing has killed all the Omega 3s that they say are in there.  I had a hard time coming up with Pros for this!

      I have found coconut oil to be great for cooking.  Like I said in another comment, it does leave the coconut taste if you use organic, but using the refined does not have that taste.  

      Thank you for your comment!

  • Fran
    August 20, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    I use oils pretty much the way you do — olive oil for cold uses and coconut oil for fried things.  I don’t use vegetable or canola any more.  Also, I like to use sesame, more for a flavoring than anything else.  I will often add just a little bit to a dish to add that wonderful taste.

    Well, why shouldn’t oil contain some fat?  It’s part of what oil is all about, isn’t it?  Funny — I have never considered calories when using oil.  Perhaps I should do so.  And, as to the taste in coconut oil, I am glad I like coconut flavor.  It definitely adds  to (enhances) the flavor of foods when you add some. I think it often improves taste!

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      I like coconut oil on popcorn!  I like the coconut taste there, but I don’t like it flavoring other foods.  So, I buy both refined and organic and use the organic when I like the taste of coconut.  

      I’m starting to learn about other oils as well, but I haven’t tried the sesame except on Chinese foods.  I’ll have to put it on other things to see if I like it!  I love trying new things!  Thank you!

  • Alejandra
    August 20, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Hi,

    More and more I’m interested to know more about food, I’m happy I found your website today.

    Your article is so clear that helped me to understand these 4 types of cooking oil so now I’ll make a better choice when I get my groceries.

    I used to have only olive oil at home, lately I have vegetable oil, but after reading your article, I think I should buy canola oil and some coconut oil.

    Your article helped me to understand better what to cook with each type of oil!

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm

      I’m glad the article has helped!  Just be careful with the canola oil.  Even though it has some Omega 3s, the processing it goes through basically wipes them out.  Leaving you with a cheap oil that has no health benefits. Thank you for the comment!

  • Henderson
    August 20, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    This is very good. At home, we make use of the  normal olive vegetable oil. It is pretty affordable as you have said and I think quite a lot of people make use of of as well. I think my mum needs to read this post so as to decide whether or not to change the oil or still stick to what we use. You have said it is a good one so I doubt she’ll be thinking of changing. It also has less cons too. Cool o

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      Great!  I hope this helps her out. When I first started out, I went for the cheap.  My cholesterol and lipids were bad!  Since switching to a better oil, and cutting out sugar from my diet, my test results have improved.  Thanks for the comment!

  • jessetoikkanen
    August 20, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Pretty interesting article about an important topic, choosing the right oils and using them isn’t as easy and simple as people think. Thanks for sites like this, we still have information available. Human body has gone a very long process of millions of years and it been used to use omega3 and omega6 ratio of 2:1-1:1 but nowadays the majority of people in western societies gets 1:10, even 1:20, 10-20 times more omega6 than our bodies are used to get and use effectively way. As you mentioned, it leads to several kinds of inflammations in our bodies. 

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      That is right!  Omega 3 and Omega 6 are important, but you have to balance them.  Using a good oil is one way of helping to balance that along with eating good veggies and greens!

  • Antonio
    August 20, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Hi 

    As you can imagine there are so many different cooking oils that it is difficult to choice. I myself use vegetable oil  and rape seed oil for cooking, and extra virgin oil for salad dressings. For frying I would not use extra virgin oil as it burns too easy and it burns. Instead I would use virgin  or mixed olive oil to cook, as it has a high flash point and is cheaper. It is a battle between cosy and taste, and the 4 you have chosen are some of the best.  I am not really fond of coconut oil in cooking, it is an acquired taste. The other 3 are okay.

    Can I ask why you limited it to 4 oils and not others?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      Sure! These are the four that I have personally tried and researched.  I know there are many more out there, but these seem to be the most popular.  

      If you do not like the taste of coconut oil, try the refined coconut oil.  It does not have a taste and cooks great! 

  • Gomer
    August 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for computing the costs for each of these oil, that helps a lot. My father just suffered a stroke recently and we were advised by the doctor to not use coconut oil but rather, Olive oil. But looking through your pros and cons here about Olive oil, I noticed the mention about it having high in calories. Should that worry us about our father’s condition? The high level of calories in Olive oil?

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I am not a medical advisor, but I personally wouldn’t worry about the calories.  I think the calories are all about the same anyway.  I did not compare them ounce for ounce, but I do remember them being similar. With anything we eat, moderation is the key!

  • C
    August 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for this article. For me it would not be a con for it to be high in calories because I am very physically active so I actually need pretty much maximum calories. I do not use vegetable or canola oil but I use coconut oil and olive oil. One thing I learned about coconut oil is to get the unrefined because the refined coconut oil somehow lose its flavor at least in the brands that I’ve tried. 

    The unrefined coconut oil has a Delicious coconut taste and smell. But I always use coconut oil without cooking it whereas I use the olive oil for cooking. But that’s just me. I think your article gives a very great comparison and basically confirms for me to keep using the oils that I do!

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Your welcome! Like you, I stick with coconut and olive oils. For cooking, I use coconut or butter and save olive oils for my salads, etc..  If you are using olive oil for cooking, make sure you do not use very high heat!  Otherwise, you are fine.  Thank you so much for the comment!

  • Stella
    August 20, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Vegetable oil is s very common oil we do use in my household after palmoil. Now that I know it has high Omega 6 fatty acid which can affect the heart, I will try and decide on the next healthy oil. Olive oil is not very sweet in food but very healthy. My children don’t actually like it inside food. We only use coconut oil to cure dandruff and other skin related disease, though very expensive. I think this is high time I settle for the healthy oil rather than sweet oil.

    • admin
      August 20, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      I use coconut oil for those things too!  I also use it as a sunscreen.  It is cheaper than sunblock but it washes off if you get in water and you have to apply it more often.  But, I know it is good for my skin!  

      Is palm oil sweet?  I have not tried that one and I do not know a lot about it.  I wonder if it raises blood sugar?  I have a diabetic in my house, so I have to be careful with anything sweet.  

      Thank you for the comment!

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