Cooking oils are an essential part of healthy diets, especially for those who are following plant-based diet plans, as these oils are a great source of healthy fats. Cooking oils, especially, vegetable oils come with a lot of health benefits.
There is a wide variety of vegetable oils made from different sources that you can include in your healthy meal prep plans. They vary in their properties and characteristics. Hence, it is important for you to know about their differences for knowing the right choice for you.
When choosing a cooking oil for you, there is a lot of things you have to consider for making sure that they can be suitable for your needs. Some of the important factors you should notice when choosing cooking oil are listed below:
Each cooking oil differs in terms of the health benefits they provide. For example, olive oil is abundant in monounsaturated fats that can be beneficial for reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood thereby controlling the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Coconut oil, which is another popular cooking oil, may help with burning calories and losing weight. It can also aid to reduce appetite and possesses anti-microbial properties, which can be useful for controlling fungal infections like thrush or ringworm. Hence, it creates a great option to add to your plant-based meals.
On the other hand, avocado oil is an excellent source of potassium that is found to lower blood pressure. This compound can also help to maintain your muscle strength, nerve functioning, and heartbeat. Avocado oil can also regulate the levels of blood sugar, especially in people with diabetes.
The Extraction Process
A method called the cold-pressed extraction method is used for producing extra-virgin oils. It can be used for producing different types of oils like olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
When used for producing avocado oil, this method will take the pulp of avocado and mash it up in a giant mixer thereby turning it into a form that almost resembles guacamole.
The puree thus created will then go into a centrifuge, where the water and oil contained in the pulp will be separated by spinning it at a high speed. This oil can be then bottled and sold.
This cold-pressed extraction method is almost similar to the traditional method that is usually used for extracting oils, however, there is a key difference that separates them, which is the temperature. This method uses low temperature when compared to other extraction methods that can be beneficial for maintaining the natural characteristics of the oil.
Hence, when buying vegetable oils, you have to check the label for knowing which method of extraction is used. There are many cooking oils out there that claim “extra-virgin oil” on their label when they are not.
What You Will Be Using This Oil For
Different oils can be suitable for various purposes. Hence, you have to be aware of their use before getting one. Each oil has a different smoking point and this particular knowledge is important when you use various oils for cooking.
Usually, if the smoking point of an oil is high, then it will be highly refined or processed. If the smoking point is high, you can get a wide variety of options to cook with them.
Oils with low smoking can be suitable for light sautéing. But if you intend to deep fry, you might have to look for oils with a high smoking point.
Extra virgin avocado oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, etc. can be suitable for deep frying. However, be aware that extra virgin olive oil should not be used for cooking. It can be used for your salads, pasta, vegetables, etc. after cooking.
Taste And Color
High-quality cooking oils are expected to have the same properties as the fruits they come from. For example, avocado oil is supposed to have an emerald green color with a mild and complex flavor similar to avocados.
Similarly, olive oil should have a golden color along with a bold and peppery flavor.
You might be able to understand the quality of oils from the packing itself, as high-quality oils usually come in dark bottles that can be useful for keeping out light and oxygen to prevent the oil from becoming rancid.
When buying oils it is important for you to make sure that it is pure and have high-quality. Also, verify that the oil has not gone rancid.
Rancid oils will have an acrid taste and unpleasant odor and they can contain high amounts of free radicals that can be harmful to your body.
Also, oils that come in plastic or PET bottles can be problematic too, as such bottles allow the diffusion of oxygen and degrade the quality of your oil.
Hence, when buying cooking oils, it is necessary for you to make sure that they are fresh and pure. Otherwise, they can lead to different health problems.