Which cooking oil is best?

Watch what you pour.
Watch what you pour.

With so many cooking oils on store shelves, which is the best for you? Registered dietician Marla Heller, author of “The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution” and “The Everyday Dash Diet Cookbook,” gave us the slick truth.

Olive oil
“I always go with what’s been proven over periods of time,” Heller says. “In the Mediterranean, there are lower rates of heart disease and breast cancer, and they use olive oil. It’s monounsaturated — the kind that’s healthiest.” The wonder pour’s only caveat? “It shouldn’t be heated to high temperatures,” she says.

Soy, corn and canola oil
“These can be used for higher-temperature cooking, and are neutral-tasting oils, so they’re good for baking,” Heller says. But don’t go crazy: “You don’t want to use these too often because they’re high in Omega 6, which is a polyunsaturated oil and is thought to raise inflammation. [Inflammation] is behind so many diseases, including heart disease.”

Sunflower oil
“This is high in polyunsaturated fats, which in the 1970s were thought to be healthy,” she says. “Polyunsaturated do lower blood cholesterol, but the thinking now is that they potentially increase inflammation. Personally, I’m skeptical.”

Coconut oil
“There’s been a lot of hype about it over the past few years,” Heller says. “It has a high level of saturated fat. Places where it’s used as a main source for cooking have a higher level of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. I think it can be problematic for people with high cholesterol.”


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