What is the best oil?
Do you think extra virgin oil is always the best option? Then this article is for you. The purest oils are not always a good choice, Refined ones should not be completely excluded and olive oil is not the only alternative.
The best oil for frying or sauteing
When selecting the best oil to use at high temperatures (frying or sauteing) we should consider the smoke point. But nevertheless, We will not take into account the properties of oils because they will also be lost. Nor is the lipid profile because, due to the high temperatures, in no case will it be too good.
The smoke point
The smoke point refers to the temperature at which the oil begins to produce smoke. It's about a symptom that indicates that the oil has begun to lose its properties and become toxic.
It is specific to each oil and, far from what it might seem, is higher in those that are refined. The purest oils become toxic at lower temperatures.
If we meet this criterion, we conclude that Refined avocado oil is the most suitable for frying or sauteing food, since its smoke point is 272 ° C. However, although its flavor is mild, food acquires a different flavor than we are used to.
Thus, despite the stability of refined avocado oil, if we take into account the balance between the smoke point, the taste, the availability in the market and the content of omega 6, Refined olive oils (p Humeo = 238 ºC) and sunflower (p Humeo = 232 ºC) would be the best options.
Avocado oil is the best alternative for cooking at high temperatures. However, its flavor, its low availability and its high content of omega 6 place refined olive and sunflower oils as good alternatives.
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Coconut oil has become very fashionable lately and one of the reasons is its high smoke point (p Smoke = 232 ºC). However, its price, its difficulty in finding it, even more in refined format, and its characteristic flavor make it not a good alternative.
Other reasons that it has gone viral are that it contains medium chain triglycerides (easier to use as an energy fuel) and its high lauric acid content (helps prevent excess cholesterol inside the arteries). In my opinion, none of the reasons overcome the drawbacks of its consumption.
And to consume it raw or cooked?
In order to select the best oil to use at low temperatures (raw or cooked) we will consider their properties and his lipid profile (type of fatty acids). However, the smoke point will not be considered because in all cases it will be higher at the cooking temperature, even at that reached in a fast pot.
Read more: How should you eat to control high cholesterol?
Extra virgin oils
In this case, the purest oils (extra virgin) are the most suitable because its properties remain intact. Refined oils have undergone treatments (heat or solvents) that eliminate the substances responsible for their beneficial properties.
In this sense, both avocado and olive oil seem to be at the same level. Both are rich in antioxidants (substances that delay or prevent cell damage), have shown benefits on maintaining skin integrity and contribute to regulate intestinal cholesterol absorption.
But nevertheless, The lower presence of omega 6 in olive oil makes it the best option to consume raw or cooked. Omega 6 is a fatty acid that, although necessary, in excess is harmful to health because it is considered an inflammatory agent. Currently, the Western diet makes its consumption excessive.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best option to consume at low temperatures. This is due to its antioxidant properties and excellent lipid profile.
eye! Omega 6 also exists when avocado oil is consumed hot. Instead, in that case, Recommended above other oils because the toxic effect of an oil is more harmful when it exceeds its smoke point than its contribution of omega 6.
However, when talking about cold or cooked oil, we do not have the problem of toxic substances that are produced with heat and, therefore, with equal antioxidants (olive oil = avocado oil), we select according to the lipid profile.
So which one is the best?
As described, we can make three main conclusions:
- The purest oils are not always the most optimal. In fact, to fry or saute you must choose refined oils.
- Extra virgin olive oil is the best option to consume raw or cooked.
- Avocado oil is positioned as the healthiest option to consume at high temperatures. Olive and sunflower can also be good alternatives.