Top 4 Cooking Oils with Beneficial Health Properties

Top 4 Cooking Oils with Beneficial Health Properties

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Mar 29, 2015, at 9:48 pm


NOT ALL OILS ARE THE SAME. In fact, some cooking oils are proven healthy, whereas others are not. While cooking oils may seem like a somewhat insignificant part of your daily cooking, a simple switch can help you become healthier and live a longer life. Here are our top 4 cooking oils with beneficial health properties.

five bottled of various healthy cooking oils

1. Canola Oil
Canola oil has been a staple in the kitchen since the 1970s, and is considered one of the most versatile cooking oil due to its smoothness, high smoke threshold and mild flavor. According to the American Heart Association’s Healthy Cooking Oils 101, Canola oil is perfect for sautéing, marinating and baking.

According to Journal of the American College of Nutrition’s study titled “Food safety and health effects of canola oil.” , the makeup of canola oil makes it one of the heart healthiest oils compared to other common pantry oils. Canola oil is 55 percent monounsaturated fats and a mere 4 percent of saturated fatty acids. The saturated fatty acids have an impressive ratio of linoleic to linolenic acids (4:1 to 10:1), which is unseen in any other cooking oil. Canola oil is the only known oil that meets the recommendations for the ratios of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

2. Peanut Oil
With a nutty flavor, this oil is great for making peanut butters and in many Asian dishes, according to the AHA.
Peanut oil has more saturated fat than canola (2.3 g per serving compared to 1 g per serving), but is still considered a healthy cooking oil.

Peanut oil contains several natural antioxidants that actually lower cholesterol levels and protect cells. Vitamin E, one of the most prevalent antioxidants found in peanut oil, neutralizes free radicals and can lower your risk for cancer and heart disease. Because of these anti-carcinogen properties, the Journal of Food Science also has determined peanut oil capable of lowering the risk of atherosclerosis when consumed in moderate amounts.

3. Olive Oil

A true staple in the pantry, olive oil is often the cooking oil choice for many people, as it has been considered a heart healthy staple of the Mediterranean diet for many years. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which has been proven defensive against diseases that effect cognition, such as Alzheimer’s.

Olive oil can reduce your risk for heart disease because of its ability to balance blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and lipoproteins, as well as having possible antithrombotic profiles. This makes olive oil one of the healthiest cooking oil options with a power to increase longevity and improve health (Bonanome, et al.).

4. Sesame Oil

Like the name implies,
sesame oil is made from sesame seeds, and is popular in many Asian and Indian cooking dishes. Sesame oil has the same amount of saturated fat per serving as olive oil (1.9 g), and is considered mostly healthy fats (8 g of mono-saturated fats, which is also very similar to olive oil).

Sesame oil does increase good HDL cholesterol while decreasing bad LDL cholesterol, which make it heart-healthy and a great option for stir-frying or garnishing.

We want to know: Have you used these oils to cook? What’s your preference?


Bonanome, A., et al. “virgin olive oil.” European journal of clinical investigation 35.7 (2005): 421-424.

Dupont, J., et al. “Food safety and health effects of canola oil.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 8.5 (1989): 360-375.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

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