Sunday, February 13, 2011

Types of Oil

One thing I have been trying to learn about are the many types of oil.

This picture is called, "Oils of My kitchen..."

Many of us only use Canola and Olive, but there is a whole world full of oils to play with. (Whether that be in the kitchen or in the bedroom is entirely up to you!)

I am no expert but have been trying to play(in the kitchen) with other types of oil besides olive and canola.
I will post some links below where you can read ALL about the many oils out there, but here are some key points:
Number one rule about oil: DONT LET IT SMOKE! If your oil smokes it ruins the taste, and actually takes away the healthy Omegas and good fats in your oil. When your oil smokes it can turn from a monounsaturated fat to a trans fat. Trans fats and polysaturated fats are the worst kinds of fats for you, so be very careful when cooking with oil. There are some oils that have higher smoking temperatures, such as grapeseed oil, and are better for sauteing, and others that have a lower smoking temperature that are better for baking or putting on salads.

There is a wide variety of oils available out there, but Olive and Canola are the most popular so are often the cheapest. Other oils like walnut and grape are great, but often more expensive because they are not as popular. I shop at Marshals and TJ Max and have found great deals in their cooking/homegoods department. Regardless, you will pay more for any oil that isn't canola or olive, so its good to always have your eyes open for a sale.
Grapeseed oil is great for frying because it has a high cooking temperature and has little flavor. IE unlike olive oil which adds taste to a dish, grapeseed does not, so if you need oil but not flavor, grapeseed oil is great to use.

Another thing to consider is the amount of Omega 3's versus Omega 6's in your oils. Both are important for your health, in moderation. From the articles Ive read, Americans in general get WAY too much Omega 6's and not enough Omega 3s. Both are fatty acids, but they do different things in your body. Because Omega 6's are more common in a typical american diet, many doctors recommend getting oils that have higher Omega 3s than Omega 6s.
Here is an article that goes into a lot of detail about Omega 3 versus Omega 6: Omega 3 versus 6

This is a link to a chart of all the oils, what they are made from, uses, types of fat, and smoking point. Its a great reference. OIL TYPES

This is another link that has similar information and also list the Omega 3 and Omega 6's in the different oils: Types of Oils

So next time your in need of oil, take some time in the grocery store and look around. Perhaps check out some sites about different types of oils and what would work best for the type of cooking you do.

Now go get your oil on!

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