Plenty of cooking oils are considered healthy, but only a few of them remain as healthy after cooking. This factor depends on the stability level of cooking oils. Higher the stability of the oil, the healthier it is after cooking. When we cook oil at high heat, the one with the lower stability level oxidizes, but the oil with higher stability level remains healthy even if you cook it at high temperatures.
High heat causes oxidation in cooking oil wherein it reacts with the oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds. When you consume such oil, it harms your health. This situation makes it necessary that you determine oils with high stability level. A very simple and easy way to determine the stability level, which is the resistance of oil against oxidation, is to take into consideration the degree of saturation as related to the presence of fatty acids in oil. Saturated fats have a single bond in the fatty acid molecules; polyunsaturated fats have two or more double bonds, whereas the monounsaturated fats have one double bond in the fatty acid molecules.
The double bonds are what make oil sensitive and reactive to heat. Oils that have high content of polyunsaturated fats have a low resistance to heat and do not remain that healthy after cooking. On the other hand, saturated fats and monounsaturated fats have a high level of heat resistance, thus, they remain healthy even after cooking as well. Based on this distinction, following are the healthiest cooking oils you can use:
Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K2), and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that is an essential fatty acid found in all cattle products. CLA helps fight against disorders like cancer, diabetes type 2 and heart ailments. Ghee is healthy cooking oil and even the lactose intolerant people can have it, as it is free from casein and lactose elements.
Coconut oil makes tasty dishes and is an integral part of Thai cuisine. It is not just tasty but has a good deal of health benefits also. Coconut oil is a good weight loss measure, good for your heart and skin, and triggers your basal metabolic rate. Raw virgin coconut oil has more health benefits as compared to the refined coconut oil, provided it is not treated with hexane. Raw virgin coconut oil is suitable for low temperature cooking and baking, whereas you can occasionally use refined coconut oil for high heat cooking.
Olive oil has some extremely beneficial qualities. Virgin olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats and has high levels of antioxidants that are good for your heart health. Use olive oil in low heat cooking and as a dressing over salads, or to sauté vegetables.
Avocado oil is a good choice for occasional cooking and not for everyday cooking because it is high in polyunsaturated fats that can cause inflammation. It has a real high smoke point, which makes avocado oil a good choice for purposes like frying. If you want to use it in your everyday cooking, then find the one that has a low level of polyunsaturated fats.
Butter is also a very good choice for cooking, provided it is a good quality grass fed butter. If you can get organic raw grass fed butter then there is nothing like it. The smoke point of butter is 325°-375° Fahrenheit, so it is best used for low temperature cooking.