Freshen up your salads and change the taste of your food

Cooking oil is a staple of every household but do we remember the difference and which one is the best cooking oil to use. There are many options out there for us to choose from but overall we tend to use olive oil for cooking and making salads. Olive oil is multi-purpose oil that is generally accepted as the best cooking oil because it is very low in omega-6 and contains a lot of flavinoids which are good for you. Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy cooking oil and excellent for both cooking and drizzling over salads and bruschettas, though one always has to be careful not to heat the oil until it smokes as this changes the chemical properties and makes it less healthy. Other oils that are great for cooking include corn oil and canola. If you are fond of slightly flavoured oils then peanut oil (be careful in case you have allergy sufferers in the family). Be sure to buy one that has been made by reputable cooking oil manufacturers as this can change the content and healthy effects of your oil as much as the oil itself.

Healthy cooking oil from respected cooking oil manufacturers is your best bet. Organic and other brands are the best quality and do not contain genetically modified ingredients that are common in cheaper varieties. Moreover, cheap oils are often refined, deodorised and bleached to give them a clean and clear look and practically no smell whatsoever. There are also environmental concerns with oils that are not from reputable brands as the provenance of these is untraceable.

Generally, it is good to remember that margarine, coconut oil and butter are higher in man made trans fatty acids that are not good for you, especially butter made from grain fed cows is high in both saturated fats and omega-6.

Corn oil is usually a healthy cooking oil but you must buy it from reputable cooking oil manufacturers as otherwise it can be made from genetically modified ingredients and will probably have undergone industrial refining and bleaching to make it a more homogenous blend for mass distribution.

As we go up the scale of goodness, sesame oil, grape seed and sunflower oil offer a better option as they have higher smoking temperature and hence can be used for stir fries and other cooking. Sesame oil especially has a wonderful nutty taste and is used in abundance throughout Asia to give dishes that flavour we associate with Chinese or Thai food. When choosing sunflower oil, always remember to read the label and choose high oleic oil over linoleic oil as this is much better for you.

If you are a salad fan and like drizzling oil over your food or making delicious vinaigrette, then there are many alternatives to olive oil. Hazelnut oil make a great change from olive oil for salads, especially going well with rucola based salad dishes. Safflower oil is high in oleic acid and if you can find unrefined and organic varieties then you are in for a real treat.


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