4

votes

What oils can we use for cooking?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I am fairly new to paleo and am having issues with the taste of coconut oil and olive oil.

Personally, I detest coconut. Always have and apparently always will. Doesn't matter how little I use, I can taste it and do not want to eat what I've cooked. I've been forcing myself to eat it and am getting to the point where it's making me gag.

As for olive oil, I never minded the taste before. Until it was in or on just about everything I eat. Now it's becoming like the coconut oil, I just do not want to eat the food if I can taste the oil.

What other oils can be used? If I can't find something that won't send my gag reflex into overdrive, I'm going back to canola oil.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 02, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Moofa poofa! Reminds me of the oompah loompahs, and why I'm a chemist, not a pop foodie. So let's talk linolenic acid instead. Diunsaturation is what makes linseed oil (aka flax) such good paint. A little oxygen and presto! Linoleum. The sign of rancidity is the smell of oil-based paint drying, as the oil crosslinks. HARD to imagine that this is good for the arteries. Soy oil gets used to make newsprint ink for the same reason (low-rub ink).

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on December 01, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Almond oil is pretty high in PUFA (of which close to 100% is omega 6). Better than soybean oil but only in the same sense that barley is better than wheat. :-)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 01, 2011
at 12:55 PM

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! If you don't like coconut flavor, just use a non-hydrogenated refined coconut oil.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 01, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Agree with Charlie; you can't taste coconut oil at all on the foods you cook it with (except with eggs; but I LOVE the taste). I can actually taste olive oil when I cook with it but I don't mind it so much. Butter/ghee always adds a lovely flavor to everything. There are other Paleo friendly oils out there: walnut, macadamia and avocado.

020053fd576e93d1d8fa20bfb10979b9

(410)

on December 01, 2011
at 01:19 AM

I buy the organic expeller-pressed from Tropical Traditions. Absolutely tasteless. I'm drinking a tablespoon in my chai right now.

C80bb4f697a72b771ae44cc3637df8f7

(179)

on December 01, 2011
at 12:12 AM

I also have the gag reflex to coconut oil and olive oil gets used only for dressings. I experiment with all different oils like Almond, Walnut, MacNut and Ghee. Very tolerable.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 01, 2011
at 12:07 AM

From a healthfulness perspective they are all the same, but I am happy to pay more for the organic extra virgin stuff because I find the taste of the refined coconut oil to be nasty and plastic-y.

Ded84388fef90e4209cf9520d1456a95

(530)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:59 PM

Are you talking about unrefined coconut oil? I use refined coconut oil for high heat cooking, and I can't taste it at all.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:56 PM

man, do I love red palm palm oil ;-) Kidding aside, thanks for the breakdown.

  • 3e71e6dc044bb6a5832cbc8f5fd86616

    asked by

    (405)
  • Views
    34.9K
  • Last Activity
    1260D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

6
Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:29 PM

This post from Mark'sDailyApple.com pretty much covers the vegetable oils (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/healthy-oils/)...

Canola Canola oil comes from rapeseed, a completely unpalatable seed rich in erucic acid, which is bitter and rather toxic. Canola oil is rapeseed oil stripped of erucic acid, as I detailed in this previous post. It gets a lot of attention from doctors as a ???heart healthy??? oil (one of the ???good??? fats) rich in omega-3s, but the fact that canola processing generally uses upwards of 500 degrees means a good portion of the Omega-3s could be rancid on the shelf.

61% MUFA 21% Omega-6 PUFA 9-11% Omega-3 PUFA 7% SFA

Flax Seed I mentioned the seed and its oil a few times, and, after being initially supportive of flax consumption, I now recommend minimizing intake. People generally use flax oil as an Omega-3 supplement, rather than for cooking ??? and this is a good choice, seeing as how flax is almost entirely made of PUFAs, which are prone to rancidity and oxidation when exposed to heat. Meat eaters, though, would be better off just taking fish oil. The DHA and EPA in fish oil are far more useful than the ALA in flax seed oil. Strict vegetarians, have at it ??? just don???t use flax seed oil to sautee your tofu.

19% MUFA 24% Omega-6 PUFA 47% Omega-3 PUFA (from ALA) 8-9% SFA

Corn Corn oil boggles my mind. I can???t wrap my head around how extracting gallons upon gallons of liquid oil from a lowly corncob is actually possible. How isn???t it too much work for the payoff? I mean, I???m no corn eater, but I???ve chomped a few kernels in my day, and I don???t understand how squeezing oil out of this non-vegetable sounds like a good idea to anyone.

24% MUFA 59% PUFA (mostly O-6) 13% SFA

Olive (and variations) Olive oil got a pretty good breakdown last year, so unless I???m leaving out some recent momentous news breaking out of the highly secretive olive oil world, there???s not much more to say. It???s a delicious salad oil, a decent saut??ing oil, and it can even be used as moisturizer and shaving lotion. Olive oil is one area where CW gets it right. Enjoy this one, and keep a bottle of extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil on hand for salad dressings. It also does a decent job standing up to heat, but will lose it???s delicate flavors if heated too high. This is a good enough reason for me to use a different fat/oil when cooking at high temps. (Why waste precious (and often expensive!) olive oil when lard, for instance, will do the trick?)

73% MUFA 3.5-21% Omega-6 PUFA 1% Omega-3 PUFA (not even worth mentioning, really) 14% SFA

Coconut MDA???s darling, coconut oil is truly a star. I went over why yesterday, and in past posts, but the gist of it is this: it???s a tasty, shelf-stable (no hydrogenation required) tropical oil with a ton of saturated fatty acids. In fact, it???s almost purely saturated, which is why most doctors and nutritionists will probably advise against its consumption. Not us, though. We love SFA. The refined coconut oil stands up to heat a bit better, and it doesn???t have a distinctive taste, but I can???t recommend it. Unrefined virgin oil is a murky, cloudy mess ??? but a delicious, creamy mess. Eat the unrefined by the spoonful.

6.2% MUFA 1.6% PUFA 92.1% SFA

Palm Palm oil is controversial; just check out the comments section on my last post on the subject. Many palm oil plantations encroach upon the rapidly dwindling natural habitats of the orangutan, which are already in short supply in this world. The consensus seems to be that sustainable palm oil, especially the more complex, nutritious unrefined red palm oil, can be found. You???ve just got to look a little harder at the labels. West African red palm oil, for example, is considered to be pretty safe environmentally. Oh, and palm oil is also highly saturated and heat stable. Red palm oil is also stable, but it deserves special mention for its nutrient density ??? lots of CoQ10, Vitamin E, and SFAs.

39% MUFA 11% PUFA 50% SFA

Fish Fish oil is another one of the widely accepted ???good??? fats. This time, though, we agree with Conventional Wisdom. The Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are unequivocally beneficial to us. They help balance our O6-O3 ratios (to a more appropriate, pre-agricultural level), while they also promote proper cell function, good lipid numbers, and improved insulin sensitivity. To bone up on more fish oil information, check out my Definitive Guide on the subject.

EPA and DHA levels vary by brand and type of fish. Check the label for yourself, or look at this handy table if you???re getting your fish oil from actual seafood.

Avocado Who doesn???t love a plump avocado with the right amount of give? If you can???t get your hands on a good one, the next best thing might be a bottle of avocado oil. Its fatty acid profile is similar to that of olive oil, but it has an even higher smoke point, making it a decent choice for cooking. Personally, I still wouldn???t use it for high heat cooking. The light, subtle taste lends itself far better to salad dressing, if you ask me. Buy in dark bottles to minimize oxidation.

70% MUFA 12% Omega-6 PUFA 1% Omega-3 PUFA 12% SFA

Walnut Walnut oil is one of the better tasting nut oils. It is high in Omega-6s, sure, but walnut oil isn???t something you???re going to use every day, or even every week. The stuff tastes great, though, and a small splash goes a long way at the end of a cooking session or onto a tossed salad. I definitely would advise against using this on a regular basis, especially for cooking, and you should always store it in a dark, cool spot in the house. For those that ???do dairy???, try mixing a bit with some full-fat Greek yogurt, or unsweetened fresh whipped cream and berries: amazing.

23% MUFA 53% Omega-6 PUFA 10% Omega-3 PUFA 9% SFA

Macadamia Nut I love this oil, but I also love the parent nut. The oil assumes the buttery, smooth, rich flavor of the macadamia nut, making it an interesting ??? but favorable ??? choice for salad dressings. It???s also remarkably high in MUFAs and low in PUFAs, so it won???t throw your ratios all out of whack. Makes a surprisingly good homemade mayonnaise, and can be used to saut?? and cook in a pinch. The only drawback is its price; macadamia nut oil can get expensive.

71% MUFA 10% PUFA 12% SFA

Sesame Seed The premier ???flavor oil.??? Sesame seed oil, especially the toasted variety, offers an unmatched and irreplaceable flavor profile. Certain Asian dishes work best with a bit of sesame oil, but if you???re wary of using it over high heat (which you probably should be), you can always add it to the dish after cooking. Despite the high PUFA content, sesame oil also contains a ton of antioxidants that can help minimize heat oxidation. I wouldn???t use this more than semi-regularly, though. Good to keep in your pantry (or fridge), but not an everyday item.

43% MUFA 43% PUFA 14% SFA

Peanut Restaurants like to tout that they use ???healthy??? peanut oil in their deep fryers. Okay, the relatively MUFA-rich peanut oil may be a better choice than corn or sunflower oil for high heating, but it???s still a legume (already off limits) oil prone to rancidity. In the UK, it???s known as groundnut oil. Avoid both.

46% MUFA 32% PUFA 17% SFA

Sunflower Seed Insanely high in PUFAs with little to no Omega-3s to balance them out, sunflower seed oil is a pretty bad choice for sauteeing, baking, roasting, and even salad making. Trouble is it???s everywhere, and it has a reputation for being healthy. Just don???t keep the stuff in your house (not a problem; it???s flavorless, odorless, and completely boring), and keep dining out in cheap chain restaurants to a minimum (or you could do what I do and request everything be cooked in butter), and you should be able to avoid sunflower seed oil.

19% MUFA 63% PUFA 10% SFA

Safflower Like sunflower seed oil but worse, the oil derived from the ???bastard saffron??? is about 75% Omega-6 PUFAs with not a speck of Omega-3 in sight. It???s also lower in MUFAs and SFAs. What???s not to dislike?

14% MUFA 75% PUFA 6% SFA

Cottonseed At least most of the oils I???ve mentioned come from technically edible plants, in some form or another. Cottonseed oil, however, comes from cotton. You know, the stuff that shirts are made of? Yeah. It???s everywhere, from margarines to cereal to shortening to frozen desserts to bread, because it???s cheaper than other oils (you can thank its status as one of Monsanto???s big four genetically modified crops for that) and it only needs ???partial hydrogenation??? to maintain stability. Luckily, that won???t be an issue for PBers who already avoid all that stuff in the first place. Warn your friends and family, though.

17% MUFA 52% PUFA 26% SFA

Grape Seed Skip this stuff. It does have a buttery taste, and it gets a lot of hype as a worthy replacement for olive oil, but it???s got high oxidation potential, especially if you follow the recommended instructions and use it for deep frying or high heat sauteeing. It???s rather pricey, too, so there???s no good reason to use it.

16% MUFA 70% PUFA 9% SFA

Soybean Oil Soybean oil is about as ubiquitous as corn and canola (again, thanks to Monsanto). In fact, you???ll often see an ingredient list include ???canola and/or soybean oil.??? Huh? Do food manufacturers honestly not know what kind of fat is going into their product? Best avoid the crapshoot and skip anything that ???might contain??? soybean oil altogether. The fact that it???s often partially hydrogenated suppresses my appetite even further. No thanks.

23% MUFA 51% Omega-6 PUFA 6% Omega-3 PUFA 14% SFA

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:56 PM

man, do I love red palm palm oil ;-) Kidding aside, thanks for the breakdown.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 02, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Moofa poofa! Reminds me of the oompah loompahs, and why I'm a chemist, not a pop foodie. So let's talk linolenic acid instead. Diunsaturation is what makes linseed oil (aka flax) such good paint. A little oxygen and presto! Linoleum. The sign of rancidity is the smell of oil-based paint drying, as the oil crosslinks. HARD to imagine that this is good for the arteries. Soy oil gets used to make newsprint ink for the same reason (low-rub ink).

6
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Some of the most common paleo cooking oils:

  • Butter--pastured is best, but any butter will work
  • Ghee
  • Coconut oil--if you don't like it, don't use it--but keep in mind some brands taste better than others. I personally think Spectrum brand tastes terrible, but I love Nutiva.
  • Lard--preferably from pastured pigs
  • Tallow--preferably from grassfed beef

Olive oil shouldn't be used for cooking--at least not at high temps--because it can break down in unfortunate ways.

4
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Butter/ghee .

3
D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:47 PM

Refined coconut oil? Tatseless and cheap.

And despite what many believe it's no less healthy than the expensive organic/raw/virgin/cold pressed stuff marketed at vegans. :-)

020053fd576e93d1d8fa20bfb10979b9

(410)

on December 01, 2011
at 01:19 AM

I buy the organic expeller-pressed from Tropical Traditions. Absolutely tasteless. I'm drinking a tablespoon in my chai right now.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 01, 2011
at 12:55 PM

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! If you don't like coconut flavor, just use a non-hydrogenated refined coconut oil.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 01, 2011
at 12:07 AM

From a healthfulness perspective they are all the same, but I am happy to pay more for the organic extra virgin stuff because I find the taste of the refined coconut oil to be nasty and plastic-y.

2
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on December 01, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Can you use Ghee, Lard, Tallow, Goose fat?

Among oils - Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, or Macadamia Nut Oil?

You might also want to get a deep-fry thermometer and check how hot your fat/oil is getting. I have and Admetetior from Amazon - pretty inexpensive about $7. I rarely use it, but it's a way of tracking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

See also: http://paleohacks.com/questions/73704/is-lards-smoke-point-high-enough-for-wok#ixzz1fJ0UACJi

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on December 01, 2011
at 10:08 AM

Lard. Just get some organic pork fat or beef fat from your butcher, chop really fine and put in slow cooker when it will render down to lard. The cooking fat used by humans for centuries.

1
C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on December 01, 2011
at 12:07 AM

There are some great answers out there!

I personally love coconut oil. But almond oil might be a good substitute for you. I like it anyway...

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on December 01, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Almond oil is pretty high in PUFA (of which close to 100% is omega 6). Better than soybean oil but only in the same sense that barley is better than wheat. :-)

0
3e71e6dc044bb6a5832cbc8f5fd86616

(405)

on December 01, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Thank you for all the responses!

I'll be making the two hour trek to Atlanta to hit up the health food stores there (none in my neck of the woods) to purchase some of these!!

Again Thank You!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!