The right cooking oil is good for your heart, brain, and metabolism and can even help you absorb more nutrients from food. While stocking up on olive oil is a great first step, it's also important to familiarize yourself with other types of oil – for flavor and health. Pay attention to the fat content, and look for an oil that won't smoke when you're cooking on high heat in a wok or frying pan. Then you can turn your attention to the various flavors that oils add to dishes. We asked Dr. Don Hensrud, a nutrition specialist with the Mayo Clinic, to walk us through the flavor, smoke point, and health benefits of a number of oils. Here are nine of the healthiest oils you can buy – and when to use them.
This buttery oil has more monounsaturated fat – which research shows helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure – than olive oil. Adding it to vegetables may also increase the number of nutrients you absorb.
Try it: With a superhigh smoke point, avocado is ideal for grilling meat, sautéing vegetables, and searing fish. Stir it into soups, or drizzle it over pizza.
Credit: Photograph by Nick Ferrari