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.
Safflower oil, derived from the common thistlelike plant, may best olive oil for health, given that it's slightly lower in bad fat, slightly higher in good fat, and can take more heat. It is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids, which can only be obtained from diet, and helps all kinds of bodily functions run smoothly.
Try it: Safflower oil has a very high smoking point and is another good oil for all-around use, from sauces and sautés to searing and frying.
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