Q. What is the healthiest oil to cook with?

A. Relative to other oils, canola (made from the seeds of a yellow-flowered plant) and olive oils are rich in monounsaturated fats—the kind that help reduce “unhealthy” LDL cholesterol and boost “healthy” HDL cholesterol. But new research suggests that virgin (and extra-virgin) olive oils—those produced purely by mechanically pressing the oil from olives, with no chemical processing—have an edge: antioxidants called polyphenols. Naturally found in olives (in red wine and green tea too), polyphenols mop up free radicals before they can oxidize LDL (oxidation makes LDL even more damaging to arteries).

In a three-week study of 200 men published recently in Annals of Internal Medicine, those who consumed just under two tablespoons a day of high-polyphenol virgin olive oil in place of other dietary fats registered larger increases in “good” HDL cholesterol and fewer markers of oxidative stress than men who consumed the same amount of “ordinary” olive oil, which had a very low polyphenol content. Chemical refining processes remove some polyphenols from “ordinary” olive oils (often labeled as “pure” in the U.S.) and other cooking oils, says Maria-Isabel Covas, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher at the Municipal Institute for Medical Research in Barcelona, Spain.

Bottom line: Virgin olive oil doesn’t just taste better than plain old “olive oil,” it’s better for you too. (Great justification for splurging on a pricier product, no?) That said, any olive or canola oil is a heart-healthy choice—assuming you use it as a substitute for (not a complement to) saturated fats in your diet. If cost is a concern, go ahead and use refined olive oil or canola in cooking and save the virgin oil for cases that call for a high-impact fruity flavor (dipping bread, dressing salads, accenting soups).
—D. Milton Stokes, M.P.H., R.D.

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For all of you out there that says your doctor is warning you about using oils to cook with, especially oils like coconut oil, safflower, sunflower, or any other oil that's high in saturated fat. I think its time for you to stop listening to your doctor - There is no correlation between a high fat diet and heart disease. There is no correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease. There is so much more to cholesterol than we understand or could ever understand. There are some great doctors out there doing amazing things in the field of research that have a better grasp on this stuff. You're GP/PCP has absolutely no clue.


09/09/2012 - 2:03pm

best oil to cook in - bacon grease! Hands down. 45% monosaturated High Oleic Acid Fat - and it tastes great too. See also, duck fat.


09/09/2012 - 1:55pm

I came here for advice and to learn something, now I'm more confused than ever!


08/26/2012 - 6:07am

What ever we all think everyones body is as different as fingerprints. We dont and will proberbly never know why this is. That is the only half logical explanation why some people die from smoking and some can smoke all their lives and will not suffer. This includes so called identical twins. This is very similar as twins who may suffer some trauma in their lives and while one may be unaffected, the other may be depressed or in many cases get mosr serious mental health problems. So if your lucks in so be it. But remember whatever we eat or drink, you may still be knocked over by a bus or suffer greater pain by having a really nice mother-in-law, good luck all. Les Popely York. A very inteagent fool who is brilliant at spelling


07/26/2012 - 10:28am

Never use olive oil for frying! It can releases radicals if it burns higher than its smoke point.


07/21/2012 - 7:35am

Extra virgin olive oil is the one i use it's really good i use it to fry anything I eat.


07/17/2012 - 5:43am

Grape seed oil is equivalent nutritionally to olive oil but has more vitamin E, a more neutral flavor, and a high smoke point. All around better for cooking and some prefer it for salad oil, dipping etc.


07/09/2012 - 8:05am

No. YOU are the idiot.

Genetically modified foods (GM foods, or biotech foods) are foods derived from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. OTHER techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding; plant breeding, and animal breeding, and somaclonal variation. Since genetically modified food has been introduced into supermarkets, there has been much controversy as to whether it is actually safe.

Typically, genetically modified foods are transgenic plant products: soybean, corn, canola, rice, and cotton seed oil.


07/09/2012 - 7:55am

I must say you guys are idiots. Do you know what genetic modification means? It means selectively breeding plants together its not like they are litterly splicing DNA. GMO is not death. Get off the doomsday band-wagon and eat things in moderation. A few smokes won't kill you.


06/27/2012 - 7:07pm

pop corn with coconut oil is heaven..everything with coconut oil is heaven..high smoke point...avocado and grapeseed also high smoke point..olive oil low smoke point which means starts smoking early on and becomes carcinogec..really our bodies are not even meant to ingest cooked far as longetivity goes only living things are supposed to go into living beings to keep LIVING


06/25/2012 - 1:07pm

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