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What types of oils exist and which are healthier?

While we cook, we can use different types of oil depending on the type of recipe or how we are going to prepare a preparation. The world of oils is wide, since we can obtain them from many vegetables. But are they all beneficial to human health? The truth is that, although we see all the oils together, they are not exactly the same. It is important to know them to generate healthy and tasty dishes in our kitchen without introducing harmful elements. Next, we are going to show you the differences between the main oils and which one is more suitable at each moment.

types of oils

How are cooking oils classified?

An initial classification of oils allows us to differentiate them according to the type of fats that compose them. In this sense, we can find the following.

  • Saturated fat oils : They are the most harmful. They increase the levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood. They promote the appearance of cardiovascular diseases if we abuse them. In this group, we will find coconut and palm oil, commonly used in pastries and pastries.
  • Monounsaturated fat oils : They are formed by a single unsaturated carbon bond. They usually come from the plant world. These types of fats have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, help reduce harmful cholesterol and control blood pressure. They are very beneficial to the human body. The most common oils that fall into this category are olive oil, high oleic safflower oil, and avocado oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fat oils : They are made up of molecules with more than one unsaturated carbon bond. If we consume them in moderation, they bring benefits to our body. Within this category, we find soybean oil, corn oil and sunflower oil.
  • Trans fat oils : To produce these, manufacturers combine liquid oils with solid fats, such as margarine or butter. They increase the levels of harmful cholesterol (LDL) and decrease the presence of beneficial cholesterol (HDL). We can find them in butter and margarine, so it is not good to use them for cooking.

5 oils for those who have no idea about oils

As you can see, the variety of oils is enormous. But if you don't want to complicate your life, we suggest five super healthy oils that will cover all your kitchen needs.

  • Extra virgin olive oil : The famous EVOO is pure olive oil. It has a whole compendium of beneficial health properties and a magnificent smell and taste. You can use it for cooking, but if you have to reserve it, use it to dress salads or eat it raw on a piece of toast.
  • High oleic sunflower oil : Withstands high temperatures, up to 200 degrees, without deteriorating. It is also a powerful ally of your health. It has antioxidant properties and will positively affect the condition of your skin. At the cardiovascular level, it also protects the heart. Its neutral taste and smell make it ideal for baking or frying food. It is much more affordable than EVOO.
  • Canola oil : It is obtained from selected rapeseeds. It is not a good oil for frying. It is more suitable to take it cold. Its low saturated fat content and high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids make it compatible with any diet. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties and enhances cardiovascular health.
  • Rice oil : It is extracted from the germ and husk of rice. It is an oil with a very mild flavor. It is ideal for preparing pastry products or for the most subtle recipes. It prevents infectious diseases and is very good for maintaining correct cholesterol levels. Helps in allergy or asthmatic processes and regenerates the skin at a cellular level.
  • Safflower Oil : It has a neutral taste and odor. It is perfect for cooking at high temperatures, since it supports up to 240 degrees without losing its properties. It is high in vitamin E and has antioxidant properties, so your cellular health and skin will benefit from it.
types of oils

What is the best oil for frying?

The time has come to decide what our oil is going to be for frying, and we already see that it is not easy given the wide variety that exists. One factor we must take into account when making our choice is the smoke point ; this is when the oil begins to evaporate. Right at this moment, the oil begins to deteriorate. The temperature at which it happens depends somewhat on the physicochemical properties of each oil. Among those with a higher smoke point, we find low acid extra virgin olive oil (210 °C) and high oleic sunflower oil (232 °C). Both are excellent and perfectly withstand the high temperatures of frying. EVOO, which has a higher price, provides all its antioxidant and repairing power; while sunflower oil, with less flavor and odor, can offer a more neutral frying.

What oil to use in an air fryer?

The wonderful thing about an air fryer is that we don't have to worry that the oil we use is low in calories. Simply, hardly any oil is used in this appliance. We will have very few calories, apart from those provided by the food to be cooked. Oil - free fryers are an advanced example of this revolutionary technology. They achieve a similar result to immersion in hot oil, but they only circulate very hot air between the food. The end result is a fried food without any of the inevitable fats that oil brings. The secret is air circulation . Unlike an oven, an oil-free fryer moves air thanks to fans located inside it. The oil is only used at a testimonial level and is sprayed on foods that lack fat (such as potatoes or breasts) to prevent them from sticking. Given the small amount of oil needed, the ideal would be to use a good low-acidity extra olive oil.

We hope that knowing the different types of oil will help you to use the most suitable one for you and your way of cooking. And if you want to fry without oil, remember that there is a fascinating way to do it.