When it comes to choosing an oil for cooking, it's best to choose one high in monounsaturated fatty acids or saturated fat, as these are more stable at higher temperatures. For example:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Butter
  • Virgin / extra virgin coconut oils

Butter and coconut oil are both high in saturated fat, so these are a good choice for cooking. Similarly, 87% of olive oil is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, so this is also a good option. Differently, rapeseed oil has a much higher polyunsaturated fatty acid content, which makes it less ideal for cooking.

The reason we recommend avoiding oils high in polyunsaturated fats (e.g. rapeseed, soybean, canola, sunflower, or corn oil) is because these are much less stable at higher temperatures. This means they can release various harmful compounds and go rancid when heated.

As a general rule, aim to use extra virgin, cold-pressed, and unfiltered oils where possible. It's also really important to store the oils in a cool dark place and make sure you put the lid on. This will help preserve them for longer and prevent them from going rancid.

Finally, for those who are interested, there's no difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil. However, there is a difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend of cold-pressed and processed oils. So, go for any good quality coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

And at the table for drizzling or salad dressings?

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nut oil (i.e. walnut)
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Flaxseed oil

Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats (such as flaxseed oil) must be refrigerated and kept in an opaque container to prevent them from going rancid (which they do very quickly).

If you'd like to use rapeseed oil for dressings, we'd strongly recommend purchasing a high-quality, cold-pressed version, as regular rapeseed oil is highly processed. The heat during the processing can destroy heat-sensitive vitamins and cause oxidation to the oil.

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