Healthy Fats for Cooking
Fat doesn’t make you fat! – Do you believe this statement?
Well, read on:
Us mere mortals require dietary fats to provide us with energy and are vital for brain function, hormone balance, healthy cell membranes, proper liver function, to the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus a whole lot more.
Also, no surprises here, fats make food taste good and give us that feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a nutritious & delicious meal.
Quality Fat – is there such a thing?
You’ve heard the term “You are what you eat” basically, it means butter from a cow that has been fed grains, artificial nutrients, and given antibiotics is a completely different food than butter from cows raised on New Zealand’s beautiful green pastures, or virgin oils like coconut & avocado are completely different oils when compared to “seed Oils” extracted by chemical means from genetically modified plants!
Knowing the source of the raw materials and how they have been processed to extract the oil is very important as many “vegetable or seed oils” are extracted with the aid of toxic solvents like hexane!
Focusing on good, quality sources of fats & oils is far better than trying to sort out the bad from the good. For butter and ghee, opt for grass-fed if possible. For oils, that means cold pressed, extra virgin, and sometimes organic, especially for olive oil because olives are a heavily pesticide sprayed crop.
Fats to Avoid
Focusing on the source of the oil or fat as mentioned above and their smoke-point or ideal cooking heat is about all you need to concern yourself with when choosing healthy cooking fats & oils.
There are however a few unnatural fats that it’s best to avoid when possible. These include trans-fats, hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats, and industrially processed vegetable oils, all of which are inflammatory to the body and often seen as ingredients in various finished products.
Additionally, there are some fats that are healthy but… become unhealthy when cooked at high temperatures (more on this below).
Saturated fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature and are highly stable and safe for higher heat cooking. Saturated fats are found in high amounts in animal fats, like ghee (60% saturated), and tropical oils, like coconut oil (90% saturated). Saturated fats are very important to maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are relatively stable and safe for medium to lower heat cooking. Monounsaturated fats are found in high amounts in oils like avocado oil (73% monounsaturated but still good for high heat cooking) and olive oil (73% monounsaturated).
Polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid and are unstable if heated, so they are not safe for cooking. Polyunsaturated fats are found in high amounts in fish, flax, nuts, and seeds. Most fish oils, nut oils, and seed oils should never be heated.
The Eight Best Fats and Oils for Everyday Cooking
These are the eight cooking fats and oils we suggest you have in your pantry, in no particular order:
- Cocavo (blend of Avocado Oil & Coconut Oil)
- Cocavo Ghee (Blend of Ghee, Coconut Oil & Avocado Oil)
- Cocavo Vegan Ghee (Blend of Coconut Oil & Avocado Oil)
- Extra Virgin Avocado Oil (salad oil & high-heat cooking oil)
- Coconut Oil (Refined or Extra Virgin)
- Cocavo Hot Wok or Sizzle & Drizzle Oil
- Extra Hemp Seed Oil (salad oil only)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (salad oil only)
For high heat cooking (frying, baking, broiling, and roasting) Cocavo Oils, Cocavo Ghee, Cocavo vegan ghee, Cocavo Hot Wok / Sizzle & Drizzle, Extra Virgin Avocado oil are best.
For medium heat cooking (quick stir-frying, light sautéing), all of the above plus, coconut oil, and olive oil are good.
For drizzling on salads and use in recipes where heat is not used, Extra Virgin Hemp Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Avocado Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What Happens When Fats or Oils Get Too Hot?
The cooking recommendations above are based on the smoke points of the fats and oils. A smoke point is the temperature in which a fat begins to break down, seen when it starts to smoke in the pan.
When a fat is heated beyond its smoke point, the chemical composition of the fat changes which produces toxic fumes, releases free radicals, and creates harmful carcinogens.
Here are the approximate smoke points for my five favourite everyday cooking oils, from highest to lowest. Keep these temperatures in mind when deciding which fat or oil to use.
- Avocado Oil –safe up to 230C
- Cocavo Ghee– safe up to 230C
- Cocavo Vegan Ghee – safe up to 230C
- Cocavo Oils – safe up to 200C
- Hot Wok / Sizzle & Drizzle – safe up to 230C
- Coconut Oil– safe up to 180C
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil– safe up to 180C
- Extra Virgin Hemp Seed Oil – best not heated and only used as a cold oil for salads, smoothies etc.
Here at Cocavo, we offer a wide range of cold-pressed, unrefined, and high-quality cooking oil products at affordable prices. Be sure to check them out so you can start investing in your health today!
Cocavo is made from premium all natural ingredients, providing a sweet and delicious, yet delicate flavor.
It is the perfect cooking oil to enhance a wide variety of dishes from curries to stir-fries. Cocavo is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Cocavo Light is made from pure coconut oil and extra virgin avocado oil. The delicious, buttery yet mild flavor does not have the aroma or taste of coconut making it the perfect cooking oil for everyday use.
Cocavo Light is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.
Chili and Lime
Cocavo is carefully infused with selected chili and lime oils giving you the perfect blend. Cocavo enhances and brings out the flavors in dishes from seafood to stir-fry. The subtle hint of chili is perfect.
Cocavo Chili and Lime is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.