The healthy aspect of all cooking oils varies depending on the type of oil, how it is processed and how it is cooked. It is in our hands to choose wisely. We have to choose cooking oils that have healthy fats and a high smoking point. We are familiar with the types of fatty acids in oil. It includes PUFAs, MUFAs, omega -3 – fatty acids and omega – 6 – fatty acids. The second important thing to consider is the smoke point.
Let us understand what smoke points are in depth.
The smoke point is when the oil breaks down into free fatty acids and produced visible smoke.
Understanding about smoke point is essential to choose a healthy cooking oil because the main objective is to select the one which retains the nutritional value and also improves health. Studies have proved that heating oil beyond its smoke point can result in the formation of cancer causing agents.
- Choose a cooking oil which has a high smoke point when you want to stir-fry or deep-fry. e.g. avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil. MUFAs enriched oil tend to have higher smoke point.
- Be aware of the temperature of the oil. Do not leave oil in the pan for a long time. If you do so the oil will break down and release a chemical called acrolein. This is the reason for the burnt smell and taste in certain foods which require long cooking time.
- Pumpkin seed oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil have Low smoke points and are advised to use them for salad dressing or only for garnishing. PUFAs rich oil have a lower smoke point
- It is recommended not to reuse frying oil because of this nature of forming harmful radicals in the form of trans fats.
We hope you will have a clear understanding about the relationship between temperature and cooking oil as you come to the end of this blog. Happy cooking!