How to choose the best cooking oil
Which type of oil should you use for cooking? Olive? Safflower? Sunflower? Instead of giving up and reaching for the butter, use our guide to help you choose a healthy cooking oil that also tastes great. Remember that all oils have about 120 calories per tablespoon (you could eat two apples for that number of calories), so the first rule with cooking oils is to use as little as possible. Oil is fat, and too much fat can contribute to obesity.
Use a non-stick pan to fry meat and add one tablespoon of oil for the equivalent of a four-person meal.
Oils high in monounsaturated fats – such as olive oil or rapeseed oil - may actually be beneficial for your heart and arteries. If you have heart disease or are at high risk for heart disease, these oils are smart choices.
If you're looking for a burst of flavour, choose a stronger oil such as sesame, peanut or walnut. Use these oils in salad dressings instead of cooking, since they burn easily. Peanut and walnut oil also give a mild, nutty flavour to salad dressings when mixed with balsamic or other flavoured vinegar.
Corn, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats, which are good for you, but should still be used sparingly.
Boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake by choosing walnut oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel and are important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
If you're looking for a cooking oil to fry foods, choose one that won't burn quickly. Corn, safflower and soya oils are excellent choices. Remember that fried foods absorb quite a bit of the oil they are cooked in and therefore are much higher in calories and fat.