Oils are a cook’s best friend. They impart, enhance, and carry flavors, and they help conduct heat for better cooking. But, not all oils are created equal. As a general rule for cooking oils, you want at least two — one for high heat cooking like frying, and one for dressings and finishing — but not more than you can use before they go rancid.

Anyone can toss some oil into a pan and cook, but if you want to up your cooking game, consider using different oils based on the dish you're making and how you plan to cook it. Using the right one can mean the difference between a tasty, well-cooked meal and a smoke alarm going off over your burned food.

We're not suggesting that you run out and buy a dozen different oils just in case you need them, but there is some benefit to having more than one type of cooking oil in your kitchen. Depending on whether you plan to bake, fry, broil, or grill, a different oil will yield different results in your food, and give you more control over the cooking time and temperature.

Different oils fill different needs — for health, taste, and cooking. For good health, our bodies need a variety of healthy fats found naturally in different oils. This guide will help you choose what oils are best suited for specific cooking techniques, or used raw.

Oils and fats are of 2 kinds:

Saturated fat increases blood cholesterol. Examples are all animal fats (butter, ghee, organ meats) except fish oil.

Unsaturated fat which does not have any major effect on blood cholesterol. They provide good cholesterol. Examples are all vegetable oil are predominantly unsaturated fats except palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

As a general rule, the fats which remain solid at room temperature are saturated fats and which remain liquid are unsaturated fats.

The best option is a combination of Oils:

If we use a combination of oils, then the danger of saturated fat content of one oil is counteracted by the benefits of unsaturated fat due to Omega 3 and Omega 6 content. Therefore, it is best to use groundnut oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil mixed in equal proportions.

However, it is important to realize and remember that quantity of oil is more important than the type of oil.therefore use as little oil as possible for cooking.if you are using very little oil for cooking then the type of oil doesn't matter since you are exercising and having a healthy diet.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Should I heat oil to the smoke point?

No. If oil smokes in the pan, discard it. The temperature is too high. Clean the pan and start over at a lower temperature. The point where oil smokes signals that the oil has been damaged and potentially cancer-causing properties have formed.

Which oils are genetically engineered?

Soy, corn, canola, and cotton are the most common genetically engineered (GE) crops and all are cooking oil sources. PCC does not sell any of these oils, except canola oils that are Certified Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

Can I use olive oil for all of my cooking?

No. Extra virgin olive oil deserves its reputation as a healthy culinary oil. It contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and phenols — protective compounds that provide numerous benefits. But to maximize the health benefits, we recommend using it raw for salads and dips or for lower-heat cooking.

I've heard I should not use canola oil. Why?

It is true that more than 90 percent of the canola grown in the United States is GMO, but organic and non-GMO sources are available at PCC. Canola was bred from rapeseed, which 30 years ago contained elevated levels of erucic acid considered harmful to humans. Today's canola contains less than two percent of this controversial fatty acid.

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