Olive oil and canola are staples in most kitchens but it’s great to rotate in some other oils to help introduce new flavors.
When choosing oils, smoke points should be considered.
“Smoke points are the temperatures at which smoke comes continuously from the surface of heated fats,” says dietitian Brooke Schantz, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, CEO and founder of Bitchin' Nutrition.
Once oil breaks down into a visible gas, the flavors of the food being cooked change, and unhealthy free radicals are produced. Oils with a medium smoke point are the most beneficial for everyday use because they are perfect for baking, stir-frying, sautéing or low-heat baking.
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Here are five oils, all with medium smoke points, that are great for everyday cooking and sure to boost your cooking arsenal.
Five Oils Perfect for Everyday Use
Grape Seed Oil
Pressed from the seeds of grapes, grape seed oil has a medium-high smoke point and can be substituted for olive oil.
Contents: Grape seed oil contains omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. It also contains beta-carotene and vitamins E and C.
Usage: With a clean, light taste, grape seed oil is great for stir-frying or sautéing. Grape seed oil can also be added to dressings or mayonnaise. For a flavor boost, the oil can also be infused with spices such as garlic or rosemary.
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Made from pressed hemp seeds, this oil is clear to light green in color, and has a pleasantly nutty flavor. Darker colored hemp oils will have a grassier taste, but all hemp oils need refrigeration.
Contents: Hemp oil is high in vitamin E and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Usage: Drizzle the oil over stuffed potatoes for a flavor boost, use in your next coleslaw, or add a little into a berry smoothie.
A higher price stops it from gracing most kitchen cupboards, but walnut oil is extracted from English walnuts and is full of essential fatty acids. Cooking it at higher temperatures rapidly reduces the nutritional value.
Contents: Walnut oil is comprised of nearly 50 percent linoleic acid, which is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. The oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Usage: Because cooking it often reduces flavor and nutritional value, the oil can be added to many dishes like hearty soups or even drizzled over vegetables, grilled meats, fish or pasta.
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