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Healthy Fats: How to Cook with Good Fats the Right Way

Using the right fats for cooking is important for your health, but using them the right way is just as important. Afterall, you do not want to turn “good fats” into “bad fats” simply by using them the wrong way.

Below is a simple chart with the different oils and what you can use them for, this is for quick and easy reference in the future. Underneath this chart is a more “in-depth” listing which explains more about the oils and why they should only be used in certain ways. Please do not skip over this, read the explanations at least once so you understand the reasoning behind it that you may choose the right oils for the right cooking job to help keep you and your family healthy.

Healthy Oils Quick Reference Chart

High-Heat Medium Heat Baking No Heat Oils
Coconut Oil Sesame Oil Butter Flax Oil
Palm Oil / Shortening Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Coconut Oil Hemp Oil
Grapeseed Oil Coconut Oil
Avocado Oil Butter


More In-depth Information on How to Cook with “Good Fats” the Right Way

High Heat: Virgin Coconut Oil is the best oil for high temperatures, it can take temps up to 350F so it is great for frying. Grapeseed Oil is another high-heat oil, but use in moderation as it is very high in omega 6. For good health, our diets should consist of a 2:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. When choosing an avocado oil look for unrefined varieties for the best taste and health benefits.

Medium Heat: Sesame oil (another omega 6 fat, though not as high as grapeseed oil, so still use in moderation), extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter are all great at medium heat and work well for sauteing. (Note: do not allow olive oil to smoke, it will turn rancid when heated too high. So if it smokes, it has already turned rancid.)

Baking: The best oils for baking are coconut oil and butter. If baking at temps below 325F, you may use extra-virgin olive oil. If you are coating a pan or baking sheet, it is best to use only coconut oil.

No Heat Oils: Flax Oil and Hemp Seed Oil are great for you, but should not be heated. Only added to food after it has been cooked. For example, drizzle over a salad to get a boost of healthy omega 3’s. Remember to keep these oils in the refrigerator.