In this short but informative article, we are going to look at the best cooking oil for weight loss. Let’s say you love using cooking oil, even though you are still working hard every day to lose weight. You definitely don’t want to mess up things by using the wrong type of oil for cooking.
The best cooking oils for weight loss are; extra virgin olive oil, light olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil. Peanut oil and sesame oil are high in omega-6 fatty acids, consume them moderately.
What really makes cooking oil good for weight loss?
Well, this question is worthwhile especially when you want to avoid try and error. A few things make cooking oil worthy to be used and these are;
It should be low in Omega 6 fatty acids. Studies have found that Omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation in the body. They also link it to heart problems, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity. All these are due to chronic inflammation which is caused by Omega-6.
You will find alot of information about omega-6 fatty acids that seems to be conflicting, but omega-6 fatty acids are not completely bad. For example Havard health says; it is okay to consume Omega-6. The problem comes in when the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 gets out of proportion.
Scientists believe omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. This makes sense of the fact that these are supposed to be in good proportion in the body.
Consumption of more Omega-6 in larger amounts than you do for omega-3 becomes a huge problem because it increases inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are quite rare to find in foods today. On the other hand, you’ve got plenty of foods rich in omega-6 (oils inclusive).
It should be low in trans fats or should remain stable when being used. Artificial trans fats are not good for the body and are linked to several diseases.
Good cooking oil for weight loss should remain stable when being used in cooking. Some oils change chemical structure, taste, and smell when they are used for cooking. This is not good for both weight loss and health.
There are a few other things that would make cooking oil good for weight loss. They mostly all rotate around the 3 listed above.
Which cooking oil has the least calories?
See table below-showing smoking points and calorie content of different cooking oils.
What is the best cooking oil for weight loss?
1. Extra virgin olive oil
Arguably the most popular healthy oil you will find on the market. It is high in antioxidant content and good fats.
An important point to note with Extra Virgin Olive oil is that it degrades above 191°c. This means it’s not the best oil to use for frying. It does well for salad and other cold dishes.
2. Light olive oil
This is one of the best cooking oils for weight loss. This is the type of oil you want to use when cooking at higher temperatures. Its smoking point is 243°c which is far better than Extra Virgin Olive oil at higher temperatures.
Light olive can be used when frying, grilling, or roasting.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another one of the best cooking oils for weight loss. It has 2types; refined and unrefined.
Refined coconut oil is taken through the process where heat is used to take out the oil from coconut. The end of the entire process leaves this oil with almost no smell. This oil can be used for frying, baking, and sautéing.
On the other hand, unrefined coconut oil comes from fresh coconut. The process doesn’t include high temperatures, which is why it’s often called ‘cold-pressed’. Cold-pressed coconut oil is best used for low-temperature dishes.
4. Avocado oil
This oil has a lot of good fats, with also the highest smoke point amongst all plant oils. This means you can use this oil in a variety of cookings without fear of being altered.
Smoking point: 249°c
5. Flaxseed oil
This oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids which makes it another amazing oil for cooking. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Flaxseed oil is one the best cooking oil for weight loss since it helps in the suppression of hunger too.
This oil is best used for salad and not for high-temperature cooking.
For the oils below, even though good for weight loss, should be consumed in smaller amounts. They are high in Omega-6 fatty acids.
6. Sesame oil
This oil is made by pressing roasted oil seeds without refining. This is the closest you will get rivaling olive oil. Sesame oil also has a refined version which is best for salad dressing.
Smoking point: 350°c
7. Peanut oil
This oil is very excellent if you need to cook at high temperatures. It can be used for frying, sauteing, roasting, and baking. This oil also helps to suppress appetite which makes it one of the best cooking oils for weight loss.
What can you use instead of cooking oil?
There are a number of alternatives to cooking oil that you can use. It doesn’t matter what reason you have for substituting oil, you can still have great ways to bring out your foods. This in the end supports your weight loss goals and helps you have better health.
Some of the reasons people look for cooking oil alternatives are;
- Because of the dangers of using bad oils. The solution to this can be as simple as looking for better oils to use rather than completely doing away with cooking oil
Truth be told, many cooking oils have a vast number of health benefits that you may not want to do without. All the oils listed above are a great choice if you use them rightly.
The other solution to this can be; Learning to use the oils rightly. Different oils have different smoking points which when used wrongly can instead become hazardous to health.
- Another good reason you might be looking for alternatives is; If you just want to do away with cooking oil, completely. The solution to this is the alternatives that have been listed below. You can choose to adopt any of these in order to completely do away with cooking oils.
Alternatives to cooking oil
Use non-stick pots and pans
It’s very easy to cook without oil when you use non-stick pots and pans. The best choice is to use heavy stainless steel pans with good bottoms. When you use this option, it’s always best to use a flame diffuser in order to avoid burning the pan.
Sautéing and stir-frying with water
The trick here is to use small amounts of water that you evenly spread while you turn the food. The water can be just as little as a tablespoon or 2, which you keep adding constantly while you turn the food.
Baking with fruit puree
Fruit puree consists of fruits that have been ground, pressed, or blended. You can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of fruit puree to most baking without need for any oils.
Lard can be another good option.
Lard is basically animal fat, which is actually healthier than cooking oils. This fat has a number of advantages of which the biggest is its ability to remain stable even at high temperatures. This makes it better than most oils for which you would have to be careful due to their low smoking points.
Lard also has a number of health benefits for example; It has less saturated fat than butter, it is higher in monounsaturated fat. Lard is also rich in oleic acid (the same fatty acid contained in olive oil). This is a great alternative to the best cooking oils for weight loss.
What makes other oils bad for weight loss?
Oils that affect your general well being affect your weight loss goals too. Weight loss has got everything to do with working out consistently as well as eating healthy. For these reasons, it is very important that you choose the best cooking oil for weight loss.
The reasons below make oils bad for weight loss
- Some oils have low smoking points which make them dangerous when used at high temperatures.
- Many oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids which are known to increase inflammation in the body.
- Some vegetable oils are bad for your health as they contain trans-fats that are formed in the process of hydrogenation. Studies prove that large intakes of trans fats link to heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
Which oils are bad for you?
From the reasons above, we have seen that oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids are not good for your health. And so are oils with low smoking points (if you use them wrongly).
A list of oils high in omega-6 fatty acids
- soybean oil
- corn oil
- cottonseed oil
- sunflower oil
- rice bran oil
How do I tell if olive oil is fake?
Fake olive oil is as real as anything fake that ever existed. It’s a pain in the ass! So, you gotta open your eyes to a few things before you fall for a completely crappy product.
The problem with olive oil is that; it has either overstayed before it gets to you or has been mixed with other cheap oils. Olive oil is supposed to be simply oil pressed from olives and nothing more. However, there are always those that want to make money at the expense of others.
The ideas below can help you spot fake olive oil, however, they cannot be used as guarantees. Always trust your gut when it comes to making such judgments.
How to spot fake olive oil:
- Look for third-party certification on the label. Depending on where you live, regulators may have put labels that will give you some form of confidence when making such purchases. For example; The European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or “COOC Certified Extra Virgin” seal from the California Olive Oil Council. All these depend on where you live.
- If it is from Australia, then you stand higher chances of having it real. Australia has very strict standards, almost not anywhere in the world.
- Forget about the fancy packaging. Fancy packaging can be a distraction while you are making examinations as to the legitimacy of olive oil. Don’t fall for such lies. It can still be fake with fancy packs.
- It should at least say ‘ Extra- Virgin’. Even though this is not a guarantee to quality olive oil, without it you will be doomed. Make sure it is on the label.
- Check for the name of the mill. If they can put their name on the label, then chances are high it could be genuine.
The best cooking oil for weight loss can be difficult to sort out of the many oils, but if you carefully consider the points above, you will certainly not go wrong. If you use the oil every day, for almost everything, then you might want to consider having it with low Omega-6 fatty acids.