Healthy oils

It has long been known that certain vegetable oils are indispensable for a healthy diet. These different oils are said to have special properties and benefits. However, many vegetable oils do not tolerate heat. If they are heated too much, their valuable ingredients are destroyed and even carcinogenic substances are released. Therefore it is best to use only those oils with a high smoke point (starting from 220 degrees C, or 428 degrees F) for frying. Refining an oils can increase its smoke point. This makes it possible to use oils typically unsuited to strong heat in frying and high heat. How to best use the different oils is explained in this article.

Olive oil poured from a bottle into a bowl

Linseed oil

Linseed oil is the vegetable alternative to fish oil. No other vegetable oil contains as many omega-3 fatty acids as linseed oil. Omega-3 fatty acids protect against vascular calcification, improve the elasticity of blood vessels, prevent thrombosis and can even inhibit tumor growth. Linseed oil must not be heated; rather, it should only be drizzled over food shortly before consumption. Only buy linseed oil in small quantities. It is very sensitive to light and heat and quickly turns rancid. It is best to buy it in a small, dark bottle and keep it in the refrigerator. Never heat linseed oil.

Olive oil

Olive oil with its various ingredients protects us from cancer and even helps us lose weight. Scientists have found special fatty acids in the oil that release a hormone that reduces appetite, prevents cravings and also lowers cholesterol levels. Olive oil is ideal for the preparation of salads, vegetables and fish. With a smoke point of 175 degrees C (350 degrees F), extra virgin olive oil is suitable only for steaming. For frying use unrefined olive oil, whose smoke point is 220 degrees C (428 degrees F).

Walnut oil

Studies have shown that one teaspoon of walnut oil per day keeps blood pressure stable and reduces stress-related high blood pressure. Ideal for stewed dishes and salads. The smoke point is 160 degrees C (320 degrees F).

Hempseed oil

The optimal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids of 1 : 3 makes hemp oil an ideal health oil. It stimulates the metabolism and protects the cells from free radicals. Use only as salad dressing or drizzle over finished warm dishes. The smoke point is 120 degrees C (250 degrees F).

Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil strengthens the entire immune system with its ingredients and is said to benefit men with prostate problems especially. Pumpkin seed oil is particularly well suited to cold dishes such as salads, and tasty in pumpkin soup. The smoke point is 120 degrees C (250 degrees F).

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil with its high vitamin E content protects us from vascular deposits and prevents cell damage. It retains its vitamin content even in refined products, which makes it ideal for frying. The smoke point is 225 degrees C (437 degrees F).

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has very special fatty acid compounds which benefit the energy supply of our brain. The fatty acids prevent inflammation and, according to the latest studies, protect our teeth, as coconut oil attacks the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Ideal for use in baked cereals and in the preparation of vegetables. The smoke point of coconut oil is 195 degrees C (383 degrees F) and is therefore also suitable for browning and searing. Coconut oil is not liquid at room temperature, but cream-like.

Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil has an optimum ratio of 2 : 1 monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fatty acids, which has a positive effect on blood fat levels. The arteries are protected from deposits and thus counteract arteriosclerosis. The high vitamin E content acts as an antioxidant and protects against free radicals and cancer. The smoke point is 190 degrees C (375 degrees F), which makes natural rapeseed oil suitable for steaming vegetables, etc. In the US, rapeseed oil is often referred to as canola oil but there do exist differences between the two. 

List of smoke points

Oil Smoke point in C / F
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil 130 - 190 * C / 265 - 375 * F
Refined rapeseed oil 220 * C / 428 * F
Coconut oil 195 * C / 383 * F
Cold-pressed olive oil 130 - 175 * C / 265 - 345 * F
Refined olive oil 220 * C / 428 * F
Hempseed oil 120 * C / 248 * F
Linseed oil -
Pumpkin seed oil 120 * C / 248 * F
Cold-pressed sunflower seed oil 107 * C / 225 * F
Refined sunflower seed oil 225 * C / 437 * F
Cold-pressed walnut oil 160 * C / 320 * F

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