Healthy Benefits of Oils and Fats

Dilyana Kalinova 09.10.2019

Many people share the view that fat is an enemy of a healthy lifestyle, but this is not true at all! The human body cannot normally perform its vital functions without fat intake, because they help stimulating the optimal maintenance of body tissues and normal blood sugar. Adding to the fact that they are an excellent source of energy, fats actually prove to be extremely important for our health. Of course, there are different types, each of which offers different advantages. In order to prepare the food healthy, it is crucial to get the answer to the question: "What happens to the fat after heating them?" We have brought together the most common healthy oils and fats in one household, compare their characteristics and qualities.

ATTENTION! When cooking at high temperature, it is crucial to use oils and fats that are stable and resistant to oxidation! When interacted with oxygen, it is highly likely that the fat will oxidize, resulting in the formation of free radicals and other harmful compounds for your health.

How to Choose a Healthy Cooking Fat? You need to consider the following two factors:

  1. Oxidation resistance during heat treatment! The heat-resistant oils and fats that consist of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat. The fat which has a high content of polyunsaturated fat is not recommended for cooking.
  2. The temperature! When cooking – it is necessary to know at how many degrees does the fat turn into smoke!

Check out our list of different healthy cooking fats:

Olive Oil

The most popular healthy cooking fat is olive oil. Olive oils usually have the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats among cooking oils, they are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, beneficial herbal compounds, and can improve the health of your heart. It contain 70% monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as a large amount of antioxidants and vitamins K and E. An interesting fact is that olive oil is the main source of fat in Mediterranean cuisine and statistics show that people in these countries very rarely suffer from heart disease. The best olive oil is cold pressed because it has not undergone a heat or chemical treatment and the oil is extracted mechanically after the first olive pressing.

How to use it best?

Extra virgin is the olive oil that is most suitable for salad dressing. Refined olive oil is suitable for sautéing.

What is the point of combustion?

Extra virgin - 160 ° C, virgin - 216 ° C, pomas - 238 ° C, extra light - 242 ° C. Refined or pure olive oil is suitable when cooking at high temperature.

Sunflower Oil

Although this is one of the most used cooking fats, many people are unaware of the types and specifics of sunflower oil and buy the first thing they see on the supermarket shelf. There are two types of sunflower oil - natural (unrefined, cold pressed sunflower oil) and refined (single, double refined, etc.). What are the differences between them? Natural does not contain toxic residues from chemical processes and is saturated with vitamin E, omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids. It is used only in the cold kitchen, or added to cooked food only after it has cooled down.

Refined oils are being produced after a chemical extraction of dried or roasted seeds. It has undergone multiple filtration processes resulting in the loss of all its protein residues.

How to use it best?

Although refined oil is often used in baking and frying, nutritionists believe it is extremely harmful to the body. The reason is that the fatty acids are oxidized and saturated. It is recommended that you use refined oil, boil your food with it or stew it with water vapor - this will eliminate the risk of oxidation of essential fatty acids.

What is the point of combustion?

Refined oil begins to smoke at 227 degrees Celsius and unrefined oil at 107 ° C.


It is an excellent choice for a source of monounsaturated fat. In addition, it contains valuable vitamins needed by the body - A, E and K2 and linoleic acid, which helps to speed up metabolic processes and effectively accelerate weight loss. This is why it is the preferred choice in a variety of healthy diets!

When we talk about this kind of fat, we should also mention another form of it - melted butter. It separates water and proteins and leaves us with a pure fat. According to research results, regular use of this kind of fat can lower bad cholesterol levels and successfully cope with various internal infections of the body.

How to use it best?

You can use cow butter for baking, sautéing and spreading it on bread slices. Due to the fact that melted butter has a very high smoking point, its use in the kitchen is really great and can be used for any type of cooking.

What is the point of combustion?

The smoke point of cow butter is 177 ° C and that of melted cow oil is 255 ° C.


Although th8is kind of fat has a number of benefits, lard is often underestimated when using it for food preparation. Its content varies depending on what the animals from which it is extracted are being fed. If they have eaten mostly cereals, their fats will be rich in polyunsaturated ones, but if they have been only fed with grass, the result would be a high percentage of saturated and monounsaturated fats.

There are actually some interesting facts that you may not have known about lard. Especially for the winter season is an excellent cooking option because it contains Vitamin D. In addition, it supplies the body with Vitamin A and E and thanks to its unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, consuming it can help purify the body of accumulated toxins and harmful substances. That is why pork is one of the best solutions for creating healthy culinary temptations.

How to use it best?

The lard is highly saturated and therefore resistant to heat treatment, which makes it a good choice for any type of food preparation.

What is the point of combustion?

The flash point of this fat is 188 ° C.

Avocado Oil

The most beneficial fact about this kind of oil is that it has a rich profile of healthy nutrients: 70% monounsaturated fatty acids, 12% omega-6 acids and only 12% saturated fatty acids. Just like olive oil, avocado oil also has a low content of polyunsaturated fat (10%). Its consumption is recommended for people who want to increase their intake of healthy fats in their diet.

How to use it best?

Best choice for cooking at high temperature, you can use for frying, baking, sautéing and marinating as the fat does not oxidize, sunbathe and does not form lipid radicals.

What is the point of combustion?

Burning point - 249 ° C.

Coconut Oil

If you are looking for a good alternative to butter, you can use coconut oil - it contains 92% saturated fat, which is not better than those in other fatty oils. One of its important advantages is that it is saturated with lauric acid, which helps with flushing side problems, high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also contains vitamins K and E - important supplements for healthier hair and skin. Another positive feature of coconut oil is that it does not rot as it does not oxidize. When cooking, it does not get absorbed or spray hot oil and also retains its useful and valuable qualities at high temperature.

How to use It best?

Coconut oil is a great helper in making different dishes - from dessert to main course. You can successfully prepare any kind of recipes with it without considering exactly what the food is because its aroma is not intrusive.

What is the point of combustion?

Flash point - 177 ° C.

Walnut Oil

It is preferred oil because of its high content of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Another plus is that it has a low content of saturated fat. It is a curious fact that a tablespoon of walnut oil contains as much omega fatty acids as contained in a piece of salmon fillet. This makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians or for those who do not often consume fish. Another indisputable advantage is that, unlike most oils, walnuts are saturated with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

How to use it best?

Suitable for sautéing, pan frying, salad dressing, and also for the preparation of various desserts.

What is the point of combustion?

The combustion point is 204 ° C

Sesame Oil

It consists: polyunsaturated fat - 46%, monounsaturated fat - 40% and 14% saturated fat. Sesame oil has a strong aroma and is therefore often preferred in Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Due to its rich taste, it is not always suitable for cooking a main course recipes, but it is a great addition to the salad and other cold dishes. An important quality of sesame oil is that it has a high content of antioxidants and Vitamin E, also polyunsaturated fatty acids.

How to use it best?

There are two types of sesame oil: light is good for deep frying and dark is for light frying. Both types are great choices for salad dressing.

What is the point of combustion?

Unrefined sesame oil has a smoke point up to 177 ° C and refined - to 210 ° C.

Grape Seed Oil

It is suitable for frying and baking, because it starts to smoke at very high temperature, unlike other types of fats. It is a great choice when preparing pasta because this oil has no specific scent and absorbs other flavours very well. The curious thing is that it contains twice as much vitamin E as olive oil.

How to use it best?

Due to its resistance to oxidation it is a great choice for any kind of processing food - baking, sautéing, frying, salad dressing.

What is the point of combustion?

Its combustion point is 216 ° C. It is not recommended using it for deep frying.

Rapeseed Oil

Its composition has a high content of monounsaturated fat - 62% and polyunsaturated fat - 32%. It is suitable for healthy cooking because it has the lowest level of saturated fat among cooking oils (7%). It is also one of the few oils that contain a good vegetable source of omega-3 fats. Research results show that people who use rapeseed oil as a substitute for saturated fat in their diets have been able to lower their bad cholesterol levels.

How to use it best?

It can be used for baking and frying, but because of its more acute taste and rich aroma, it is not the preferred choice for salad dressing.

What is the point of combustion?

Its combustion point is 205 ° C.

Peanut Oil

In comparison to all other cooking oils, it has the highest content of monounsaturated fat - about half (49%), polyunsaturated fat (33%) and saturated fat (18%). Another plus is that the protein, fibre, and healthy fats that peanut oil contains are a source of extra energy for the body, which helps the maintenance of optimal weight. Consumption of peanuts increases the metabolism and thus can eliminate or reduce some of the body's metabolic disorders associated with obesity. This is a healthy and natural product that is a great choice for anyone who wants to increase their daily intake of healthy fats.

How to use it best?

It can be used to prepare all kinds of dishes. You can bake it and fry it, or prepare salad dressing with it.

What is the point of combustion?

Its combustion point is 232 ° C.


To eat healthy, you need to choose carefully not only the food itself, but also the fat that you will use when cooking it. Our advice is to check what kind of heat treatment is recommended for a given fat, because when misused, it can not only spoil the taste of the dish, but it can also lose its healthy nutrients and values.

In addition, it is extremely important to avoid any artificial substitutes for natural animal and vegetable fats - such as margarine. Forget about synthetically created products because their harms carry a number of health risks: difficulty in metabolism, rising levels of bad cholesterol, the onset of cardiovascular problems, unlocking a number of infections, and more.

Choose the healthier fat alternatives from the list above and cook smarter!

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