Which Cooking Oil to Use (And When) – The Complete Guide

How on earth does one decide which cooking oil to pick up when something new slips onto the grocery shelves everyday?

In most parts, the oil we use in the kitchen largely depends on the state or country we belong. Although different culture have specific oils that make their cuisine like how they are, delicious and ‘fit in beautifully’, one thing we should not forget that our lifestyle has changed “scary” in the last couple of decades. Cholesterol, diabetes and heart diseases have become an everyday discussion. Since, it’s different story altogether now, with so many new types of oils across the groceries, it is important to know about the “Cooking Oils That’re Best for Your Heath” and which cooking oil to use and when?

Why is it said – “Let’s Eat Raw Garlic Everyday” ?

Oils Change into Harmful Components When Overheated



Oils tend to behave differently when they are heated; their colour and texture changes. Their nutritional properties and taste also go through degrees of fluctuations.

When oils reach their smoking point, quite a few nutrients are destroyed which can sometime create potential harmful compounds. Hence, knowing the smoke point in oils is an important element.

Since, each type of oil has varying amounts of Fats – Saturated, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated, leading nutritionists tell us to limit our oil consumption to 2 tsp (teaspoon) a day. (Learn How to Get a Nutrition Degree Online – Step by Step Guide)

That’s how far the quantity goes, but what about the quality? Let’s get to that part!!

How To Recognize The Goodness Of Oils?


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a) High Smoke (Flash) Point

What is it?

Smoke point refers to a temperature at which oil starts to burn or overheat.

Does it matter?

Beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals (are varying compounds that provide colour, odour and taste in plants) of the oil are destroyed when it is over heated.

Overheating also produces free radicals.


For high temperature cooking (deep frying, pan frying etc.) choose oil with high smoke point. Use low smoke point oils for dressings and drizzling. By the way…. Warning! Are You Reheating These Foods That Could Kill You?

b) Healthy Balance of Polyunsaturated (omega 3 & 6) and Monounsaturated Fats



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What are they?

Healthy fats help regulate cholesterol balance in body and reduce the risk of blood clotting, BP, plaque built and arthritis, improve heart functioning and prevent Cancer.

Does it matter?

Refined oils are the primary source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 Fatty Acids and Monounsaturated Fats.

c) High in Vitamin E as Antioxidants


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What is it?

Vitamin E is a collective group of fat soluble compounds with distinct antioxidant properties naturally found in foods and cooking oil.

Does it matter?

Protect tissues and cell from free radicals’ damages, prevents cardio vascular diseases and cancer.

You may also be interested in 11 Eating Habits That Will Help You Stay Fit Without Exercise

6 Best Cooking Oils​ for Hearty Us!

1)  Extra Virgin Olive Oil



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Characteristics: High Vitamin E and Polyphenols (micronutrients with prebiotic and antioxidant properties)

Smoke Point: 410° F.

Monosaturation: 78%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: High

Uses: Salad dressing, sautéing, medium heat frying

Storage: Longest (2-3 years) shelf life, Store in cool dark place

2) Canola Oil


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Characteristics : High Alpha-linolenic acid (an Omega-3 fat)

Smoke Point: 400° F.

Monosaturation: 62%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: High

Uses: Sautéing, Fan Frying and Baking

Storage: 2 Years Shelf Life, Refrigerate or Store in Cool Dark Place

Relevant: 21 Killer Cooking Hacks (and Secrets) Nobody Will Teach You

3) Coconut Oil



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Characteristics : High Saturated fat (86%), Lauric Acid (saturated fat), HLD Cholesterol Boost

Smoke Point: 350° F.

Monosaturation: 86%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Low

Uses: Baking, Frying and Sautéing

Storage: One Year Shelf Life, Store in Cool Dark Place or Refrigerate

25 Miraculous Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Personal Hygiene

4) Rice Bran Oil


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Characteristics : Good source of Vitamin E, Linoleic Acid

Smoke Point: 490° F.

Monosaturation: 38%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: low

Uses: Deep frying, Stir Frying, Baking, Sautéing

Storage: 1 – 1.5 years shelf life, Store in Cool, Dry Place or Refrigerate

5) Safflower Oil



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Characteristics : High Vitamin E, Omega 6 Fatty Acid (Linoleic)

Smoke Point: 450° F.

Monosaturation: 15%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Low

Uses: Searing, Deep frying, Fan Frying, Salad Dressing, Roasting and Grilling

Storage: 2 Years Shelf Life, Cover Tight, Store in Cool Place

Also read: 13 Healthy & Natural Substitutes for Sugar (Quit Sugar Forever!)

6) Walnut Oil


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Characteristics : Low Omega 6 Fatty Acid, High

Smoke Point: 320° F.

Monosaturation: 24%

Omega 3 Fatty Acid: High

Uses: Salad Dressing and Drizzling

Storage: 6 – 8 Months (Very Low) Shelf Life, Store in Refrigerator Only