What makes for a good cooking oil? Science, please!


(Not a Chef) #21

Any Omega-3 in Canola will be ALA, which has conversion rates from meh to awful to DHA and EPA. ALA is the “essential” omega-3, because there is a conversion process. But we’re talking single digit percentage of ALA consumed will turn to EPA, if I don’t have it twisted. You get peak 30% conversion from DHA.

It’s better to just eat some fatty fish, or take a marine supplement, assuming you check them periodically for rancidity.

Which is pretty much what Phinney says in that video in the 5th minute.

(Alec) #22

Don’t let @ladylyssa catch you saying that… she’ll be after you for all those TLAs :wink:

(Aimee Moisa) #23

Haha! I have found my deputy!

(Ron) #24

Canola oil comes from rapeseed, a completely unpalatable seed rich in erucic acid, which is bitter and rather toxic. Canola oil is rapeseed oil stripped of erucic acid, as I detailed in this previous post. It gets a lot of attention from doctors as a “heart healthy” oil (one of the “good” fats) rich in omega-3s, but the fact that canola processing generally uses upwards of 500 degrees means a good portion of the Omega-3s could be rancid on the shelf.

(Alec) #25

From memory it was the high heat treatment that makes any oil a serious health hazard. Need to find the science.


My memory is that the hexane angle is pretty nasty, too.

(Regina) #27

A bit off topic but erucic acid always makes me think of Lorenzo’s oil. https://www.myelin.org/lorenzos-oil/

(Ron) #28

Canola oil is made with a highly unnatural processing method that involves high heat, deodorization and the toxic solvent hexane. Significant amounts of trans fats are formed during this process.

(Alec) #29

The rats definitely need to go on a well-formulated ketogenic diet… do you think they know the mice?

(Regina) #30

So are cold pressed oils okay in general?

(Ron) #31

A Closer Look at Cold Pressing
Unlike refined oils, cold pressed oils retain their nutritional value, taste is also better. Refined oils should be avoided because of their degraded nutrition, yet they have become the norm in the food supply.

The term is of German origin - ‘kalt geschlagen’, which translates to ‘cold pummeled’. In the EU, the term is clearly defined but in America has a looser definition and can even be used for some refined oils!

Cold pressing takes longer, it is more expensive, and that’s why the big food companies don’t use it (in those circumstances where they could that is!)

The technique as it implies is extremely concerned with the amount of heat used in the process. In contrast, extremely high temperatures are used to refine oils, in many cases this process is needed to even make the oil palatable. If it has to be treated with extreme heat (450 degrees) and chemical processes (bleaching, hydrogenating etc) before you can eat it, then it should definitely be avoided!

And lets not forget that heating oils can create carcinogenic compounds, and that applies even in home cooking, so these modern refined oils raise many health issues.

Traditionally, the seeds will have been “pummelled” using extremely heavy granite millstones. These days, heavy stainless steel presses are used. There will of course be some natural heat generated through friction, but the slow process keeps this to the absolute minimum. Absolutely no chemicals are used.

An excerpt from this article-

(Regina) #32

Thanks - I thought so. ASBunny recommended Hollywood Safflower Oil, among other things. ($$$$$$ :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:) But the best I could find at the local supermarket, and the taste is okay.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #33

According to my dictionary, that’s where the name comes from: CANada Oil Low Acid

Found this table:

and this study:

(Katie Bobka) #34

Very helpful! Thank you for the share. :slight_smile:

(#inforthelonghaul, KCKO, KCFO) #35

As long as the heat point is under 350F. it is ok. I prefer to keep EVOO for dressing foods after they are cooked or for salads.

(Bunny) #36

•Tallow :+1:

•Suet :+1:

•Lard :+1:

•Vegetable Oil :-1:

Just got a stove top deep fryer in the mail today and vegetable oils shall not touch thy bottom!

The case for extra virgin organic vegetable/plant oils/fats?

I think it (heat or pre-treated-chemical-processing?) changes the chemical composition of the raw fresh (not sitting on shelf or in a warehouse; racidness/oxidation?) vegetable oils that is supposed be good (has it been processed with heat or chemicals?) for us into a nasty poison (not just specifically chemical hydrogenated processing?) and why French fries fried in vegetable oil are so bad for you, especially when you add sugar or high carbs into the mix with either kind of oils; vegetable fats/animal fats?


  1. “…in 1990, in the face of public concern about the health risks of cholesterol in animal-based cooking oil, McDonald’s and the other major fast-food houses switched to vegetable oil. That wasn’t an improvement, however. In the course of making vegetable oil suitable for deep frying, it is subjected to a chemical process called hydrogenation, which creates a new substance called a trans unsaturated fat. In the hierarchy of fats, polyunsaturated fats—the kind found in regular vegetable oils—are the good kind; they lower your cholesterol. Saturated fats are the bad kind. But trans fats are worse: they wreak havoc with the body’s ability to regulate cholesterol. According to a recent study involving some eighty thousand women, for every five-per-cent increase in the amount of saturated fats that a woman consumes, her risk of heart disease increases by seventeen per cent. But only a two-per-cent increase in trans fats will increase her heart-disease risk by ninety-three per cent. Walter Willett, an epidemiologist at Harvard—who helped design the study—estimates that the consumption of trans fats in the United States probably causes about thirty thousand premature deaths a year. …” - Newyorker Magazine
  1. Fully Hydrogenated Lard vs. Partially Hydrogenated Lard?


  1. Why Grass Fed TALLOW is a Great Choice for Cooking
  1. THE CASE FOR GRASS FED vs. GRAIN FED? “…the concept of fat-soluble activators, which serve as potent catalysts for mineral absorption. Without them, minerals cannot by used by your body, no matter how plentiful they may be in your diet. …” …More

Help: Animal Fats, Basic Kitchen Techniques Anywhere? (A Dummie's Guided to Lard?)
(Not a Chef) #37

I guess I didn’t link the studies about heat breakdown of oils not being that related to smoke points. Sorry.

I am using avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil (of confirmed origin), pure olive oil, butter and some occasional tallow and lard. Things I don’t use: any seed oil, aside from a bit of toasted sesame seed oil, which is used for flavor on some Asian dishes. Such small amounts and infrequent use as to be unworthy of discussion. I would use coconut, but I have no problem with butter, so don’t see the need.

Seed oils would include: Canola, safflower, corn, vegetable, and soy.

Normally, I’d take the disclosure on this study as reason to dismiss:

But the Beeb commissioned a similar study with different folks, and got the same result.

Also, some protection against heterocyclic animes, which are definitely carcinogenic.

(Christina) #38

I love Avocado oil. Love the taste, love cooking with it - just love it. Canola oil is not good for Hashimoto’s so I avoid it, personally.

(Troy) #39

Thread rehash
Came across these nifty charts
Hopefully helpful to some


I saw in your top graph that it mentioned to avoid processed hydrogenated lard. 2KetoDudes’ Richard Morris disputes that claim-

"We have one here in Australia called Superfry which is rendered beef drippings, but on it’s nutritional information it is called hydrogenated animal fat.

I suspect what happens is beef drippings aren’t particularly shelf stable because they have a mix of saturated, and unsaturated fatty acids. Cows are like us, our fat is mostly palmitic (saturated), and Oleic (mono-unsaturated) with a little polyunsaturated mixed in.

So maybe to make a shelf stable, solid at room temp in a Walmart they have hydrogenated the unsaturated fatty acids.

But the other thing this could be, is that saturated fatty acids are saturated with hydrogen, by definition they are fully hydrogenated - naturally. So THOSE hydrogenated fats aren’t bad at all.

The reason hydrogenation has such a bad rap is it’s a method for turning cheap plant oils (corn/soy oil) solid at room temperature by flattening polyunsaturated fatty acids so they stack - by making them into trans fats."

"…hydrogenated lard is a whole heck of a lot better for us than hydrogenated seed oils.

Ideally, if you want the best possible option, you would slow cook pork fat and render the lard off yourself then you would end up with a product that is slightly more liquid than commercial hydrogenated lard.

But if we are talking about a yardstick from bad at -100 points, neutral at 0 points, and good at 100 pts, hydrogenated seed oil is probably -90, hydrogenated lard or tallow is probably 90, and home rendered lard or tallow is probably 95, and home rendered lard or tallow from grass fed animals is 100."