Let me begin by saying that we should always try to eat food in its natural form. When it comes to oil, it is better to eat the food that the oil is made from, than to eat the oil that is extracted from that same food. I hope this makes sense.
All oils are not the same. Some are better to use than others, depending on several factors. What do you want to use the oil for? What food is it made from? How is the oil extracted or processed? All these impact the quality of the oil. However, the most important considerations are the predominant type of fat in the oil and the smoke point of the oil.
The better types of oil are those rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats include olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, expeller pressed canola oil and sesame oil. Those rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats include flaxseed oil, walnut oil, hemp oil and fish oils.
The type of oil we should avoid are those rich in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and trans fats (hydrogenated fats). Oils rich in Omega-6 polyunsaturated to be avoided include sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and cottonseed oil.
Oils high in trans fats and probably the worst of the oils are margarine and vegetable shortening.
Oils high in saturated fats can be both good and bad. Not all saturated fats are bad. Oils high in saturated fats that can be good include coconut oil and, interestingly, ghee.
The smoke point of oil is the temperature at which oil begins to burn and smoke when cooking. When this happens, the oil is denatured and no longer suitable for use. Oils with a high smoke point is, therefore, better for cooking. Oils with high smoke points include avocado oil, almond oil, ghee, and coconut oil.In summary:• Oils good for high heat such as frying: Avocado oil, Almond oil, Ghee, Coconut oils• Oils good for low heat cooking: Extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, macadamia, almond oil• Oils good for no heat/salads: Extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, sesame oil, hemp, expeller pressed canola, avocado oil• Oils to avoid: Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, margarine and vegetable shortening.