25 Sep

The Skinny on Oils

Article by Tara Parker-Pope,
Photo by Peter DaSilva,

Cooking oil is one of the most common ingredients in any household cupboard. But how much do you really know about it?

I found a great primer on the subject in, surprisingly, the latest “Supermarket Smarts” column of Diabetes Self-Management magazine. Registered dietitian Lea Ann Holzmeister of Tempe, Ariz., has compiled a useful nutrition table comparing different types and brands of oils. Her article describes every type of oil imaginable, from avocado to walnut (including a tasty-sounding pumpkin seed oil), and explains which oils can be used in high-temperature cooking and which should be saved for salad dressing.

Ms. Holzmeister, who is also the author of The Ultimate Calorie, Carb & Fat Gram Counter, says she compiled the article because so many consumers are confused about the health effects of fats. While a tablespoon of any type of oil adds about 120 calories to your meal, she notes, adding a healthy fat can make you feel full and help you eat less.

Cooking oils naturally furnish 10 to 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin E; some fortified brands provide as much as 30 percent. Some oils (canola, flaxseed, walnut and soybean) contain omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats most people think are found only in fish.

So what oils should every cook have in the kitchen? Start with olive oil and canola, says Ms. Holzmeister. And if you want to add variety and health to your cooking, she suggests peanut oil.

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One Response to “The Skinny on Oils”

  1. Culinary Schools » Blog Archive » The Skinny on Oils Says:

    […] Athens Banner-Herald wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptArticle by Tara Parker-Pope, Photo by Peter DaSilva, Cooking oil is one of the most common ingredients in any household cupboard. […]

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