1. Olive oil
Rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats, olive oil can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
Tip: Olive oil can be used for cooking, baking, salad dressings and dips, but it is light and heat- sensitive, so store it in an opaque bottle away from the stove.
2. Rice bran oil
Packed with vitamin E and antioxidants, this nutty-tasting oil has an ideal ratio of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ fats and helps lower cholesterol. Researchers claim it also has anti-cancer and anti-infection properties.
Tip: “Rice bran oil has a high smoke point, so use it for stir-frying or deep-frying at high temperatures,” says Milena Katz from the Dietitians Association of Australia.
3. Grapeseed oil
Made from dried and pressed garpeseeds, grapeseed oil is high in polyphenols, like resveratrol potent antioxidants which fight free radicals and slow the ageing process.
Tip: Grapeseed oil has a subtle buttery flavour and a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it’s a good cooking substitute. “It’s also good in salads, hummus or drizzled on baked vegetables,” says Katz.
4. Peanut oil
This Asian looking staple contains a heart-healthy blend of monostaurated and polyunsaturated fats. It’s also rich in vitamin E, which boosts immunity and keeps your eyes and brain healthy.
Tip: Peanut oil also has a high smoke point, so it can handle high temperatures. It’s nutty flavour is better suited to savoury dishes than baking. Avoid cold-pressed, unrefined peanut oil if you have nut allergies.
5. Avocado oil
This delicate-tasting oil has a low-saturated fat content and plenty of cholesterol- lowering monosaturates even more so than olive oil.
Tip: Avocado oil is more of a gourmet than cooking oil. “It can turn bitter when heated, so it is best used for drizzling on top of foods,” says Katz.
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