Healthy oils for cooking – 80/20 buyers guide

Maybe you ask yourself, how to buy healthy oils without spending a fortune? Here again my simple 80:20 approach comes into play. No need to overcomplicate things. Focus on that 20 % of healthiest oils to cook with that cover 80 % of your needs.

How to buy healthy cooking oils for clean eating

Week 1: Clever Selection

In the first week, keep it simple. For a lean approach, I recommend buying only three oil types. With a clever selection of three plant-based oils, you can master already 80 % of your (healthy) staples. Buy additional oils only when you need them.

Is olive oil healthy?
If you also include fish into your nutrition, then olive oil should be number 1 on your list. I use it for almost all of my cooking needs. Olive oil is versatile enough for just about any type of cooking or salad dressing. Milder varieties are even great for baking. It contains many monounsaturated fatty acids. Make sure you are buying virgin and cold pressed olive oil to get it as clean as possible.

Important: Even the healthiest high-quality, extra-virgin olive oils will lose their exquisite flavors and healthy components if heated too high (over 365°F). So, it is best to use it for salads or for sautéing vegetables over medium heat. If you are serious about clean eating then cooking methods that require high heat like deep-frying or roasting will be an exception in your kitchen anyway.

Is canola oil healthy?
Many people prefer the not so “clean” canola oil (from rapeseed) to use as a basic fat. It is usually processed to withstand high temperatures well and has a mild flavor. It is great for cooking, baking, or using in dressings and sauces.

It contains the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, has a high level of the precious Omega 3 fats and complements olive oil regarding its purpose and components.
If you don’t eat fish at all or you are vegan, then canola oil (combined with linseed oil) should even be your healthiest oil to cook with.

In order to avoid all genetic engineering, it is best to buy organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO versions. It is still illegal to genetically engineer any certified organic product.

Although I use canola very seldom I prefer to buy organic types for many reasons, including this one. But, be aware that cold-pressed canola oils have lower smoke points than GMO canola.

Is sesame oil healthy? 
Made from pressed seeds, it is the premier “flavor oil” for savory cooking and best used as a “seasoning”. Just the right amount adds a heavenly, nutty, undertone to sautéed vegetables, tofu, stir-fries, and sauces. It has almost equal percentages of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Is coconut oil healthy or not?
When it comes to cooking, coconut oil is a great choice with a high smoke point. It is wonderful for stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter. But it’s important to know that coconut oil contains around 90 percent saturated fat.

Although it is slightly different than the saturated fat you find in animal products it’s still important to keep your saturated fat intake under control.

So…should you have it at home?


But cooking should not be your primary reason for buying it! Coconut oil is „the Jack of all Trades“.

Many of my American friends and me too, are using it for almost everything you can imagine: As a skin moisturizer, as a wonderful deep conditioner, as a great massage oil, as an effective makeup remover and many, many other things…

buy healthy oils for cooking

Week 2: Buying advice – Moderation is Key

Although healthy fat-rich foods are packed with nutrients, moderation is the best strategy. No matter how healthy the fat – these foods tend to be very high in calories.

Be sure to carefully watch your portions of healthy fats for maximum nutritional benefits, and adhere to recommended serving sizes. 3 tablespoons of good fat per day will help you remain slim and healthy.

7 easy ways to incorporate healthy fats into your nutrition

  • combine healthy oils with Italian herbs for a bread dip
  • add olive oil to your pasta sauce
  • in place of butter, use liquid vegetable oils in cooking and at the table.
  • use almond butter as a spread on bread instead of butter
  • include healthy nuts in your diet
  • include oily fish in your diet as potent sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • use avocados in salads, dressings, sandwiches guacamole, or even as a delicious stand-alone snack.

Tell me your strategies!

What is your favorite fat for cooking? How do you implement the healthiest oils in your daily diet? Please share your ideas and opinion below in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Healthy oils for cooking – 80/20 buyers guide”

  1. My doctor told me to avoid Canola oil and instead use Grapeseed or Avocado Oil for high temperature cooking.

    • Hey TinaMarie,

      it’s always a good idea listening to your doctor;)
      Thank you for sharing Grapeseed or Avocado oils as great canola oil alternatives.
      Especially if you can’t buy organic, cold pressed, non-GMO canola oil those are viable options.

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