• By Deb Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips to pick healthier oils

July 6, 2021

Your body needs some fat to function normally. However, not all fats are created equal, and it’s wise to choose healthier options whenever possible. Angie Murad, a licensed dietitian and patient educator with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, offers these tips for selecting cooking oils.

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"So both canola and olive oil are very versatile," says Murad. "They are great to use in many different recipes – even in baking."

Murad says using these unsaturated oils in place of saturated fats can help reduce the incidence of chronic conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Plant and seed oils have mono and polyunsaturated fats," explains Murad.

She says these fats help increase good cholesterol – the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. They also help lower the bad cholesterol – the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Murad says seed oils like peanut and sesame have a stronger flavor and higher smoke points, so they’re great in marinades and stir-fries. Walnut oil’s lower smoke point makes it better for dressings.

Just remember: All oils are high in calories.

"So you just want to use them in moderation," adds Murad.

She says stocking your kitchen with nonstick cookware and an oil sprayer can reduce the amount of oil you’ll need to use in each dish.

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