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Different Types of Cooking Oil

The right cooking oil can make a difference.

When it comes to cooking oils, there are abundant choices; cooking with the right oil can make a difference in taste, texture and health. Olive oil has been used extensively in the Mediterranean diet, and vegetable and canola oils are common in American households.

Here are some other types of oils that can be used for cooking:

Almond - Almond oil has a nutty flavor that distinguishes it from other oils. It is good for searing and browning.

Coconut - Virgin coconut oil is high in saturated fat and should be used in moderate portions. It has the component lauric acid, which raises both good and bad cholesterol levels.

Grapeseed - Grapeseed oil is high in Omega-6. It should also be refrigerated.

Sesame - Sesame oil should be refrigerated and also has a nutty and rich flavor.

Sunflower - Sunflower oil has a mild taste and high smoke point, making it great for cooking many dishes and absorbing its polyunsaturated fats and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Walnut - Walnut oil is known to be a good source of Omega-3. It should be stored in the refrigerator to keep from becoming rancid.

Using less oil and pan searing, rather than deep frying, enhances the flavor and health benefits. Unsaturated fats are recommended in combination with vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.

Oils should be stored in a cool and dry place. It is recommended that only two oils be used at the same time as oil left over time could lose taste as well as quality. If an oil starts to taste bitter, it should be replaced.

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