Consumer Reports is separating fact from fiction when it comes to cooking oils and which are the healthiest to use this holiday season.
When Chef Titus Mitchell makes his holiday specialty - Mediterranean lamb meatballs - they're deep fried. The rest of the year he uses oil more sparingly.
"You want the crispy outside and the tender inside. You can cheat on the holidays, it's not like I fry foods every day," he said.
And some cooking oils are good for you.
"You need some fat in your diet. But you want to look for oils that are made mostly of healthy fats, such as monosaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Those fats will help you lower your risk of heart disease and other health conditions," said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports Health Editor.
Here's some Consumer Reports guidance on which oils you should use and how you should use them:
The mild, sweet flavor of coconut oil will enhance your Asian dishes, but it is mostly made up of heart unhealthy saturated fat, so it's best to use in moderation.
But there are some other oils that are packed with good fats.
If you like your meats nicely seared on the outside, avocado oil is a good choice. Use it when high heat is called for, it has a nutty, buttery flavor.
If you don't want the flavor of the oil to come through in your cooking, turn to the neutral taste of canola oil. You can use it for everything from baked goods to a delicate fresh fish.
Olive oil has a bold flavor range, from grassy, peppery to fruity. Use it to saute vegetables and meat or simply let it stand on its own as a dip or a dressing for salads.
And finally, although not a healthy option, if you deep fry food, you have to use an oil with a high smoke point.
Consumer Reports says Safflower oil is a good option.
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Consumer Reports: Which cooking oils are healthiest to use?
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