Is your cooking oil safe?

Below is a guide to help you determine which fats and oils are safest to use and which ones to steer clear from. Remember when choosing an oil or fat it is important to consider bio-individual needs, variety, and of course, consult your physician. Consuming an excess amount of any one fat can have negative effect on the body. So be sure to always work with a trained professional when discussing proper fat needs and intake.


There are three specific categories of fat:

  1. Saturated Fats

  2. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

  3. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids


Saturated Fats :

  • Are “solid” at room temperature

  • They do not go rancid easily

  • Best for high heat cooking

    • 375 degree Fahrenheit or more

  • They are the “preferred” source of fuel for your heart

  • Examples are: Coconut oil and any fat that comes from animals- beef tallow, lard, butter, ghee, duck fat, bacon grease

    Purchasing Notes:

    • Animal fats ideally should be from organically raised, grass-fed pastured animals

    • Coconut oils should be “unrefined” and organic in nature

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids:

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  • They are “liquid” at room temperature

  • They should only be used for low-medium heat/cooking

    • Low-medium heat 113-374 degree Fahrenheit

  • They do not go rancid easily

  • Examples: Olive oil, Avocado Oil, Nuts and Nut butter

    Purchasing notes:

    • Avocado oil should be organic and in a dark glass bottle- my favorite brands are Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen

      This is my personal “check list” when purchasing Olive Oil:

      1. The oil should be in a dark glass bottle or stainless steel can- you should not be able to see through the bottle

      2. There should be a packaged date on the bottle- most likely on the back of the label

      3. There should also be a “use by/ expiration date” on the label

      4. You will also find the olive oil origin- you want it to be 1 place- such as Italy or Greece. When origins have multiple countries on there, it is more likely that the olive oil is not pure and has been diluted with other oils

      5. The oil should be cold pressed!

      6. And the true test is to place your olive oil in the fridge- if it hardens then it’s pure- if not- then you know you have some other oils mixed in.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

  • Should never be heated

  • They go rancid very easily

  • Once opened they need to be refrigerated

  • Two are Essential- meaning you must obtain them from

    your diet: Alpha -linolenic and Linoleic

  • Sources: Fatty Fish- Wild Salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies, fish oil supplements

    walnuts and seeds

    Purchasing notes:
    Try to purchase fish that is wild caught and preferably from the country you are living in. Fish oil supplements need to be refrigerated as soon as they are opened.

    • Nuts and seeds should be purchased locally as well. Once they have been opened- place them in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness, while also ensuring they don’t go rancid.


Oils that should never be used for cooking

Vegetable oils, canola, corn, safflower, cottonseed, soybean etc.

These oils are typically highly refined, made from genetically modified plants (GMOs) and are most likely already rancid before the bottle is even opened.

The refining process, is a high heat process that typically involves harmful chemicals, bleaches and deodorants to break down the oil. Once the oils have been stripped of their natural form they become unrecognizable by the body, thereby removing any opportunity for the body to use them . Vegetable oils, trans, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils are the deadliest oils/fats there are. They wreak havoc on the body causing all types of health issues ie. heart disease, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance etc

Key Points!

If you are cooking over 375 degree Fahrenheit use a saturated fat and anything below that you can opt for a either saturated or monounsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats should never- ever be heated though!

Avoid trans, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and vegetable oils at all costs.

Use my personal check list when buying Olive Oil.

-As always, I hope this was helpful and reach out if you have any questions or need help selecting!

Danielle Hively
Why I became a nutritional therapist

I honestly never thought about nutrition as a child. I stayed the same weight while eating and drinking whatever I wanted. I didn’t think about whether was something “healthy” or not, I just ate it.

But, at a very young age I began struggling with panic attacks, random upset stomachs and bouts of diarrhea. For the majority of my life I had no idea that these were issues. I just kept thinking, "this is my body and this is normal for me.”

But, as I got older I realized that these “issues” were anything but normal.

Throughout elementary and middle school there were several mortifying times where I didn’t make it to the bathroom and had to go to the nurse or call my parents for a change of clothes. My parents would ask me what happened and I just told them I had an upset stomach and didn’t know. And honestly I didn’t know- I had no idea what was happening to my body and why these episodes would occur.

But, I managed throughout high school and made it through freshman year of college without any issues. Then sophomore year the panic attacks and digestion issues started again. Yet- I continued to convinced myself it was due to stress and excessive partying.

Then everything came to a head a few weeks after my college graduation when I ended up with colitis and diverticulitis. I was hospitalized for two days and on antibiotics for 14. My small intestines had swollen 3x the size of their normal capacity and I was in excruciating pain. For me this was enough- I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted clear answers as to why these digestion issues were happening. Reaching out to doctors was hopeless as their answers consisted of IBS, IBD or “you’ll likely have issues every now and then.” Umm no thank you. I refused these answers and was determined to figure out what was going on.

I spent the next several years digging deep and looking for the root cause. While I was spending hours researching, listening to podcasts and reading wellness blogs I realized that this was something I was really passionate about. I enjoyed learning all the ways nutrition, supplements and traditional herbs could support and restore the body. So after careful consideration- I decided to switch things up and go back to school to study holistic nutrition.


Selecting a school was tricky as there were many programs to chose from. But, I researched, read reviews and reached out to people who had already gone through the program to get a clear picture of what the program entailed.

And after careful consideration I settled on the Nutritional Therapy Association and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as my schools of choice. It was a little crazy going through both programs at the same time- but I made it work.

Finally, I found my purpose - I could feel it in my bones. I was made to do this.

Finding my life purpose was critical to my well being. I needed to know that I was making a difference in this world. And sitting at a desk job - wasn’t that. I was constantly restless and always feeling like I was made for more.


So, as you read this I want to encourage you to find your purpose, whatever it may be. Maybe it is a corporate job or a barista at Starbucks or a PE teacher or real estate agent or mechanic. Whatever it is- FIND IT!

You only get one life- use it to the fullest! Take risks, be brave, make mistakes and don’t wait until tomorrow. We are never promised a tomorrow- so don’t wait and do it today!



Danielle Hively