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:

blur-close-up-cook-33783 (1).jpg
  • 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