Health & Cooking Resources: Information on Oils

Olive oil has been used for medicinal and health purposes for thousands of years. Your grandmother grew up on a regular dose of cod liver oil to ward off or promote recovery from seasonal illness. Fast forward to today with recent research now banishing coconut oil’s bad oil reputation in light of evidence that its unique molecular structure and properties are beneficial in decreasing risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and many other major health concerns. A quick glance in any supermarket or specialty store shows the variety of oils is expanding. It is easy to become overwhelmed in deciding how to use these different oils in cooking. Which oils are exchangeable? Are some more beneficial? Which ones have a place in your dietary choices? Do fish oil supplements have a real benefit and should they be a part of your daily diet plan? This guide explores and compares three types of oils and their relationship to health and healthy cooking. The three types of oils include vegetable oils, fish oils, as well as, nut and plant oils.

Vegetable Oils

  • Corn Oil – This article from the Corn Refiners Association gives information about the health benefits of corn oil.
  • Coconut Oil – This Q & A letter on the Harvard Health Publications site provides information about coconut oil & its uses.
  • Palm Oil – Information from the American Palm Oil Council about the health benefits of palm oil.
  • Canola Oil – For full information on Canola oil, this site offers everything from history, nutritional information, recipes, and more.
  • Soybean Oil – An overview of soybean oil describing its uses, availability, & nutritional profile.
  • Olive Oil – A comprehensive resource site for everything you need to know about olive oil. You can also register here for a free newsletter containing recipes, tips and updated news and information related to olive oil

 Fish Oils

  • Fish Oil – This information from the National Institutes of Health provides all the information you need to consider if a fish oil supplement may be right for you.
  • Cod Liver Oil – A reference from the University of Maryland Medical Center providing information on cod liver oil.
  • Krill Oil – This article from the NYU Langone Medical Center gives information on Krill oil & its uses.
  • Omega-3 Oil – This article from the University of Maryland Medical Center gives an overview of Omega-3 fatty acids & its uses.

 Nut & Plant Oils

  • Walnut Oil – An article from U.S. News about how walnuts & walnut oil may help with stress.
  • Almond Oil – This page from WebMD gives lots of information on sweet almond oil. Including uses, side effects, interactions, & dosage information. 
  • Hazelnut Oil – The Arbor Day Foundation explains the nutritional benefits of hazelnuts on this page.
  • Safflower Oil – An article on the Ohio State University site about safflower oil & preventing heart disease.
  • Peanut Oil –A page from The Peanut Institute that gives information about peanut oil, including health benefits, nutrition studies, & more.
  • Sunflower Oil – The National Sunflower Association has a lot of information about the benefits of sunflower oil. You can also download their brochure, Sunflower Oil-A Healthy Way to Eat!

Storing Oils

  • How to Store Olive Oil - For olive oil storage ideas, tips and facts check here.
  • Oils and Fats: Tips and Techniques – From the time you purchase oil to storing used oils for re-use, how you handle and store various oils will affect the quality and shelf life.
  • Can You Safely Store and Re-use Cooking Oils? – This page explains how to store used oils and the points you need to be aware of for reusing the oil safely.
  • Storage advantages with coconut Oil – A table comparing shelf life of coconut oil with other commonly used oils when properly stored. This site also offers other practical information on choosing and making use of coconut oil.

Cooking with oils

  • Guide To Cooking Oils – This page has a comprehensive guide containing descriptions and uses of oils, signs of deterioration, storage tips, smoke points and more.
  • Cooking Oil Temperatures and Proper Usage – Anyone who has oil smoke up a kitchen knows that not all oils heat to the same temperature before reaching that smoke point. What foods you are cooking, cooking times, and even flavor, all are points to consider when deciding which oil is best. This is a great guide to keep handy.
  • PCC Natural Markets, 5 Stand Out Cooking Oils –If you are wondering which oils you should experiment with to expand your culinary options, here are the descriptions for five outstanding choices.
  • Infused Oils –Oils infused with your customized herbal choices are easy to make and cost much less than buying a prepared infusion. With these easy recipes, you can have several on hand to use or give as a special gift.

Oils & Your Health

  • Rating the Cooking Fats – WebMD rates various oils, spreads and cooking fats based on the type of fatty acids they contain and how these fatty acids affect your health.
  • Health Benefits of Coconut Oil – This site goes into detail concerning the many health benefits coconut oil has to offer.

Additional Resources

  • Budget Oil Tips – More expensive is not always better. For everyday frying, a general vegetable oil works fine. Save your budget for a small quantity of highly flavored nut oil when flavor is your goal. Regardless of cost, choosing the right oil for your need and handling it properly will help you stay within your budget.
  • Cook’s Thesaurus: Oils and Cooking Sprays – This site not only defines various oils and sprays, but shares tips and recipes for making your own substitutes for such items as store bought aerosol cooking sprays.
  • What is the “Truth” About Canola Oil? – This site dispels misinformation and explains the processes of manufacturing this widely used vegetable oil.
  • Beyond Olive Oil – This article from Cooking Light magazine gives selection & usage tips, flavor profiles & more for several different types of oils.