Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important information from Sharp
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Choosing the right cooking oil

Aug. 31, 2016

Choosing the right cooking oil

It can be overwhelming walking down the aisle of oils at the grocery store and trying to pick out the one that’s best for you and your cooking style.

Using oil instead of butter in your cooking can help to cut down the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Saturated fat contributes to plaque that clogs arteries, leading to possible heart issues.

Angelea Bruce, registered dietitian at Sharp Memorial Laurel Amtower Cancer Institute and Neuro-Oncology Center, shares her top four must-have cooking oils to keep in your pantry.

1. Extra-virgin olive oil
Used for frying, sautéing, salad dressings and finishing oil.

“Olive oil is great without heat in things like salad dressings,” says Bruce who loves to try olive oils infused with garlic or herbs for extra flavor. "But recent studies show the smoke point is higher than originally thought, so using it for frying maintains many of its heart health properties."

Extra-virgin olive oil — also known as EVOO — is a great source of monounsaturated fats and a good source of antioxidants called polyphenols that have been linked to heart health.

2. Canola oil
Used for sautéing, roasting, baking and salad dressings.

With a neutral flavor, long shelf life and high smoke point, this oil is a necessary staple in any kitchen.

“It is low in saturated fat, and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in your diet,” says Bruce.

3. Peanut oil
Used for roasting, sautéing and frying.

This oil lends itself to higher heats with a smoking point of 450 degrees.

“In moderation, peanut oil has heart-healthy phytosterols — essential plant fats known to lower cholesterol and support heart health,” adds Bruce.

4. Sesame oil
Used for stir-fries, salad dressings and finishing oil.

With a rich, nutty flavor, this oil is perfect to infuse vegetables. Bruce suggests using 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sesame oil when stir-frying for two depending on taste and preference.

“Sesame is another oil that is good for heart health, due to its cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory compounds,” says Bruce.

More options 
In addition to her top four oils, Bruce likes to keep other oils on hand, like avocado oil, for variety.

Avocado oil 
Used for grilling, pan roasting, salad dressings and finishing oil.

“This neutral-flavored oil is underrated and holds the highest smoke point at 510 degrees, making it a great alternative to peanut or canola oil,” says Bruce.

It has many of the same heart-healthy antioxidants and healthy fats as olive oil, and is also a good source of vitamin E.

Coconut oil 
Used for sautéing, baking and roasting.

While coconut oil is high in antioxidants, it's also high in saturated fat, which can raise your LDL or "bad" cholesterol. The American Heart Association counseled against using coconut oil in a 2017 report.

“Make sure that whatever oil you choose, it is 100 percent pure, extra virgin olive oil, or not mixed with other oils that will compromise the taste and nutrition,” says Bruce.

Whichever oils you choose to invest in, make sure to alternate and compliment your ingredients, flavors and cooking methods accordingly.

This article was updated in June 2017.

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us


If this is a life- or limb-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process hospital price estimates if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

To learn more, call us at 858-499-5901.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.