Cooking oil being used for meal prep

(© Dušan Zidar -

With all of the rapid-fire innovation in healthy cooking methods, tips, and products today, keeping up with the trends is hard enough when trying to be maintain healthy habits. There are ways to follow clean eating down to what type of cooking oil you use. Want to find the best cooking oil to keep in your pantry in 2023? Keep reading.

Finding time to prepare a healthy meal can be tough sometimes. Our lives are hectic, especially if you are a parent. One study finds that parents with school-age kids think the school year is stressful due to all the daily tasks. At the top of that list? Having the time to cook proper meals for their kids (54%). 

Many of us decide to get fast food instead of cooking ourselves, to save time. But you may want to rethink that strategy after hearing these results. Scientists at the University of Southern California found individuals who are obese or diabetic, and get more than 20 percent of their daily calories from fast food display “severely elevated” fat levels in their livers compared to others who eat less or no fast food.

Still, the kitchen remains the heart of the home. A recent poll found Americans spend over 400 hours in the kitchen each year. So why not strive to make healthier food choices? Research from the University of Barcelona notes seniors over the age of 65 lived longer if they continued to adhere to a Mediterranean diet. This diet is famous for being rich in oily fish, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and olive oil. 

So that got us wondering, what are some of the healthiest cooking oils to have on hand when preparing a meal? StudyFinds compiled a list of the five consensus best types, most recommended across ten expert websites, to keep stocked in your kitchen. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

The List: Best Healthy Cooking Oils, According To Experts

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A staple in most pantries, olive oil has its health benefits. Extra virgin olive oil is a rock star. It “contains a large amount of monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fatty acids; many studies have linked it to better heart health,” notes Time.

Keep in mind when cooking with extra virgin olive oil, it has a lower smoke point than other oils.

“Cooking a good EVOO at high temperatures can mess with both its flavor and nutrition,” points out Self Magazine. “The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it starts to smoke. In the case of olive oil, that is between 374 and 405 degrees F,” adds The Mediterranean Dish.

“Make sure you are buying true extra virgin olive oil. Look for unrefined 100 percent extra virgin oil, a recent harvest date, and a dark bottle. Organic is ideal, but it does come at a higher cost,” according to Real Simple.

2. Avocado Oil

“Avocado oil boasts a lot of the same benefits as extra virgin olive oil, but with a higher smoking point, making it great for sauteing or pan frying. It’s full of vitamin E and has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents in the oil aisle,” notes SCL Health

The smoke point for avocado oil is about 520 degrees Fahrenheit. “Avocado oil is also rich in carotenoid lutein which improves eye health,” adds Camille Styles.

3. Sesame Oil

If you are looking for a more flavorful oil, try sesame oil. It’s used in many Asian and Indian dishes.

Sesame oil “has known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially helping lower the odds of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fat and other substances in the artery walls that causes these vessels to narrow and raises blood pressure,” according to Everyday Health.

“Drizzle it over some sliced avocado with salt and pepper for an easy snack – or use it in your soups & stir-fry’s to easily boost the flavor of your dish,” notes Chosen Foods.

Just remember to keep your sesame oil in the refrigerator. Its smoke point? Approximately 410 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is derived from the safflower plant. “The linoleic acid in safflower oil might help reduce the risk of heart disease. Safflower also contains chemicals that might help prevent blood clots, widen blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the heart,” according to WebMD.

“Safflower oil is virtually tasteless and remains a liquid even when refrigerated. From a culinary standpoint, it is great to use in salad dressings and other cold preparations,” adds Real Simple.

With a smoke point of around 510 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cook it over higher heat too.

5. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil comes from peanut plant seeds, and is a solid vitamin E source. “It has also been linked to some health benefits, including reducing certain risk factors for heart disease and lowering blood sugar levels in people with diabetes,” points out Healthline.

It’s a flavorful oil that’s used in many Asian dishes. Peanut oil also, “has a high smoke point (450 degrees Fahrenheit), so you can even use it to fry foods like tempura,” adds Self Magazine.

Remember, a good rule of thumb is moderation. 

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

About Melissa Kraus

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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  1. Big Crow says:

    Peanut oil is amazing, it literally evaporates off the cooked food.

  2. Daniel C Rose says:

    I think high oleic, organic and cold pressed sunflower oil is pretty good stuff. It has a much smaller C6 level, and gobs of oleic, much more than olive oil, which is the largest component of olive oil.
    I don’t know if there is a meaningful nutritional comparative test that could be used to show how good it is, relatively speaking.