I have read in multiple places that canola oil is pretty much toxic. I don't want to use coconut oil because of the saturated fat (I have genetically high cholesterol). Are walnut oil and extra light olive oil safe for general baking and sauteeing?
Extra light olive oil is in my view a waste of money and offers no flavour - you might as well search out non-GMO canola. Walnut oil is going to give you a particular flavour that may or may not be what you want.
My recommendation is to look for either grapeseed oil or rice bran oil. Both are considered healthier have higher smoke points than olive (another factor in health as well as successful cooking). You can also dilute a good quality olive oil with grapeseed or rice bran if you want a lighter olive oil flavour.
Thank you....my concern with virgin olive oil is the smoke point. That's why I was wondering about extra light olive oil. I will look into grapeseed and rice bran oils.
I agree with grape seed - neutral in flavor, clear in color, and takes the heat pretty well.
I like to source Canola, Corn, Safflower, Sunflower, Grapeseed, Rice Bran etc. and other "neutral" oils in my local health food store to ensure they've been processed as little as possible &/or are not GMO. I have never heard Canola is poisonous but I'm not radical in that regard. Walnut and nut oils in general are wonderful tasting but should not be used for cooking-- they are "finishing" oils because their flavor is light and will be decimated when applied to heat. I tend to use olive oil for all my cooking at home, but I'm not frying in it.
Oh, come on ChefOno if it's out there on the internet it must be true! I'm comfortable using canola as needed but I agree with grapeseed also. Peanut oil does have a high smoke point (and I use it all the time) but it does carry some flavor baggage, not exactly a neutral taste to me.
Canolia does smell like fish to me when used for frying.
That said I avoid GMO foods---not because health concerns, but I don't like Monsanto having a EULA for plants.
I'm sometimes reminded of the Woody Allen's "Sleeper" where he wakes up and they feed him a steak saying "everything we thought was bad for you is now good for you"
Remember the fat scare of the 70's when everyone switched to Margarine and substituted good ol' butter with high trans-fat whipped stuff just to avoid the fat. Bad move.
I also really like safflower oil for baking.
I like grapeseed oil too. Here's one that I like: http://maisonorphee.com/en/products/classic-line/grapeseed-oil/
I buy grape seed oil made in Italy from Trader Joes, reasonable, neutral taste and high smoke point. I wanted to be sure it was non-GMO so I wrote to Trader Joes and this was the response: "If it's in the Trader Joe's brand label, it is made from non-GMO ingredients. We have source certification from our suppliers, and we conduct random testing to ensure all products in the Trader Joe's label are made from non-Genetically Engineered ingredients." For the responder who said she didn't want to fret about ingredients, I suggest a book called The China Study which includes hundreds of research studies that show how lowering dairy consumption and animal fats can keep your heart healthier and your body cancer free. I just witnessed my mom die of pancreatic cancer and her mom died of it too. I will make simple changes that will improve my quality and quantity of life....my life is worth it. Yours is worth it too.
My info on the canola oil being toxic wasn't from random websites. It was from The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book by Jessica K. Black, N.D. She makes a good argument for avoiding canola oil and peanut oil. I have seen similar info on canola oil in other sources as well. The grapeseed oil sounds like a good alternative. I have read The China Study that cookingkareninnv refers to--I avoid dairy as much as possible after reading that book. Hence, butter is not an option.
Peanut oil has a profile very similar to olive oil as far as healthy fats and very stable at high temps. There are rare peanut allergies which result in rather noticeable signs. Olive oil, safflower, peanut and coconut are some of the best oils and should be added to the diet regularly. Do not use any corn or soy products unless they are certified organic. Also add CLA supplements to your diet as they have many benefits and are no longer found in the food supply in significant quantities.
As for canola oil(ranamed GMO version of rapeseed oil-- all current rapeseed oil on the market is GMO so BEWARE) is an industrial lubricant. It is super cheap so food factories use it for that reason alone. It has caused severe health problems for workers in those factories. There is also a strong link between canola/rapeseed(the same thing) and mad cow disease. Once they stopped adding rapeseed oil to the food eaten by sheep the mad cow disease stopped. You see cows/cattle were fed sheep meat in their feed. Also canola/rapeseed seems to be highly mutigenic -- a cancer causing agent and not at all good for your cardio. Rats fed diets with canola oil developed severe fatty degeneration of the heart/thyroid/kidneys etc. It is best to stop eating any form of canola oil or rapeseed oil and switch to coconut, olive, safflower and peanut oils. People are surprised to hear cococut oil is good because it's a saturated fat. It is a medium chain triglyceride and is very powerful at correcting diabetes without any big pharma drugs. It protects you from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and helps immensely with other things like constipation- up to 3 tablespoons or even more can halt the worst opiate/morphine caused constipation- having daily green and other fruit and veggie juices is also helpful to an array of things...
Chef Ono, regarding your first question--I could ask you the same thing about what you read and believe, especially regarding meat and dairy. Regarding the second--the Mayo Clinic is very good at treating symptoms and researching cutting edge surgery. How about PREVENTING symptoms? Unfortunately, "cutting edge" medical science in the U.S. often involves treatment, not prevention/wellness.
An "amen" to that!!
Chef Ono, thank you for you information on the grapeseed oil. I agree with you about the omega-6 fatty acids. American diets are way too high regarding the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. I think I will stick with extra light olive oil in my yeast breads and for sauteeing at medium temperature.
It's true that stress is proven harmful--I think everyone is pretty much in agreement about that. I love dairy and certain meat products and have found it difficult to cut way back on them. However, I would rather sacrifice some of the things I enjoy eating in favor of better QUALITY of life when I am older, rather than eat anything I want now and either have a shorter life or spend the last 30 years of it in constant misery due to diseases and ailments that could have been avoided or lessened. There is a lot of research about the connection between food and inflammation in the body, too much to be ignored, and it isn't all in "fad diet books". My doctors suggested the dietary restrictions I have chosen to follow, and they also follow them in their own homes. No, a steak once in a great while isn't going to kill anyone, but there is a lot of research out there that indicates making it a regular part of your diet isn't good for you. However, to each his/her own.
Hey people, to accuse the originator of this question (Jeanine) of stressing out for just asking a question about oils well....who is really stressing here? True. It is very hard to determine what is a fad diet or another money-making scheme. Examine the money trail (author backgrounds and connections) and also watch who documents and references their claims and then really read some of their references. But then, that is stressful too. Being healthy in the US today is a challenge. It may take a little work. However, the pay-offs are a lifetime of energy and health and hopefully, a positive outlook on life too. At least that is what I see from the truly healthy people I know. Hopefully, all of you on this blog are just trying to be helpful to others and sharing your experiences. A good debate is healthy for the mind.
Olive oil is safe! http://chriskresser.com/is-it-safe-to-cook-with-olive-oil
And animal fats are totally fine too http://chriskresser.com/5-fats-you-should-be-cooking-with-but-may-not-be