Before you pull out the extra virgin olive oil again, consider using one of these other healthy oils to change things up a bit. It’s not that we don’t love olive oil—it’s high in good-for-you fats and antioxidants—but these healthy alternatives are just as capable of boosting both your dinner and health.
Grapeseed oil has a clean, light, neutral taste and can be used in almost any dish, hot or cold. It can withstand high heat, up to 485°F. You can store it for 3 months at room temperature (as long as it doesn’t exceed 70°F) or longer in the fridge.
BENEFIT: Grape-seed oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is often in short supply in our diets.
Walnut oil is tasty in salad dressings and drizzled over prepared dishes, but it needs to be refrigerated and should not be used for cooking.
BENEFIT: Because walnuts are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, regular use of walnut oil could help reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.
Coconut oil is a vegan-friendly baking substitute for butter and good for low-heat cooking, up to 350°F. It’s solid at room temperature but liquefies with low heat.
BENEFIT: Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, but research suggests that it’s metabolized in the body more like unsaturated oil, possibly because it comes from a plant rather than animal source.
- Refined Avocado
Avocado oil is a great option if you don’t want to overpower a dish’s other ingredients. It has a mild, nutty flavor and a high smoke point (520°F), making it good for stir-frying, sautéing, roasting, and even baking.
BENEFIT: Like olive oil, avocado is high in mono-unsaturated fats that help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL.
- Toasted Dark Sesame
Sesame oil shines in vinaigrettes for noodles and green salads but shouldn’t be heated, or it will produce a bitter flavor. Keep it refrigerated.
BENEFIT: The sesame seeds that are used to create the oil form antioxidants during roasting.