Vegetable oil is a combination of different types of oils. Many people use vegetable oil in nearly every recipe that calls for it. Its wide and popular use is attributed to the fact that it is an inexpensive option.
However, their vegetable oil is strongly debated on for its health benefits as well as side effects. Some vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are healthy fats. Meanwhile, others contain unhealthy trans fats. Notably, chemical solvents are often used in most nonorganic vegetable oils. If you are looking for options you can use to replace vegetable oil, then you are in the right track with this article.
Best and Healthy Vegetable Oil Substitutes
There are a few things you may need to consider before swapping vegetable oil with aby substitute. This may include flavor, method of cooking, and recipe. It is worth noting that not all oil substitutes can perfectly fit all methods of cooking and recipes. Some oils substitutes have stronger flavors than others, and may interfere with the taste of the final product. Other oils have low smoke points and cannot be used for sautéing, baking, or any cooking that require high heating.
Olive oil is popularly known for its incredible benefits on health. It’s extracted from the fruits of the olive tree. Olive oil is particularly high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which several studies have reported to help lower the risk of heart disease. These fats may also help lower elevated blood pressure. However, not all olive oil have the same quality. In 2016, the CBS News reported that most of the Italian commercial olive oil sold in many supermarkets are fake. It recommended ordering Italian olive oil directly from Italian producers online. Additionally, you may need to read labels carefully to confirm if the product is made in Sicily or Puglia, which towns known for quality olive oil production.
Olive oil can perfectly replace vegetable oil in marinades or dressings. It can also be used to sauté in low cooking heat. Given that olive oil has a low smoke point, it would be best not to use it for recipes that require high-heat cooking. Smoke point refers to a temperature that when fats attain, they break down and oxidize. Olive oil also have a strong flavor and should therefore not be used for baking.
Coconut oil is a healthy oil that produced from meat of mature coconut. It is loaded with saturated fats, which unlike other fats, are more neutral in foods. One notable benefit of coconut oil is improving heart health. Thanks to its high content of lauric acid, which is a saturated fat that may help raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. If your recipe calls for vegetable oil, you can replace it with coconut oil in the same amount, ratio of 1:1. Note that coconut oil solidifies at room temperature and it would be best to melt it first before use in recipes requiring liquid oil. Also, to avoid resolidifying the oil, ensure that the other ingredients are not cold. Coconut oil has a considerably high smoke point and can be used safely in high-heat cooking, such as baking. Keep in mind that coconut oil has a strong vanilla-like flavor which may alterthe taste of some foods. Its best to use it in baked goods for that matter.
Flaxseed oil or linseed oil is extracted from the seeds of the flax plant. It is an excellent source of soluble fiber. Some studies have shown that flaxseed oil may help relieve constipation, thanks to its laxative properties. While research may be limited, some suggest that flaxseed oil may reduce cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease. Flaxseed oil has a lower smoke point. For this reason, it should be used in recipes that require high-heat cooking. It can perfectly be used in salad dressings and marinades. You can also drizzle it over grilled foods or vegetable prior to serving.
Avocado oil is produced by pressing avocado pulp. It is high in oleic acid – a monounsaturated fat that can benefit your heart health. Avocado oil is also high powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and prevent their damages to cells. Evidence suggests that avocado oil may help reduce high blood pressure. Studies also indicate that it can boost the absorption of carotenoids in salsa and salads. Carotenoids, including lutein and beta carotene can improve eye health and help lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Avocado has a mild flavor, butter-like taste, and is creamy. Due to its high smoke point, it can be used in marinades, dressings, grilling, sauteing, baking, stir-frying, and sauces. Avocado oil can replace vegetable oil in the same amounts. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find avocado oil in local grocery stores. However, you can find in stores that stock natural health foods.
How About Peanut and Grapeseed Oils?
Peanut oil and grapeseed oil have always been marketed as healthy alternatives for vegetable oil, and for a good reason. They both have high smoke point. Therefore, they can be used for broiling, grilling, sauces, marinades, stir-frying, and dressings. Both peanut oil and grapeseed oil are high in monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and vitamin E, all of which have impressive benefits on your health. However, they contain too much of omega-6 fatty acids. Your body needs both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Most people consume too much omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Many processed foods are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which many people rely on. For this reason, the delicate balance between the two fats is out of whack. Studies have consistently shown that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids can increase your risk of inflammation and chronic diseases. Peanut oil and grapeseed oil can perfectly replace vegetable oil. But you should limit their use if you take too much processed foods.
Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor making it perfect for nearly all recipes. Its substitutes, however, have different characteristics that makes it unfit for some recipes. Coconut oil has a strong vanilla-like flavor and alter the taste of some foods.