My Current ‘Go-To’ Cooking Oils

Over the years, I’ve tried many different fats or oils for cooking.  Coconut oil, left over bacon fat, butter, ghee, grape seed oil, etc.

But recently, I’ve cut it down to just 2 :  Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil.  Both organic.  The canola oil is expeller pressed (machine or mechanically pressed – so it’s not exposed to chemical extraction methods, like hexane).

After a fair amount of research and years of trial and error, I think these 2 are the best for my body when it comes to cooking.  They can both handle decent heat.

But I actually just use the canola primarily to cook with these days.  And I use less than a teaspoon to cook my fried eggs in the morning.

I haven’t tried avocado oil yet, but it’s on the list.

Butter and ghee would be great options, if I weren’t allergic to dairy.  They might be completely fine for you.  And I’m jealous if your body can handle dairy.  Mine can’t.  FYI – I’m not talking life-threatening, need an epi-shot to breathe dairy allergy, but more like a low level chronic dairy allergy.

For some reason, I can’t handle dairy and dairy fats, like butter, in particular.  I’ve even tried organic grass fed ghee, also known as clarified butter.  And within 15 minutes of eating, I get mucous and post nasal drip, and I get stuffy, usually in one nostril.  And this happens every time.  And if I eat dairy regularly, then eventually it’ll cause my sinuses to get inflamed, then get clogged and then I get sinus infections.  For the last 10 years, I’d average 2-3 sinus infections per year.  Each year.

But in the last 10 months, I’ve had ZERO sinus infections.  ZERO.  I also don’t have any chronic post nasal drip or stuffed up nostrils.  I also didn’t get sick this winter, no cold, no flu, no sniffles, nothing.

And the only major change I made was DAIRY.  I eliminated dairy completely!!  Which is a shame, cause I love dairy.  But for me dairy FATS are the biggest culprits.  Butter and in particular, Ghee.  I figure I’ve had a dairy allergy for at least the last 30 years.

Just recently I ate dairy at one meal.  And within 15 minutes, I noticed the exact same mild allergic response.  Mucous, post-nasal drip, stuffed up breathing.  Again.  So I just avoid it totally and don’t buy it anymore.

Also I had a couple small patches of dry/flaky skin or eczema.  These did not go away when I stopped eating dairy.  But a month after I stopped eating dairy, I stopped using leftover bacon grease to cook my eggs in the morning.  And guess what?  The eczema I’ve had on/off for the last several decades has gone away.  Took about a week.  I think this has to do with oxidized fat and oxidized cholesterol.  But just a theory.

I should also mention that I now avoid pre-ground beef, pork and chicken.  This would include hamburgers.  Totally sucks. Although I do sneak one in from time to time.

But the pre-ground meats also trigger these eczemic, red little patches to show up on my face.  Typically on my cheeks next to my nose.  It looks like an inflammatory response, a clue my body is sending me that what I ate isn’t good for me?  Eliminating the ground meats causes these to go away in just a few days.  I can still handle the occasional steak (regular or grass-fed = luxury).

And I haven’t gotten so motivated as to grind my own steak, pork or chicken.  But I also feel like the ground meats are oxidized (exposed to light and oxygen) and seem highly inflammatory to my body.   Of course, it could be other things, like mold, or an unhealthy omega 3 to 6 ratio, etc.  It could also just be the cooking method of almost frying the ground meat.  Which is typically high heat.  Something about advanced end product glycation (AGE’s). Who’s to say for sure?  I just avoid them these days.

Anyway, as a result of the process of elimination, I’m now down to Canola Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking.  I would definitely like to explore avocado oil next.  That could be a winner, but is expensive.

But in the mornings I usually cook fried eggs with organic (non-GMO) Canola Oil (less than a teaspoon – half of which is still in the pan when I am done). As well as any other meals that need a cooking oil (not many need Canola though).  It’s a pretty clean taste.  Not as good as leftover bacon grease, but my skin agrees with it.  It’s pretty hard for me to dispute.  I eat bacon or bacon grease, the small dry, red spots show up on my face, I stop eating it and it goes away.  Pretty simple??

I also no longer cook with Coconut Oil.  Turns out it has a rather low smoke point (350 F).  Especially compared to something like Canola Oil (400 F), which I think has gotten a bad rap overall.  But since Canola can handle the heat a bit better than Coconut Oil, I fry my eggs in that.  I cook over medium heat and my pan gets up to about 350 F (using a thermal laser thermometer). I could get away with coconut oil, but Canola has a cleaner taste.

Also based on what I’ve read, MCT Oil (made from coconut oil), probably shouldn’t be used to cook with at all.

Now, I still use organic Virgin Coconut Oil, but I just eat it raw/plain.  Or blended with a little sunflower lecithin in tea or coffee.  But usually I just eat a spoonful to get more fat / calories / ketones in my low carb diet.  I’ve eaten up to 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil at a time and have noticed higher ketone and energy levels a few hours later. This is good during the first week or two of eating ketogenic.

I personally like coconut oil better than MCT oil taste-wise, but will use MCT if I feel like I need more quick energy or am really dragging.  I’ll also add coconut oil at the end of cooking if I want to add more flavor or fat.

I still do take Fish Oil (Nordic Naturals – liquid).  Typically a teaspoonful in the AM.  I’ve noticed that the fish oil helps with my mood, cognitive function and inflammation.  I like flax oil as well, it seems to be great for my skin, but it might have caused my estradiol (estrogen – yes, men have estrogen too) to have gotten a bit higher than I would have liked.  So I’ve stopped taking it.  Am going to retest the estradiol soon and if it isn’t dramatically lower, then I know it wasn’t necessarily the flax oil.  I was also taking 7-keto DHEA, which they say does not re-metabolize into estrogen, but it’s hard to know for sure.

I still eat fish, often poached, or quick blanched and eaten sashimi style.  Like wild caught salmon over cauliflower rice, with or without organic soy sauce.  Or wild planet tuna, canned, with some avocado mayo (which I love).  The occasional can of sardines with some mustard and cauliflower rice ain’t bad either.  But doesn’t seem to digest as well for me as the tuna.

I don’t deep fry.  Ever.  But if I did, I’d probably go with organic peanut oil or canola oil for that.  I love deep fried food (General Tso’s chicken being my own personal kryptonite), but just don’t think it’s the best option.

And lastly, I still use organic Extra Virgin Olive oil to cook with.  Although, these days I use organic, expeller pressed Canola Oil primarily (when needed) and then often just drizzle the coconut oil or EVOO on food after it’s finished cooking.

Of course, if you didn’t want to use oil to cook, then you could boil, bake, roast, grill, poach or steam your food.  And then I would simply add the extra fat on later.  Like maybe in a sauce.


 

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