May 11, 2013 | by Kris Gunnars | 77,921 views | 90 Comments
You have many options when it comes to selecting fats and oils for cooking.
But it’s not just a matter of choosing oils that are healthy, but also whether they stay healthy after having been cooked with.
The Stability of Cooking OilsWhen you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize or go rancid easily.
When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don’t want to be consuming.
The most important factor in determining an oil’s resistance to
oxidation and rancidification, both at high and low heat, is the
relative degree of saturation of the fatty acids in it.
Saturated fats have only single bonds in the fatty acid molecules,
monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have
two or more.
It is these double bonds that are chemically reactive. Therefore, saturated fats, with no double bonds, are by far the most stable (1).
Alright, now let’s discuss each type of cooking fat specifically.