4 healthy alternatives, besides sunflower oil, to use in the kitchen

Avocado oil is a healthy option. Picture: Freepik fchandlervid85

Avocado oil is a healthy option. Picture: Freepik fchandlervid85

Published Oct 6, 2023


Most of us use oil in our cooking for a variety of reasons.

Whether it’s to add flavour to a dish, as a dressing for your salad or to fry foods like eggs, meat and vegetables.

While it is something we use almost every day, it’s known to be unhealthy when consumed excessively.

However, not all oils are the same. There’s a wide variety of oils on the market and there are some which are healthier than others.

When selecting a cooking oil, it is crucial to consider factors such as smoke point, nutrition value and what you will be using it for.

Oils with higher smoke points, like avocado oil, are suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as frying, while those with lower smoke points, like sesame oil and extra virgin olive oil, are ideal for drizzling over salads or adding flavour to cooked dishes.

Here are four of the healthiest oils to use when cooking.

Olive oil

Renowned for its heart-healthy properties, olive oil is extracted from olives and is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine.

It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, olive oil contains powerful antioxidants that combat inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

Olive oil is ideal for drizzling over salads. Picture: Pexels Roberta Sorge

Avocado oil

Pressed from the pulp of avocados, avocado oil is a versatile oil with a high smoke point, making it suitable for various cooking methods, including frying.

It is abundant in healthy monounsaturated fats, promoting cardiovascular health and reducing blood pressure.

Avocado oil is also rich in vitamin E, which supports skin health and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocado oil is also rich in vitamin E. Picture: Freepik fchandlervid85

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has gained popularity for its unique flavour and numerous health benefits. It consists of medium-chain triglycerides, which are quickly metabolised by the body for energy.

Additionally, coconut oil contains lauric acid, which may possess antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid. Picture: Freepik jcomp

Sesame Oil

Originating from sesame seeds, sesame oil is commonly used in Asian cuisine.

It contains an array of beneficial compounds such as sesamin and sesamol, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Sesame oil is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats and vitamin K, which support bone health.