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Cooking Oil

There are many different varieties of cooking oil which vary according from that which it was extracted, nutritional value and practical uses. Most commonly vegetable oil is referred to as cooking oil. Vegetable oil is derived from many different naturally occurring plants and legumes such as almonds, corn, sunflowers and poppy seeds. Generally, the oil is extracted from the seed of the plant although other parts may secrete oils. Cooking oil is used for frying food items as well as being an ingredient in many baked goods. A commonly used cooking oil is olive oil, which has its own variety of different types. Virgin and Extra Virgin olive oil are produced manually with no chemical treatment, while refined olive oil is chemically treated to obtain a certain PH factor.

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When choosing an oil to be used specifically as cooking oil, taste, preference and the dish being prepared are factors to consider. A common use of vegetable oil as a cooking oil would be for frying chicken. Olive oil can be spread on a pizza stone or pan before raw dough is kneaded to prevent sticking while giving the bottom crust a slight flavoring.

Types of cooking oil also differ in nutritional value and amount or type of fats contained. Olive oil may be considered the primary cooking oil to maintain a low carb lifestyle as it contains monounsaturated fat which is good for lowering cholesterol. The benefits of using olive oil as a cooking oil is its easily digestible nature and for providing antioxidants essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vegetable oil fat content and nutritional value differ on the source from which it was extracted for use as cooking oil. Some cooking oils contain saturated fat, such as those derived from coconut or palm oil. Other cooking oils such as corn, sunflower or canola are comprised of polyunsaturated fats, which are essential fats for the body, but should be consumed in moderation.

While maintaining a low carb lifestyle, conscious choices as to which type of cooking oil you choose may add additional health benefits.

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