At home, I cook with olive oil when I’m making roasted vegetables and chicken, and I drizzle olive oil over avocado and parmesan. When it comes to frying, I love grapeseed oil. Which oils should you use? That’s a matter of taste and of smoke point.

Oils can have low, medium, or high smoke points. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke. The smoke point tells us how oil can handle the heat.

  1. Oils with low smoke points can’t handle the heat, so they are best reserved for dressings and dips.
  2. Oils with medium smoke points are ideal for everyday cooking in the hob and baking.
  3. Oils with high smoke points can withstand very high temperatures, so you can really turn up the fire and flash fry or sear a piece of fish or meat.


     Best used in salad dressing, marinades, and dips

  • Walnut oil: heart-healthy, full-flavored and delicious drizzled over vegetables or used to dress your salad.
  • Flaxseed oil: like walnut oil, ideal to use in salad dressings or mixed into a smoothie; a great source of omega-3s.
  • Extra-virgin oil: processed rapidly after the olives are picked, very flavourful, and great as a finishing oil or dip.


Best used in sautéing, sauce making, stir-frying, and oven baking.

  • Olive oil: my general, all-around go-to choice –perfect for cooking proteins or veggies.
  • Rapeseed oil: versatile and a great source of monounsaturated fats, has a high flavor that works well for baking, and can also be used to coat your barbecue grill.
  • Coconut oil: gives food a delightful, light coconut flavor, works well for curries and sautéing tofu.
  • Grapeseed oil: extracted from grape seeds during winemaking; earthy flavor, a great choice for sautéing
  • Sesame oil: a delicious nutty flavor that adds a nice depth to Asian-style dishes.


Best used in searing, browning and pan-frying

  • Safflower oil: a good source of vitamin E, with a mild flavor; can be used in everything from baking to curries.
  • Sunflower oil: full of vitamin A, D, E; a good choice for frying.
  • Groundnut oil: monounsaturated, contains essential fatty acids, really lends a peanut flavor to food; another top choice for frying.


Think of fats as being like a group of people at a party. Some people are wonderful and well worth your time and some are jerks, and it is your job to judge each of them on merit. While some fats – the saturate and trans fats – are like the alluring but ultimately destructive guy you really shouldn’t date, others are like the nice guys next door that your best friends keep wishing that you would fall for.

So olive oil, yes! I’d love to spend more time with you. Margarine, no, I’m afraid I’m busy washing my hair on Friday night. With so many heart-healthy fats out there to try, you will always have something delicious and full of vitamins and minerals to pour, whisk and drizzle. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *