Nutrition

Food I.D.: It Oils Down

Know which oils to use—and to avoid—when cooking.

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1. Avocado Oil

It's relatively high smoke point, flavor, and health benefits make avocado oil a top choice, according to Jenna Werner, R.D. Whether you’re searing meats or fighting a dry scalp, avocado oil is low in saturated fats and high in the monounsaturated fats that protect your heart. $18, avohaus.net

2. Grape-Seed Oil

High in vitamin E, which helps open up blood vessels for better flow, grape-seed oil is a great emulsifier for mayos, but don’t cook with it. It’s made up of mostly polyunsaturated fats, which produce free radicals when heated. $9, napavalleynaturals.com

3. Animal Fat

The only oil with cholesterol, animal fats are still rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K, and the rendered and clarified fats add a depth of flavor that is unmatched by other oils. For crispy potatoes, toss them in beef tallow before roasting. $9, epicbar.com

SEE ALSO: A Guide to Heart-Healthy Oils

4. Flaxseed Oil

An excellent source of chemicals called lignans, which may help prevent cancer. Due to its low smoking point and polyunsaturated fatty acid content, don’t cook with it; use as a dressing. Flaxseed also works as a terrific seasoner for cast-iron skillets. $17, bmausa.com

5. Coconut Oil

A rich source of saturated fat, which increases “good” HDL cholesterol (but also “bad” LDL), it’s made of medium-chain fatty acids that aren’t as harmful as animal fat. Coconut oil is great for sautéing vegetables or as a shaving-cream substitute.$5, traderjoes.com

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