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Inspired by thread drift in the now infamous "Vegan" thread, I found myself surprised that, apparently, canola oil is now a no-no. Here I thought canola was a more healthy alternative to vegetable oil. Now it's not?!? I love olive oil for gentle sweats or sautés, and extra virgin for dressings and raw consumption. I get that olive oil is healthy. But what is now deemed "healthy" for higher-heat cooking? Sheesh!
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I think part of it depends on the heat.

Olive and rapeseed, or canola, have higher smoke points than some other oils, like 450 vs 400. But if you go past those points, you end up making compounds that negate the "healthiness" of the oil. So at really high temps, it almost doesn't matter.

Otherwise, I think you're supposed to use monounsaturated oils when you can - they are liquid at room temp but cloudy and thick in the fridge - that would include olive oil for example. At least that's what the American Heart Association is saying these days.

Canola oil has lots of monounsaturated fats but it's very highly processed which makes it in the end less healthy than it should be.

As far as butter goes - I think there's a difference between butter made from cows that graze on grasses and butter made from cows that have been raised on corn and grains.
There are different people saying different things.

Cate Shannahan who is an MD and biochemist goes into detail while all the vegetable oils are bad and how they damage the heart. Especially when cooking with them.

She has the same position on fats as Weston Price did. Use butter, lard, coconut, palm oil, olive oil etc.

Unfortunately what she is saying is contrary to American Heart Association.
You know, I don't really buy the cooking oil will kill your heart arguments, especially the monounsaturated types.

I subscribe more to the argument that hi sugar diets will kill your heart and health. I am much more concerned with sugars and processed foods than I am with cooking oil. Think about how you feel on a diet with high sugar (horrible) and then think about how you feel when you cook with vegetable oils a lot vs. olive oils vs. whatever oil. Perhaps it has a cumulative effect over time, but high sugar intake (sweets, carbs, sodas, etc) tend to make you feel very bad very quickly, and cause all sorts of other health problems. I've never heard of monounsaturated cooking oil selection definitively causing people GI, liver, kidney, heart problems either acutely or over time. Maybe because the person ate ribeye crusted with olive oil rub every single night....but otherwise, don't blame the cooking oil....
WineTrooper - That's really the gist of the program/philosophy Grossie and I are kidding each other about.

Avoid processed oils and look for oils that help with your Omega 3-6 ratio rather than hurt because you will be eating a lot of rib eyes. But in the greater scheme ditching the sugars and grains is far more important.

BRR- you're probably not close to that heat and really shouldn't be when searing something. Reality is we mostly cook @ or below 300 degrees in our pans.
Originally posted by WineTrooper:
Perhaps it has a cumulative effect over time, but high sugar intake (sweets, carbs, sodas, etc) tend to make you feel very bad very quickly, and cause all sorts of other health problems.

i think it was simply teh sugar high you get immediately after since sugars are easily broken down then you go through a downer as the body begins storing the sugars.
Yeah, g-man, but as I get older, I am noticing more and more that eating "clean" proteins/vegetables makes me feel a lot better over the course of days/weeks vs. periods of time where for whatever reason I get caught up eating grains, sugars/starches, and processed foods.

But yeah, that sugar-downer thing is for real. That will put you in a listless spell.

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