Olives, rapeseed, linseed: which are the best oils for the kitchen?

Small multiplication table of good edible oils
Olive oil, linseed oil, sunflower, thistle or rapeseed oil - the list of edible oils on offer could still be continued. Keeping track of things is difficult. Experts give an overview of the most valuable oils for the kitchen.

Enormous selection of vegetable oils
"Fat makes you fat" is sometimes read. But it doesn't work without it, because fats are vital components of our food. A look at the supermarket shelves shows that the selection of vegetable oils is enormous. In addition to long-known sunflower and rapeseed oil, products such as coconut, hemp or sesame oil can now also be found on the supermarket shelves. But which oil is the right one for a healthy diet? Experts have important information on this.

Some oils can be heated well
Olive oil, linseed oil, sunflower, thistle or rapeseed oil - the list of edible oils on offer could still be continued. So which oil for which purpose?

“It simply depends on what I want to prepare with the oil. Many oils have their own taste, and of course it has to suit the particular dish, ”explained Harald Seitz, nutritionist at the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE).

"But there is also the fact that some oils should only be used in the cold kitchen, while other oils can also be heated well," continued the expert.

Fat is not the same as fat
In addition, fat is not the same as fat. Some oils are actually healthier than others. Nutritionists differentiate between fats with saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Our body needs all three, but especially the monounsaturated oleic acid and the polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and thus prevent cardiovascular diseases.

"One third of the fat that we eat should consist of monounsaturated fatty acids and another third of polyunsaturated fatty acids," said Heike Rapp from the BZfE.

As a rule of thumb, you can remember to eat as many polyunsaturated fatty acids as possible and pay special attention to omega-3 fatty acids.

The best cooking oil
For nutritional reasons, rapeseed oil is the best edible oil that should not be missing in any kitchen. It contains numerous minerals, phytochemicals such as carotenoids and the fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K, which, as so-called antioxidants, can protect cells against attacks by free radicals.

The advantages of this cooking oil have also been proven in scientific studies. For example, US researchers reported that rapeseed oil can help break down excess belly fat.

And according to German scientists, fat men do better than olive oil to improve cholesterol and liver levels.

Unfortunately, rapeseed oil is often used incorrectly during cooking, so that healthy ingredients are lost and dangerous substances can arise.

Cold-pressed, native rapeseed oil is hardly treated and usually does without additives. It tastes slightly nutty and is particularly rich in vitamins and phytochemicals.

In hot weather, however, native rapeseed oil forms dangerous trans fatty acids relatively quickly, which is why it should only be used in cold kitchens, for example for marinating salads.

The consumer information service aid reported last year that rapeseed oil is now more popular among Germans than sunflower and olive oil.

Good quality doesn't have to be expensive
Olive oil is particularly popular with people who are inclined to the Mediterranean diet. This cooking oil mainly consists of monounsaturated oleic acid. This lowers the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol.

The contained omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 also improve the flow properties of the blood and thus prevent deposits in the blood vessels. Furthermore, the omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the immune system and inhibit inflammatory reactions in the organism.

Experts recommend good cold-pressed olive oil. The quality is not necessarily determined by the price. Some cheap olive oils came off the discounter quite well in an investigation by the Stiftung Warentest.

Linseed oil should always be fresh
According to experts, linseed oil is the only oil that contains more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids. It is therefore perfectly suited to top up our omega-3 household. And with a tablespoon of linseed oil a day.

The health-promoting effect of linseed oil has also been confirmed in scientific studies.

Since this oil quickly becomes rancid, fresh goods should always be consumed. It is best to buy it directly from the grinder, which presses it fresh before it is sent. The opened bottle can be kept in the refrigerator for four weeks.

If flaxseed oil is too bitter, cookbook author Dagmar von Cramm recommends trying camelina oil. This is obtained from the flax seed, also contains a lot of omega-3, but has a milder, fresher taste.

Exotic oils enrich the kitchen
There has been much controversy over coconut oil in recent months and years. The proponents emphasize the supposed miracle effects of the exotic fat.

However, according to experts, the health benefits of coconut oil could not be proven in studies.

As an ingredient in exotic dishes such as curries, like coconut milk, it can contribute to a pleasantly fresh, sweet taste and enrich the kitchen.

Nuts usually also contain many polyunsaturated fatty acids and are therefore considered to be healthy sources of fat. Oils from nuts also have an intense, characteristic taste.

For example, peanut oil - which can be heated up without any problems - goes very well with Asian dishes.

Roasted sesame oil, which, as the name suggests, is made from sesame roasted before pressing, is essential for Asian cuisine in small quantities. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, Which Do I Choose? - Diabetes Center for Children at CHOP (January 2022).