What Oil Are You Using for High Heat?
There are so many vegetable oils that it is hard to decide which one is the best for you. High heat applications are probably the most important when choosing oils as heat can change the profile of oil. If you follow the potato and tortilla chip companies, you can actually learn a lot about high heat oils. Your traditional chips that have been around for decades are not going to change their ingredients, but new brands that come to market have done their research and most use an oil that is great nutritionally, ideal for flavor profile and can be marketed to the consumer with current nutritional information. High oleic sunflower oil and high oleic safflower oil are showing up in premium brands. Both are high in monounsaturated fat and allow for ideal flavor. Oils greater than 75% monounsaturated fat are proven to lower cholesterol and reduce risk of coronary artery disease.
Now there are companies that jump on the bandwagon of what's trending and try to profit off of this. Have you ever had a potato chip that is fried in coconut oil? I have and I'm not a fan. They are inconsistent from bag to bag, soggy, and I've even had rancid chips. This isn't because of the potato, it's the oil that causes all of these traits that turn people away. Coconut oil is unstable and will develop odd flavors under heat and is 91% saturated fat.
So what oil, or chip, should you choose? No, fat is not just fat and not all fats are equal. When choosing an oil there are 4 types of common fat that you should consider for each oil; monounsaturated fat (omega 9), polyunsaturated linoleic (omega 6), polyunsaturated linolenic (omega 3), and saturated fat. There is also trans fat, but trans fats have all but been eliminated from our oils. Optimum health requires monos, polys, and even saturated fat. Science has found that omega 6's, and especially 3's, when heated break down their essential nutrition and can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation can affect joints and muscles to more serious health concerns such as heart disease and cancer. A western diet consumes too much polyunsaturated fat which scientists have found to be detrimental to your health. Saturated fat is heart damaging and adds weight to the body. When these 6's and 3's are used in cold applications such as dressings, optimal nutrition performance remains. Monounsaturated fat is ideal for high heat. The greater the monos (omega 9) and the less polyunsaturated and saturated, the more durable against high heat, especially over a long period of time. You won't see many chip brands using an oil that is high in polyunsaturated linolenic (omega 3) fat because this fat under high heat will break down and chemically change affecting nutrition and performance of the oil.
Colorado Mills is the perfect oil for high heat cooking, whether it be in a frying pan or on the grill as it as a greater than 450 degree smoke point and an average of 86% monounsaturated fat with only 7% polyunsaturated fat and 7% saturated fat. Making it the highest of the heart healthy monounsaturated fat and tied for the lowest of saturated fat with canola oil, minimal polyunsaturated linoleic and no polyunsaturated linolenic. It is an awesome high heat oil but it is also one that you can use as a dressing, marinade, or even bake with it.
The bottom line...
Use a high monounsaturated fat, low saturated fat oil such as Colorado Mills as your everything oil. You don't need 6 different oils in your kitchen! Balance the oil with a diet of fish, walnuts, and chia seeds to obtain your omega 3's. Stop buying "vegetable oil" at the supermarket, which is most likely soybean oil. And next time you are pondering which bag of chips to buy at the grocery store, read the ingredient list and choose one that is made with high oleic sunflower oil. Chances are it is Colorado Mills' sunflower oil!
Written by Zac Kreider