How long have you had those bottles of cooking oil hanging around in your pantry? Are they still good? Have they gone rancid?
Which ones are healthy? Find out here which oils to get rid of. Then click on over to find out How to Pick Healthy Cooking Oils.
Avoid Using These Cooking Oils
Some cooking oils go through very harsh processing methods using chemical solvents, steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach, and deodorizers.
In many cases, the ‘solvent’ that is used is hexane which is a byproduct from gasoline production. Mmmm. Good.
Expeller-pressed oils avoid the use of the solvent but involves much more expense and creates high heat which can damage the taste of the oil. Cold-pressing the oil (keeping the temperature under 90ºF) is a good solution but is also expensive.
These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats, with a terrible Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio. We get too much Omega-6’s in our typical Western diet as it is, causing inflammation which can lead to a whole host of problems. Although there is disagreement as to the optimal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio, some say 1:1 is best.
Get Rid of these Cooking Oils
- Soybean Oil–relatively high in omega-6 fatty acids. Soybean oil is also typically made from GMOs (genetically modified organisms), as more than 90% of U.S. soybean crops are genetically modified. Plus there is a whole lot of research about why soy is bad for you.
- Corn Oil–highly refined, hexane-extracted from GMO corn, and loaded with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are unstable when exposed to heat. Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is 83:1.
- Safflower Oil–Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is 133:1. It is high in Omega 9s, however.
- Cottonseed Oil–a byproduct of the cotton crop that’s inundated with pesticides and chemicals because it’s regulated as a textile crop. Cottonseed Oil is the primary ingredient in Crisco. Omega 6:Omega 3 is 54:1.
- Canola Oil–a variety of rapeseed oil. Almost all canola crops in North America are GMO. Conventional canola oil is low in nutrients, high in oxidized Omega-6 fats, and high in trans fats (the worst kind of fat).
- Grapeseed Oil–extracted from grape seeds, a byproduct of winemaking. Grapeseed oil is extremely high in Omega 6’s with a Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio of 676:1.
- Vegetable Oil–typically soybean oil
- Vegetable shortening (Crisco)–typically soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and palm oil, mono- and diglycerides, TBHQ. Bad news all around. Nothing good to say about shortening.
- Margarine–another really bad idea.
Oils to Eat in Moderation
- Flaxseed Oil–though it contains a good amount of Omega-3’s (1:4 ratio), its high polyunsaturated fat content makes it prone to oxidation if heated.
- Peanut Oil–although peanut oil has a high smoke point, a neutral taste, and does not absorb the flavors of the food, it is high in polyunsaturated fat making it vulnerable to oxidation. 32:1 ratio.
When do Cooking Oils Go Bad?
No cooking oil has an indefinite shelf life.
Cooking oils go rancid due to their exposure to oxygen, light and heat. Here are some tips to buy and store oils:
- Store oils in cool, dry places or in the refrigerator to maximize their lifespan.
- As tempting as it may be, don’t store oils by the stove. The heat will cause them to go bad.
- Use glass bottles only and preferably dark-colored bottles to keep out the light.
- As a general rule, unopened bottles can last up to 2 years. Opened bottles only about a year. For oils that you only use occasionally, buy small bottles.
- Here’s a handy reference from EatByDate for determining how long various oils will last depending on whether they are opened, unopened, stored in a pantry or the fridge.
- The most stable cooking oils are saturated tropical oils such as coconut and palm. Typically, these are partly solid at room temperature.
- Monounsaturated oils such as olive, peanut and sesame are more likely to turn cloudy or even solidify in the fridge but do clear at room temperature. These oils are relatively stable and keep longer.
- Polyunsaturated oils such as grapeseed and corn oils are sensitive to heat and light and are among the most unstable. They should only be used for cooking at low temperature and must be used within six months. Get rid of these oils.
Here’s your simple change for the day: Avoid using these cooking oils and purge your pantry of expired oils.
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Sources: See “How to Pick Healthy Cooking Oils“.