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EarthRootsStarSoul 01-29-2013 06:28 AM

Is there any difference between vegetable oil, corn oil, or canola oil?  I know olive oil is good, but I don't always want to have that olive taste in certain foods. 


ollyoxenfree 01-30-2013 06:57 AM

Yes, oils derived from plant sources rather than animal ("vegetable oils") differ from each other.

 

The differences can affect whatever you are cooking. You may want to look up the particular oil you are using in a cookbook that discusses ingredients, like Joy of Cooking, or google it. Some factors to consider: 

 

- heavy vs. light (greasiness) 

 

- flavour (some are neutral, like grapeseed, others like oilve or sesame oil have very pronounced flavours)

 

- smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts to break down. It will smoke. For frying, you want an oil that can tolerate higher temperatures, such as grapeseed or sunflower. Olive oil has a low smoke point and isn't the best choice. I think coconut oil is somewhere in the middle)

 

- health-related (allergens, polyunsaturated vs. monounsaturated, omega-3 ("good") vs. omega-6 ("bad" in large quantities))

 

- genetically modified crop 

 

To answer your questions: 

 

Most oils labelled "vegetable oil" probably contain palm oil or soybean oil or a blend from different sources like corn and canola. I don't buy them. Partly because I like to know exactly what kind of oil I am using so I can have better control while I am preparing a dish. Partly because most of those oils are implicated in health problems. 

 

Canola oil is controversial as a genetically modified crop. It is high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids though. You may want to research the claims about it in more detail. Some people don't like the flavour either. 

 

Corn oil is very high in omega-6 fatty acids which are implicated in risks to health. I avoid using it but I think that's partly from bad memories of greasy, deep fat fried food in my childhood. 

 

Right now, I have grapeseed, sunflower, coconut, olive, sesame and walnut oils in my cupboard. I use them as needed for different dishes. I probably use the olive oil most often. I don't ever deep fry anything. I do saute and stir fry. 


craftymcgluestick 02-01-2013 01:34 PM

How can you find out which come from genetically-modified crops? Would it always be for a particular type of oil or does it vary by brand?

I use safflower oil a lot for making bread and cooking, but my sister told me it has GMOs. I would like to avoid these if possible, but want to find a good alternative that is GMO-free and not just shoot in the dark.

SundayCrepes 03-15-2013 11:15 PM

After reading this site I stopped using most oils (including grapeseed oil) http://theconsciouslife.com/omega-3-6-9-ratio-cooking-oils.htm 

 

I now use almost exclusively avocado oil for general purpose baking and cooking and macadamia for dessert-type baking and cooking (plus stuff like pancakes and such.)

 

Sometimes I will use coconut oil if I want that specific taste. I won't heat olive oil. I rarely need oil that isn't heated so I simply stopped keeping olive oil in my house.

 

These are the oils I buy:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Massimo-Gusto-Virgin-Avocado-Bottles/dp/B00551COSU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363414447&sr=8-1&keywords=massimo+gusto+avocado+oil

 

http://www.amazon.com/Now-Foods-Organic-Macadamia-16-Ounce/dp/B0014M1VR4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363414506&sr=8-1&keywords=macadamia+nut+oil

 

I usually get my coconut oil at Trader Joe's.

 

I wish I could find affordable macadamia oil in glass but I haven't so far.


mightymama1976 03-16-2013 07:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

Is there any difference between vegetable oil, corn oil, or canola oil?  I know olive oil is good, but I don't always want to have that olive taste in certain foods. 

Yes, there is a HUGE difference. You want to avoid omega 6 loaded oils (it disrupts omega 3- omega 6 balance in the body. omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, omega 6 is pro-inflammatory) and oils that turn into trans fat during cooking at all cost. So staying away from soy, corn, canola (these three also have yet another huge issue being mostly pressed from genetically modified crops...BAD IDEA). Also olive oil makes a good salad dressing, but is not suitable for cooking since it is very unstable and turns in trans fat easily. Animal fat (free of hormones, antibiotics), coconut oil, avocado oil are beneficial fats and all great for cooking. If you aren't allergic to dairy, organic butter and ghee butter are a good fat too (especially from grass-fed cows), but too is very unstable in high temperatures, so isn't good for cooking. Grape seed oil is assumed to be fairly stable in high temperatures (though I personally cannot see why), but it is high on pro-inflammatory omega 6.

 

hope this helps.


FiveZip 03-20-2013 03:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraftyMcGluestick View Post

How can you find out which come from genetically-modified crops? Would it always be for a particular type of oil or does it vary by brand?

I use safflower oil a lot for making bread and cooking, but my sister told me it has GMOs. I would like to avoid these if possible, but want to find a good alternative that is GMO-free and not just shoot in the dark.

 

Am I correct that if it's organic, it's "supposed" to be GMO-free?  But some common organic companies are actually owned by mega food corporations and I heard recently that some companies lied about their organics being GMO-free.  I wonder if looking for the "NON-GMO PROJECT" label on the product would help.

 

 

Sunday Crepes, thanks for sharing the avocado oil idea.  The price is not cheap, though, although it is still cheaper than really good olive oils.  I don't stir-fry anymore, and with the thick-bottomed pots, I never have to use more than lower medium heat to saute to make their smoking point an issue.


SundayCrepes 03-21-2013 01:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveZip View Post

Sunday Crepes, thanks for sharing the avocado oil idea.  The price is not cheap, though, although it is still cheaper than really good olive oils.  I don't stir-fry anymore, and with the thick-bottomed pots, I never have to use more than lower medium heat to saute to make their smoking point an issue.

 

Unless I'm in a random make lots of french fries phase, I don't really fry so the two liters of avocado oil I linked above last me four to six months. Current price is $26 so divide that by 4 to 6 and it's not that much a month.

 

I made potato tacos last night fried in the avocado oil. So yummy my husband actually came home for lunch to eat the leftovers (something he never does.) His comment, "They're greasy, but they're good." He doesn't like fried foods, but he eats lots of my french fries and tacos. I think it's because of the avocado oil.

 

I am a bit annoyed though. I've been thinking about those tacos all day. I was going to make guacamole and eat them all up. Then while the kids and I were out he snuck home and ate them. He didn't know I was dreaming of them, of course, but it just goes to show you how much we like them.


Kiven White 04-02-2013 09:13 PM

I heard that it is suggested to change cooking oils frequently. Is it true?


mightymama1976 05-15-2013 11:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveZip View Post

 

Am I correct that if it's organic, it's "supposed" to be GMO-free?  But some common organic companies are actually owned by mega food corporations and I heard recently that some companies lied about their organics being GMO-free.  I wonder if looking for the "NON-GMO PROJECT" label on the product would help.

 

 

Sunday Crepes, thanks for sharing the avocado oil idea.  The price is not cheap, though, although it is still cheaper than really good olive oils.  I don't stir-fry anymore, and with the thick-bottomed pots, I never have to use more than lower medium heat to saute to make their smoking point an issue.

 

While organic is supposed to be GMO-free, there is now unfortunately a HUGE issue of cross-contamination. Therefore, need to be careful with those crops that were genetically modified. A couple of years ago there was a study of organic corn and soy and to no one's surprise it showed that organic corn and soy can be as much as 25% cross-contaminated with GMO. Very sad and scary :(



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