Ask the Dietitian: What is the Healthiest Cooking Oil and Why?
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Ask the Dietitian: What is the Healthiest Cooking Oil and Why?

When selecting a cooking oil you'll want to consider health, but also smoke point. Kroger dietitian Molly Hembree, M.S., R.D., L.D., breaks it down.

By Molly Hembree

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Three of the best liquid oils are olive, canola and flax oil. Olive and canola oils have a hefty amount of monounsaturated fat and little saturated fat. Flax oil is also low in saturated fat, but it gets a gold star for having a nice dose of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3 fats.

However, if you’re cooking at high heat (over 400°), you want an oil that is stable and doesn’t smoke. Commonly, peanut, corn and soybean oils are used at this heat for frying, but they don’t confer as much health benefit as the ones previously mentioned.

Somewhere in the middle stands “light/refined” olive oil (smoke point of about 430°). This should be the one in your grocery cart for any sautéing or pan-frying.

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To learn more about the health benefits of eating plant-based foods read “Eat Yourself Healthy on a Plant-Based Diet.”



Food as Medicine

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A registered dietitian with Kroger, Molly provides private nutrition-counseling services, and has been a public speaker, radio talk-show guest, blog author and TV news presenter for Kroger. She enjoys helping customers simplify the confusing world of nutrition labels, dietary intolerances, weight management and plant-based nutrition.

Need to talk with a dietitian?

Head to to set up a private nutrition-counseling appointment.


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