Which Oil is the Best? Is My Olive Oil Enough?

Balancing your health and bettering your diet is all about being smart regarding your intake of vitamins and minerals and focusing on eating the kinds of foods your body needs — including fats. When it comes to your immune system, energy, and other essential bodily functions, fats serve a variety of beneficial purposes, from providing you with the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals to keeping your body warm, protecting vital organs, building cell membranes and bettering neurological function.

Eating the right kind of fats can do so much for your body — especially your cardiovascular health. But to reap the heart-healthy benefits of fats, you need to know the difference between "good fat" and "bad fat" — namely, saturated, and unsaturated fats. While it is recommended that you always try to avoid any synthetic trans-fats and keep your intake of saturated fats moderate by cutting back on whole dairy, red meats, and processed foods, unsaturated fats are natural and essential to keeping your body healthy.

As a vital source of unsaturated fats, cooking oils are a recommended way to manage your healthy fat intake and make your meals more delicious. The U.S. dietary guidelines say that you should try to incorporate a small amount of natural oil each day into your diet to supply your body with the fatty acids it does not produce naturally, but you might not know which to include in your cooking for the best health benefits. If you are wondering "what oils should I buy?" or "do I need oils other than olive oil?" this guide will help you understand the differences between common types of oil and what oils are the best. Read more here!


What is the difference between Roasted Nut Oils and Refined Nut Oils?

If you are looking for a food group or cooking ingredient to provide healthy fats, high amounts of fiber, magnesium and high-quality protein to support excellent heart health and lower cholesterol, nut oils offer the ideal nutritious and delicious choice. Nut oils are perfect for stir-frying, sauteing, grilling, drizzling or infusing all-natural, heart-healthy nutrients and rich flavors into every meal, appetizer or dessert. Containing all the full flavor and nutritious benefits of natural nuts, these oils are smooth, wholesome ingredients to incorporate into any kind of cooking.

If you are wondering about the relative benefits and properties of roasted vs. refined nut oils before you begin using them in your culinary creations, this can help you to decide which works better for your tastes.

Nut Oils for Cooking

Nut oils add nutrients, texture, intensified flavor and nutritional benefits to your dishes. When you search for nut oils to incorporate into your kitchen endeavors, you have so many varieties to choose from — from pistachio, pecan and peanut oil to macadamia oil, almond oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil and others. While each boasts its own unique flavor and store of healthy omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, not all types of oil will offer the same benefits — it all depends on how the oil is made.

While some nut oils come from roasted nuts to deepen flavors, others are refined - either through chemical refinement or mechanical refinement. Even if naturally refined, the process of refinement can often yield an oil that is smooth and pale, removing color, nutrient and flavor. Depending on your preferences and the cooking method you plan to use with your oil, both roasted and refined oils can serve different purposes.

Roasted or Refined

Roasted and refined nut oils differ in the process of their creation, flavor, cooking capabilities and nutritional content.

Refined oils are typically not produced from the best quality of nuts, but instead from nut stock, which are nuts of lower quality sold to manufacturers at discounted prices. Nut processing and oil extraction can vary from expeller-pressed to chemical. The same goes for the refinement process - sometimes it is done naturally through physical action and sometimes with the assistance of chemicals. Refinement is required to remove impurities and create a smooth texture. Unfortunately, the refining process can also eliminate many of the nuts' antioxidants and most of their beneficial nutrients, producing an oil that is pure but stripped of its essential flavors and nutrient levels. However, refined oils tend to have a higher smoke point and are ideal for deep-frying and high-heat cooking.

Roasted nut oils, like the nut oils crafted by La Tourangelle, are typically made from higher-quality nuts using sophisticated methods and efforts. At La Tourangelle, these high-quality nuts are hand-roasted in kettles, expeller-pressed, filtered lightly and bottled for a high-quality oil rich in color, flavor, aroma and nutrients. We always use natural methods throughout the entire process. While roasted nut oils are great for vinaigrettes, dressings, and drizzles, they also add deep, delicious flavors and nutrients to desserts, entrees and other dishes.

Choose La Tourangelle's Tremendous Quality

La Tourangelle handcrafts our healthy artisan nut oils with the most natural, flavorful, high-quality roasted nuts using our 150-year old French family tradition. Try our delicious variety of nut oils — fresh from our California mill — in your cooking for the best flavors and culinary creations today.


Finishing, Stir Fry, Sauté, Searing, Deep-Fry. What is the Difference? Which Oils to Use?

When it comes to experimenting in the kitchen and infusing your dishes with the complex, beautiful blend of flavors and textures you crave, it all starts with the right ingredients and a high-quality oil. The secret is out, and starting with a heart-healthy, all-natural oil will complement your cooking and create the best conditions for your culinary creations.

You may already know what flavors you enjoy best, but you may not be aware of which oils are right for each occasion. It matters whether you are searing, frying, or drizzling for flavor and there are different oil types that work best depending on what you are cooking. La Tourangelle is here to help you find the best oils for each cooking method. Read more here!


What are Omega's?

Keeping your body healthy, strong, fit, and free of detrimental conditions means paying attention to what you consume as part of your daily diet and making sure you incorporate a balance of the right foods and nutrients in your intake. Believe it or not, experts agree that consuming the right amount and the right kinds of fats is essential to your health. When it comes to energy and critical bodily functions, experts say that a proper intake of fats provides a vital energy sourceassists cell membrane growthhelps the body absorb nutrientsimproves cognitive function and aids in protective inflammation.

While "fats" in general have traditionally been associated with weight gain or bad health, not all fats are created equal. In fact, while synthetic fats like trans fats are unhealthy and saturated fats from red meats and packaged foods are not ideal, unsaturated fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are crucial to heart health, lowering cholesterol levels and contributing to vital bodily functions, according to Harvard Medical School. These healthy fats are also known as omegas.

If you are dedicated to incorporating the right amount and kinds of fats into your daily diet to contribute to a healthier lifestyle, here is everything you need to know about the types of omegas and omega benefits.


An Antioxidant is a substance that slows the oxidative rancidity of fats in stored foods. Many fats, and especially vegetable oils, contain naturally occurring antioxidants, among them vitamin E which protect them against rancidity for some time.
Free radicals cause damage to fatty acids in cell membranes, and the product of this damage can then cause damage to proteins and DNA. A number of different mechanisms are involved in protection against, or repair after, oxygen radical damage, including a number of nutrients especially vitamin E, carotene, vitamin C. Collectively these are known as antioxidant nutrients.

*The nutrition Dictionary - A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition (Oxford Quick Reference)
*Nutrition Almanach - Gayla J. and John D. Kirschmann

*The supplement hanbook - Mark Moyad, MD, MPH



Fats- or lipids are the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. There are three classes of lipids: triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols. The function of fat to the body is vital, but too much can be a problem. All diets should be designed to include the essential amounts and avoid any excess.

In more general use, the term “fats” refers to the neutral fats which are triacyglycerols, mixed esters of fatty acids with glycerol. In general glycylglycerols that are solid at room temperature are called fats, and those that are liquid are known as oils.*

*The nutrition Dictionary – A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition

Fatty Acids

The substances that give fats their different flavors, textures, and melting points are known as fatty acids. Fatty acids differ in two ways: in chain length and in saturation.

Chemically, fats (or lipids) are substances that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents, such as ether, and are actual or potential esters of fatty acids. The terms include triacyglycerols (triglycerides), phospholipids, waxes, and sterols.

The fatty acid composition featured on each ID card of each product shows you the essential fatty acid composition of each oil and therefore their composition in omega 3, 6, 9.

*The nutrition Dictionary – A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition
*Nutrition almanach – Gayla J. and John D. Kirchmann


MCT's (Medium-chain triacylglycerols) - Lauric Acid

Oils containing MCT’s such as Lauric Acid are absorbed more rapidly than conventional fats.

They have been promoted as “ergogenic” (intended to enhance physical performance, stamina, or recovery) aids because of their rapid absorption. Some studies have reported beneficial effects for athletic performance (not sufficient though to be absolute). The body processes them as it would carbohydrates, and they are used as a source of direct energy.


Unsaturated Fats / Saturated Fats

Unsaturated fatty acids lower levels of cholesterol in the blood, while saturated fatty acids raise it. To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is recommended that saturated fatty acid intake should not exceed about 10% of energy.

In general, fats from animal sources are high in saturated and relatively low in unsaturated fatty acids; vegetable oils are generally higher in unsaturated and lower in saturated fatty acids.* Read more here!

*The nutrition Dictionary - A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition (Oxford Quick Reference) 


Vitamin E

Vitamin E functions primarily as an antioxidant in cell membranes, protecting unsaturated fatty acids from oxidative damage. Fat oxidation results in the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are highly destructive molecules that can alter DNA and cause extensive damage to the body. Vitamin E is not only an antioxidant, it is also of great importance in energy production. It plays an essential role in cellular respiration of all muscles, especially cardiac and skeletal.

Vegetables, seeds, and most vegetables oils are good sources of vitamin E.
The US RDA is 15 mg/day. The La Tourangelle sunflower and sesame oil are also a good source of vitamin E.


Good and Bad Cholesterol

When it comes to your health, monitoring your cholesterol levels is a big part of keeping your body in its best condition, controlling your weight, staying in shape, and assuring you live a long, healthy life. To manage your cholesterol, it is recommended that you control your diet by making sure you consume fewer unhealthy fats and eat healthier options instead — balancing your levels between the "good" and "bad" cholesterol. If you are unsure which is good cholesterol and which is bad, this guide can help you grasp cholesterol concepts and incorporate the healthy eating choices necessary to control it. Read more here!


Smoke Point

When you stir-fry and sauté vegetables, sear meats, deep-fry foods, grill, roast and do whatever kind of cooking is necessary to complete your culinary creations in the kitchen, you are no doubt using cooking oil to prepare your ingredients, get them to the appropriate heat, add flavor and texture, and bind everything together nicely. But what you might not know about your cooking efforts is that every oil has a specific smoke point and set of characteristics that make certain types better for certain kinds of cooking. Oils react differently to the heat based on their flavor, base, nutritional content, and degree of refinement.

If you are hoping to refine your culinary skills, improve your dishes and learn more about the properties of cooking oils to use them to their best abilities, here is what you need to know about the smoke point of oils and how to use them in the kitchen. Read more about smoke point here.

See below our selection to cover each application (high, medium, low).


Saponification Number

The term 'saponification' is the name given to the chemical reaction that occurs when a vegetable oil or animal fat is mixed with a strong alkali (a soluble salt obtained from the ashes of plants and consisting of potassium or sodium carbonate). The products of the reaction are two: soap and glycerin. Water is also present, but it does not enter into the chemical reaction.

So, this number is useful for those who are making their own soap with our oil.

Unsaponifiable constituents are an important consideration when selecting oil mixtures for the manufacture of soaps. Unsaponifiable constituents can be beneficial to a soap formula because they may have properties such as moisturization, conditioning, vitamins, texture, etc. On the other hand, if the proportion of the unsaponifiable is too high, or the specific unsaponifiable present does not provide significant benefits, a defective or inferior soap product can result.

The saponification number represents the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide required to saponify 1g of fat under the conditions specified.


What Does it Mean for an Oil to be Roasted?

Roasted Oils

When it comes to choosing what you use in the kitchen and what you put into your body, it is important to understand where the ingredients you use come from, what they contain and how they affect your health. Choosing the best cooking oils to complement the flavors of your cuisine, serve the right purpose in your cooking technique and add essential nutrients to your diet means choosing between popular oil options like refined, unrefined, and roasted.

If you are looking for an all-natural option packed with full flavor and nutrients, roasted nut oils are an ideal choice for your kitchen. To give you a better idea of what they are, how they benefit your health and the best ways to use them in your cooking to get the best flavor and nutritional results, here is everything you need to know about roasted nut oils.


What Is Oleic Acid?

When it comes to what your body needs to stay healthy and absorb the right kinds of nutrients to perform essential functions — like providing energy, supporting cell health, keeping muscle movement strong, supporting nerve function and more — it is important to add the right amount of fats into your daily diet. The healthy fats your body needs to function are called unsaturated fats, and they come in three forms: omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. While omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential acids the body cannot produce itself, omega-9s are naturally found in the body but still need to be consumed in the proper amounts to support good health.

As the most common kind of omega-9, oleic acid is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. If you are hoping to learn more about this Mediterranean staple, what it does for your body and what foods you can find it in, here is everything you need to know about oleic acids.


Paleo-Friendly Cooking Oils

When you are dedicated to pursuing a lifestyle that will lead to better health, adopting a proper diet is one of the best ways to achieve your wellness goals. When it comes to established diet plans proven to improve your lifestyle, the Paleo diet plan is a popular diet today.

Based on an ideology that modern humans face difficulties with their weight and health because of contemporary culture's overabundance of processed foods, processed fats, and sugars, along with a sedentary lifestyle, the Paleo — or Paleolithic — diet is all about getting back to basics. It focuses only on the food groups our Paleolithic ancestors used to survive during the days of hunting and gathering.

Cutting out all processed, high-fat, and high-sugar foods that waste calories with little nutritional value, the Paleo diet restricts consumption to all-natural foods our ancestors could have hunted and gathered — like fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, lean proteins, and foods high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. With exercise and dedicated adherence to these healthy foods, the Paleo diet can lead to weight loss and better appetite management.

While it is essential to cut out unhealthy and synthesized fats like trans fats and hydrogenated fats, not having a high enough healthy fat intake is one of the biggest mistakes first-time Paleo dieters tend to make. Both to support essential body functions and provide you with the energy you need to exercise and stay happy with Paleo, experts recommend that you supplement your fruit, vegetable, and lean meat intake with the right amount of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. A great way to incorporate them into your diet is by using the right kinds of cooking fats and oils to make your Paleo meals.

If you are wondering about the best oils for the Paleo diet, this guide will help you understand what to use in your kitchen to make dieting Paleo-style both easy and enjoyable.


Keto-Friendly Cooking Oils

Among other healthy diet trends today, there has been a significant number of Americans "going keto." The ketogenic diet is based on an intake of low-carb, high-fat foods in the right portions to stimulate weight loss by putting the body in an enhanced metabolic state called ketosis, in which you naturally burn fat for energy. Not only does the keto diet contribute to fat burning and weight loss, but studies show that it also provides your body with a variety of other health benefits, including reductions in insulin and blood sugar, an increase in energy to the brain, and a reduced risk of health conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and some cancers.

While there are a few "types" or variations on the ketogenic diet, all keto diet plans follow the same basics — reducing carbohydrates and increasing your intake of healthy fats to about 60 to 90 percent of your daily calories. As a heart-healthy source of fat and an essential ingredient for preparing your food, cooking oils are a necessary part of any diet, especially fat-focused keto.

If you are hoping to develop a healthy basis for your keto diet by incorporating the right kinds of fats into your eating habits, we are here to help make your keto cooking efforts easier by introducing you to the most keto-friendly cooking oils and fats.