When it comes to cooking oils that are Paleo-friendly, the best products to use are unrefined oils and fats with primarily saturated and unsaturated fatty acid contents. According to Harvard Medical School, these types of fats help you absorb vitamins, encourage healthy cholesterol levels and support a variety of crucial body functions like providing energy and building cell membranes. It is also important to choose oils and fats with a high enough smoke point to withstand the kind of heat you need for your specific type of cooking without burning and losing their nutritional benefits.
Here are five of the best oils for the Paleo diet.
1. Avocado Oil
Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocado oil is extracted from creamy avocados, which are rich in fatty acids and healthy nutrients. Delivering a healthy dose of good fats, helping nutrient absorption and improving cholesterol levels, avocado oil also packs in antioxidants when you use it to prepare your Paleo meals. With an extremely high smoke point and a mild flavor, avocado oil is exceptionally versatile. Use it for searing, roasting, grilling, frying, or sauteeing lean meat or vegetables, or drizzle it on your fresh salads as a refreshing dressing.
2. Coconut Oil
Solid at room temperature, coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of coconut palms and boasts a high saturated fat content. With a similar consistency to butter, coconut oil can replace butter in your low-heat Paleo cooking endeavors. Use it for frying eggs, sauteing vegetables and incorporating into any Paleo-friendly low-heat baking you embark on.
3. Olive Oil
Available in extra virgin and regular olive varieties, olive oil is rich in phenolic compounds, which work to reduce oxidative stress on the body and preserve their essential polyunsaturated fat content.
Extracted from ripe olives and pressed into a flavorful, aromatic oil rich in nutrients, both olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are packed with antioxidants and monounsaturated fats and ideal for infusing with other flavors for a fuller taste experience. Extra virgin olive oil is produced from the first olive pressing, so it retains even more nutrients than olive oil and has a slightly darker, richer, more complex aroma and flavor. However, it has a low smoke point, so it is best for drizzling over salads and sauteed vegetables or adding to sauces for extra flavor and nutrients. Regular olive oil, on the other hand, has a higher smoke point and can be used for medium-heat cooking like sauteing.
4. Palm Oils
As a vegetable oil extracted from the fruit of palms, palm oil is an unrefined, distinct oil high in saturated fat. While there are multiple kinds of oil derived from the palm tree, the most common and useful type of palm oil for Paleo purposes is red palm oil, a virgin oil with a subtly warm flavor and a rich red tone. Its high smoke point makes it ideal for almost any type of cooking — especially frying — and its flavor will enhance a variety of dishes. Try it out with internationally-inspired stir-fries or meat dishes.
Derived from pig fat, lard may sound unhealthy, but it actually contains mostly monounsaturated fats and has no trans fat at all, making it a heart-healthy choice for cooking Paleo dishes. In fact, lard has even less saturated fat than butter, and it helps to lower cholesterol levels. Despite its origins, lard has a neutral flavor and makes dishes delicious. Its high smoke point is excellent for frying vegetables and searing meat, making your Paleo meals crispy, satisfying and healthy.
Recipes to Check Out
When it comes to cooking smart and healthy with the best oils for the Paleo diet, no one does delicious better than La Tourangelle. With hand-crafted, all-natural artisan oils to cater to any diet and any cooking style, we encourage you to explore every possibility in a nutritious, delicious way. Explore our Paleo-friendly recipes and buy our artisan oils for your kitchen today.