The Healthiest Oils For Cooking (and how to store them!)

Posted on March 5, 2024

Virgin? Coconut? Extra Light? Who really knows?

Healthy Oils Flex Studio HK

Cooking your food with the most nutritious and safe oil should be easy. But with conflicting information out there, we don’t always know which to use and how long to keep them.

Hong Kong-based Eating Behavior Specialist and a Transformational Holistic Health Coach, Tatiana Kuvardina, keeps it very simple. Here, shares her thoughts on getting the most from your oils:

High Heat Cooking (roasting, for example):

  • Choose coconut oil or ghee (ghee is butter simmered to separate the oil from the other components).
  • Coconut and Ghee are very heat resistant and therefore retain most of their amazing amount of nutrients. If you don’t want the hint of coconut oil flavor when baking, for example (not all coconut oils have a strong flavor, but many do), ghee is ideal.
  • Ghee stems from the ancient tradition of Ayurveda, where it was considered a sacred, medicinal, cleansing, and nourishing food.
  • Good quality grass-fed ghee also contains the elusive nutrient vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is the shuttle than transports calcium to bones. You can eat as much calcium as you want but it won’t strengthen your bones unless it is accompanied by vitamin K2.
  • Remember that there’s no such thing as ‘slim oil’. ‘Light’ oil relates only to its flavor intensity.

Frying Pan Cooking:

  • Again, I use Ghee and coconut oils.
  • Olive oil (and there are many different kinds) is so popular, but it only retains its nutrients if it hasn’t been high heated. Heating will change the structure of the molecules in olive oil.
  • One of the biggest reasons for inflammation is that our bodies don’t recognize these small molecules and therefore don’t know how to process them. So I always recommend the least processed option when cooking in the pan.
  • If you’re thinking about health or flavor, (ghee or coconut oil versus olive) it’s better to go for health.

Other Culinary Delights:

  • At home, I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for my soups and salads and slow cooking (which doesn’t require such high heat).
  • I keep my oil choices simple as I don’t want to have 100 bottles in my kitchen. Plus, oils don’t age well, making it a waste of money to buy too many different oils.

Storing and Expiry Dates:

  • Choose your olive oil – in particular – as far from the expiry date as possible and use it within one to two months. As it ages, it oxidizes and therefore loses its host of important nutrients.
  • Keep olive oil stored away from sunlight and heat. So don’t place it next to the kettle, for example. It’s a good idea to wrap the bottle in tin foil to keep out light.
  • You can also store it – alongside your coconut oil and ghee – in the fridge.
  • Don’t buy oils in a plastic bottle, unless you plan to decant them into a glass container at home. Oils carry toxins very well (and plastics may contain toxins that leach into the oil).

Want to know more about detoxing your kitchen and creating a healthier life? Michelle Ricaille’s super popular 6-Day Detox Program for Summer is being held at One Island South from May 15-20. Places are filling fast! 

Tatiana Kurvadina is at

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