Typically, if you speak to many fitness enthusiasts (bros, sis?) you’ll find that the only thing they know about cooking is putting some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and throwing whatever protein in to it. This is the best way to turn any beautiful piece of meat in to a disgusting burnt nightmare and if you’re cooking your eggs with olive oil, I truly feel sorry for you! Try peanut oil.
I can’t say this enough; olive oil should NOT be used for cooking. It was never meant to be! Olive oil has such a low smoke point that it just cannot reach the temperature required to cook most meats without burning off and oxidizing.
The best oil that I’ve found for cooking is peanut oil, sometimes also known as groundnut oil. It is used quite often in Asian cuisine and for good reason.
High Smoke Point
Peanut oil has a very high smoke point of 440F. By comparison, extra virgin olive oil has a very low smoke point of 320F. If you’ve cooked with olive oil you might have noticed that after a few seconds in to the pan it starts smoking. If this happens, the oil has gone rancid and you should not cook with it. Peanut oil, on the other hand has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor which makes it a great oil to use for high temperature cooking. If you really want, you can mix olive oil and peanut oil and this will take the smoke point of the olive oil higher with all the antioxidant benefits of olive oil.
Olive oil and coconut oil aren’t the only healthy oils for you. Peanut oil contains a high amount of the antioxidant Resveratrol, which is well known for its ability to fight free radicals and even for its mild anti-estrogenic effects.
Peanut oil also contains many heart friendly monounsaturated fatty acids such as Oleic acid. These help to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good ones (HDL). This in turn helps to prevent strokes, heart attacks and artery disease.
Another antioxidant found in peanut oil is vitamin E. Vitamin E is great against free radicals, helps fight ageing, improves skin quality and even increases sperm count and motility.
If you like to pop your own popcorn, give peanut oil a try. Since it maintains even heat and has a high smoke point, your popcorn will all pop consistently without burning.
Just be careful if you have peanut allergies as some of the unrefined varieties are known to trigger allergies in those prone to it.