Cooking oils at home and on the road (restaurants)?

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Cooking oils at home and on the road (restaurants)?

Postby bexnews » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:48 am

I recently read Dr Cate Shanahan's Deep Nutrition and was reviewing her website... I had assumed from my paleo readings that we avoid vegatable oils because of the Omega6s but she makes the point that this is not the whole story and it is more the fact that they get oxidized. She says that olive oil is OK to cook with so long as you are stirring - and not using too high a temperature.... I had also recenly read Rain Barrell Effect by Stephen Cabral who advocates cooking without any oil (which I assume means steaming or baking etc just not pan cooking). Here's what Cate says on her site:


The higher the heat, the more you need to be stirring unless you’re going for a specific effect, like char flavor or crispy skin.


BUTTER+OLIVE: Add a pat of butter to olive oil when cooking at high heat, the saturated fat in the butter protects the olive oil and the antioxidants in the olive oil protect the protein in the butter that might otherwise burn.

SESAME+PEANUT: Add sesame to peanut oil for Asian dishes. The ratio should be roughly 4-8:1 Peanut:Sesame. Sesame is high in PUFA, but it has powerful antioxidants that, when added to low PUFA peanut oil, protect all the PUFAs.

Should I make sure to use a high smoke point oil for pan frying, wok cooking or other high-heat applications?

No. Here’s why:

Smoke point is a sciencey sounding selling point that vegetable oil salesmen use to ooze their way into busy restaurants. If you’ve read about smoke points, you’ve probably read something like this “Refined oils have higher smoke points and typically a more neutral flavor than unrefined oils, which makes them better for sautéing, frying or even deep-frying.” I think the concept of smoke point is bunk. First of all, what chef is going to literally wait for food on the stove to start smoking before stirring it? Have you ever seen that on a cooking show? Secondly, and this is the more important point, the molecular degradation that occurs in these high smoke point oils both during their manufacture and then again when they’re exposed to high heat during cooking invisibly degrades the oil, generating molecules that are dangerous to our health.

If the food you order has black char on it, you’ll probably realize someone in the kitchen wasn’t paying attention to your dish, and send it back. The higher smoke point oils enable chefs to stir less often and in so doing to overheat your food without leaving any evidence.

I’m not saying theres no such thing as smoke point. Of course there is. But the myth is that the product is somehow superior because it has a high smoke point. You can increase the smoke point of any fat by removing proteins, antioxidants, and free fatty acids. For example, ghee has a higher smoke point than butter because the clarification process reduces the protein content.

I recommend using high-quality oils and fats like butter, lard or tallow, and yes, even EVOO, for stovetop frying. But be sure to stir! It should go without saying that overcooking your dishes not a healthy practice. Who needs high smoke points? Just eat properly cooked food. ... ersus-bad/

So at HOME.....
So if I do want to pan fry or bake vegatables in good quality olive oil - and like cooking in olive oil - does anyone know what is conisdered "high heat"? How often to stir? Should we APOE4s use butter as Dr Cate suggests? I use a ceramic pan at a low setting of "3" on my gas grill that goes to "7". Is that high or how do we know?

And then in RESTAURANTS....
what is the best strategy here? Of course we can request them to use olive oil but will they stir enough? Is the olive oil good quality? Is it safer to just ask for butter to be used for we APOE4s? Do I have to personally visit their kitchen?!? What do folks do?

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Re: Cooking oils at home and on the road (restaurants)?

Postby SoCalGuy » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:29 am

I use EVOO on salads where it obviously isn't heated at all. This is probably where I get like 80% of my EVOO consumption. When cooking with EVOO I never heat higher than medium heat and not for long. I tend to use EVOO when warming up beans. I will also use EVOO when making eggs for breakfast; I eat 3 eggs once per week always make an omelette and do not let the heat go above medium heat.

When sauteing veggies I use algae oil which has very high amounts of monounsaturated fat and very low levels of saturated fat. I cook brussels sprouts on high heat and algae oil has a high smokepoint. When sauteing veggies like cauliflower and broccoli I tend to let them cook on medium heat for probably like 10 mins to get some carmelization on them and to soften them up a bit.

I also use algae oil when sauteing either shiitake mushrooms or cremini mushrooms.

When eating out at a restaurant I just assume the food is going to be of low health value. I do not eat out much so I don't stress about it when eating at a restaurant but if I was in a situation where I had to eat out frequently I would do my best avoid food that is cooked with oils. So I'd probably focus on trying to eat a salad and hope they have some good lettuce leaf options rather than your run of the mill iceberg lettuce.

I don't really cook with butter at all as I am working on keeping my APO B as low as possible since it seems to play such a large role in atherosclerosis. YMMV as some people can eat saturated fat without any issues.

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