The American Heart Association Cookbook, Fifth Edition, recommends all of these oils except peanut oil.
Made from rape seeds. Canola oil has a bland flavor and is good for cooking and salad dressings. It has approximately 6 percent less saturated fat than other oils.
Made from the germ of the corn kernel. Corn oil is almost tasteless and is excellent for cooking because it can withstand high temperatures without smoking. It is high in polyunsaturated fat and is used to make margarine, salad dressings and mayonnaise.
A monosaturated oil extracted from tree-ripened olives. Olive oils range from light amber to green in color and bland to extremely strong in flavor. Olive oil is graded according to its degree of acidity and the process used to extract the oil. Oil labeled “virgin” is cold pressed, a process using no heat or chemicals and contains low levels of acidity. Oil labeled “pure” uses heat and chemicals to process olive residue from subsequent pressings.
Made from pressed, steam-cooked peanuts. Peanut oil has a bland flavor and is good for cooking because it doesn’t absorb or transfer flavors. Its smoking point is slightly lower than corn or safflower oil. Contains 17 percent saturated fat.
A clear, almost flavorless oil made from the seeds of safflowers. Safflower oil is a favorite for salads because it doesn’t solidify when chilled. It has more polyunsaturated fat that other oils but lacks vitamin E.
Made from pressed sesame seeds. Sesame oil comes in two varieties: light (made with untoasted sesames) and dark (made with toasted sesames). Light sesame oil has a nutty flavor and is especially good for frying. Dark sesame oil (Asian) has a stronger flavor and should only be used in small quantities for flavoring foods — not cooking. Both varieties are high in polyunsaturated fat.
Made from sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil is pale yellow and has a bland flavor. It is a good all-purpose oil low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fat.
An inexpensive and all-purpose blend of oils made from plant sources such as vegetables, nuts and seeds. Most vegetable oils are made from soybeans and are high in polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat but low in saturated fat.