Which oils are healthiest to use for everyday cooking?  

About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

In an ideal world, the best thing you can do for your health is use a wide variety of oils, says David Baer, a research physiologist with the USDA. But for most of us, it is more practical to have just a couple of oils we know we can rely on.

The two oils I turn to for healthy everyday cooking are canola and olive oil, both of which are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Canola oil is flavorless; olive oil lends a Mediterranean presence to dishes. But the truth is, when you use 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet to saute, say, a pound of boneless chicken breasts, the flavor of either will be indiscernible.

Keep in mind that all oils have about 40 calories per teaspoon (120 per tablespoon). So no matter what type of oil you choose, use it moderately. Here is a good rule of thumb to remember: it takes no more than 1 tablespoon of oil to adequately cover a 12-inch skillet. Try measuring the amount you use next time: you may be surprised to learn that it takes less oil than you think to saute enough meat, fish or chicken for four people.


Marge Perry
Jan, 2011

Printed from:

Copyright © 2014 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (Your California Privacy Rights). Ad Choices