You already know that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good for you. But what do you choose when it’s time to branch out and try something new? There are a lot of cooking oils out there, and many have misleading health claims on the label. It can be a bit overwhelming when you walk down the oil aisle in the store.
Some oils are very healthful, others not so much — and for different reasons. How do you know what’s really important when choosing a cooking oil? And how do you keep track of them all?
Why, with The Cooking Oil Comparison Chart, of course!
I’ve teamed up with Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, to help answer these questions with this chart. (If you don’t already follow Andy, you’re missing out.) We’ve created a one-page, printable PDF that you can take with you to the grocery story (or stick up on your fridge), that will help guide you through the labyrinth of oils.
We focused on two main factors, healthfulness and temperature-sensitivity, since some oils lose their health benefits when heated. Using a grid that makes it easy to see where each oil falls on the spectrum, you’ll be able to tell at a glance which oils to use for your salad, and which to use for your next stir-fry — and which oils to avoid altogether. We’ve also included some secondary details about each oil, along with some important pitfalls to watch out for.
Andy has written a post on his blog explaining the science behind our oil comparisons, so you’ll know why each oil is where it is on the chart. So click on over to Andy’s post to get the nitty-gritty, and then come back here and get the PDF.
The Cooking Oil Comparison Chart
792kb PDF, Last updated June 20, 2017
If you’d like to share this chart on your own website or blog, please be respectful (and law-abiding) and share it simply by linking directly to this post. Please do not link directly to the PDF or copy the entire chart to your own site. You may use the image at the top of this post on your own page, if you like. Thanks!
PS – Huge thanks to Andy for jumping on board when I proposed this project to him. I had a ton of fun collaborating with him, and appreciate his enthusiasm and expertise!
You may also like my other printables:
The Healthy Breakfast Flowchart
The Smoothie Flowchart
A Guide to the My Plate Icon
How to Read the Nutrition Facts Panel
Thank you, thank you. This chart is just what I have been searching for. There are so many partisan sources of information, that I’ve been very frustrated trying to cobble together the various research and experiences in one place for my own use. I find your chart to be consistent with what I’ve been studying, comprehensive, and with a very helpful set of axes regarding healthfulness and types of uses. I appreciate the work you did to put this together!
Thanks for this chart! What a helpful resource!
I think your chart is, well, creative, but absolutely not organized or clear, not easily compared. You need to some detail person to present it in a real chart with component nutrients listed by number so they can actually be compared. Interesting, but not very clear.
And to think: I initially passed this site based on others’ comments!
Fortunately, I returned to find a very helpful and comprehensive chart on oils.
For those who’d prefer a simpler chart, just stick to the top of the chart (especially the green ones) and avoid the ones on bottom. The higher the preparation temperature, the further to the right you should go.
Thanks Andrew for sharing positive, helpful information with the world!
Nancy I understand your meaning. If you are eating foods made of different “components” like vegetable oils, margarine and spreads, your confusion is from not understanding that each oil listed above is a single oil or component.
Read labels. Olive oil containers should read 100% olive oil as should any of the others on this chart. If there is an ingredient list on what you are now buying, put it back on the shelf. If you are referring to calories, regardless of oil, the calories are the same.
Thank you for this excellent and detailed information.
Quite useful chart.
Is there a difference between Sunflower Oil and Sunflower seed oil?
The pdf mentions that ‘Tea Seed’ oil is not the same as ‘Tea Tree’ oil.. so that begs the question, where does ‘Tea Tree’ oil fit in this chart (it’s suspiciously missing!!)
No need to be suspicious – it’s simply that tea tree oil is not edible.
Thanks for this fantastic chart! It looks like tea seed oil would be a nice choice for cooking. I’ve never seen it in stores. Two questions:
1. Is there a difference between products sold as “organic tea seed oil” and “organic green tea seed oil”?
2. It’s so hard to know which on line vendors are reputable. Do you know of any particular sources or brands that are trustworthy?
First, regarding EVOO, who are the “they” you mention? It’s important to know because if “they” are trying to sell another product and have no science or research to back their claims, then “they” shouldn’t be listened to. People can go on any media and say whatever “they” want for personal reasons or repeat bad information heard elsewhere. EVOO simply means oil from the first press of the olive. If someone considers this oil to be refined after it is strained and impurities removed, that should be specifically stated as the meaning of the comment. Then you could decide if you wanted your EVOO straight from the press with bits of twig, leaf or whatever happened to be in the olive bushel. As for coconut oil, your right, there is a lot of talk about it but it hasn’t been studied much. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid… Read more »
How about coconut oil there is a ton of conversation on that and what brands? In the today show a few weeks ago they said that no all evoo is really evoo what do you suggest?
Do you have any thoughts on mustard oil and where it would lie on your comparison chart?