Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios

Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios

Looking for the perfect oil to use in your kitchen can be challenging when you're told to look out for smoke points, omega 3 to 6 fatty acid ratios, and also find something with antioxidants and nutrients! Lets break down why these points matter and what oils to grab for the best cooking experience while improving your health knowledge at the same time.

1.What is the Smoke Point of an Oil? This is the point in which the oil will begin to smoke due to high temperature. Not only causing the nutrients and flavor to be compromised but it also releases toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.

2.Refined vs Unrefined: Unrefined oils occur as they do in whole plant forms; the nutrients and rich flavor is present rather than refined oils which usually have most natural components stripped during the process. For example, unrefined olive oil will be rich in the antioxidant polyphenols that would be lost in the refining process. Refined oils have a much higher smoke point, so they are useful for high temperature cooking rather than unrefined oils which are best for dressings and lower temperature cooking.

3.Extraction Methods: Oils are extracted from the whole plant or the seed via many different methods; some better than others. Natural oils are usually expeller pressed. This process is a chemical-free mechanical method that uses force to expel the oil from a nut or a seed. Conventional oils are often treated with high heat and chemical solvents such as hexane, which will damage the oil.

4.Omega 3/6/9 fatty acids: Oils with higher amounts of omega 3 are recommended for low temperature cooking, dressings, or used as a finishing oil. Walnut oil is a good option. Omega 3 fatty acids support the health of our cells, arteries, brains, and have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 6 is easy to come by; it is prevalent in the standard American diet. Canola oil, safflower oil, corn, and cotton seed are some examples that contain higher levels of omega 6 fatty acids. Most people have a ratio of 20:1 (omega 6:3). This uneven balance can set off an inflammatory response off in the body. It is encouraged to increase omega 3 intake through including better quality oils, fish: such as sardines, wild salmon, and herring. Nuts & seeds: hempseeds, flax seeds, and walnuts into your diet. Lastly, omega 9 fatty acids are non-essential meaning the body can synthesize them when needed. Olives, nuts, seeds, and animal fats contain omega 9 fatty acids.

Cooking Oils / FatsSmoke Point °CSmoke Point °FOmega-6: Omega-3 Ratio
(plus other relevant fat information)
Unrefined flaxseed oil107°C225°F1:4
Unrefined safflower oil107°C225°F133:1
Unrefined sunflower oil107°C225°F40:1
Unrefined corn oil160°C320°F83:1
Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil160°C320°F40:1, 84% monosaturated
Extra virgin olive oil160°C320°F73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9
Unrefined peanut oil160°C320°F32:1
Semirefined safflower oil160°C320°F133:1, (75% Omega 9)
Unrefined soy oil160°C320°F8:1 (most are GMO)
Unrefined walnut oil160°C320°F5:1
Hemp seed oil165°C330°F3:1
Butter177°C350°F9:1, Mostly saturated & monosaturated
Semirefined canola oil177°C350°F2:1
[ (56% Omega 9), 80% Canola is GMO.]
Coconut oil177°C350°F86% healthy saturated, lauric acid (has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties). Contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Unrefined sesame oil177°C350°F138:1
Semirefined soy oil177°C350°F8:1
Vegetable shortening182°C360°Fmostly unhealthy saturated, Trans Fat
Lard182°C370°F11:1 high in saturated
Macadamia nut oil199°C390°F1:1, 80% monounsaturated, (83% Omega-9)
Canola oil (Expeller Pressed)200°C400°F2:1, 62% monounsaturated, 32% polyunsaturated
Refined canola oil204°C400°F3:1, 80% of Canola in US in GMO.
Semirefined walnut oil204°C400°F5:1
High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil207°C405°F13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)
Sesame oil210°C410°F42:1
Cottonseed oil216°C420°F54:1
Grapeseed oil216°C420°F676:1, (12% saturated, 17% monounsaturated)
Virgin olive oil216°C420°F13:1, 74% monosaturated (71.3% Omega 9)
Almond oil216°C420°FOmega-6 only
Hazelnut oil221°C430°F75% monosaturated (no Omega 3, 78% Omega 9)
Peanut oil227°C440°F32:1
Sunflower oil227°C440°F40:1
Refined corn oil232°C450°F83:1
Palm oil232°C450°F46:1, mostly saturated and monosaturated
Palm kernel oil232°C450°F82% saturated (No Omega 3)
Refined high-oleic sunflower oil232°C450°F39:1, 84% monosaturated
Refined peanut oil232°C450°F32:1
Semirefined sesame oil232°C450°F138:1
Refined soy oil232°C450°F8:1 (most are GMO)
Semirefined sunflower oil232°C450°F40:1
Olive pomace oil238°C460°F74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9
Extra light olive oil

Ghee (Clarified Butter)





74% monosaturated, high in Omega 9

0:0, 62% saturated fat

Rice Bran Oil254°C490°F21:1, Good source of vitamin E & antioxidants
Refined Safflower oil266°C510°F133:1 (74% Omega 9)
Avocado oil271°C520°F12:1, 70% monosaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids)
High in vitamin E.

Aug 05, 2023 Optimize Nutrition Team

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