Choosing what oil to use

  • Consider temperature
    • Some oils perform well at high temperatures, like soybean oil, and some are better at room temperature, like extra virgin olive oil.
    • If you heat an oil past its smoke point, it will give off smoke and change its flavour.
  • Consider flavour
    • Olive oil and canola oil both have a noticeable flavour that can be very pleasant. However, if you do not want to add flavour to your dish, use soybean or sunflower oil.
  • Is it Portfolio-approved?
    • Click here for more information on oils and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs).

What are high oleic oils?

High oleic oils are vegetable oils with a high amount (~70% or higher) of oleic fatty acid. Oleic acid is an omega-9 MUFA. Oils containing high levels of oleic acid are heart-healthy and can help lower total and LDL cholesterol when it replaces saturated fat sources (butter, lard, coconut, and palm oils).

High oleic oils may include: high oleic sunflower oil, high oleic safflower oil, high oleic canola oil, high oleic soybean oil, olive oil, and high oleic algal oil.

What is cold-pressed oil?

Cold-pressed simply refers to the process by which oil is extracted. The cold-pressed extraction method grinds nuts, seeds, fruits, or vegetables (depending on the oil being made) into a paste which is then pressed to separate the oil. Cold-pressed oils are extracted naturally with less heat, which preserves the nutrients and antioxidants in the oil. Antioxidants help maintain your immune system and may help to reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart disease. We recommend choosing cold-pressed and extra virgin oils more often if you can.

Types of OilSmoke
Flavour Uses
Extra Virgin
Olive Oil (EVOO)
166°CEarthy, ripe,
fruity, nutty
EVOO has a slightly lower smoke point than regular olive oil, which can go up to 220°C. EVOO is ideal for cold dishes, salad dressings, and sautéing. Regular olive oil can also be used if you do not have EVOO.
Canola Oil242°CEarthy, nutty,
Canola oil is popular for higher heat cooking foods due to its higher smoke point. Cold-pressed versions can be used in cold dishes, salad dressings and sautéing.
Soybean Oil234°CBland, neutralSoybean oil is popular for higher heat cooking and is often used in cosmetics because of its mild scent.
Other High Oleic Oils (Sunflower, Safflower)242°C -248°CBland, neutralThese oils can be used for frying and high-heat cooking.

Oil storage tips

  • Did you know?
    • Storing cooking oils in a cool, dark place, like a pantry, helps to preserve the quality of the oil. For oils that will sit unused for longer than one month, storing them in the refrigerator is ideal. The oils will solidify, but don’t worry! Leaving oils at room temperature for about 30 minutes will result in them going back to their liquid state.