There’s loads of confusion around cooking oil – which ones are healthy, which are not. This is especially important if you have any kind of digestive, or other health challenge. It’s not surprising really – we’ve been told for years that saturated fats are definitely off the menu as they clog our arteries. That we should definitely be reaching for ‘healthier’ polyunsaturated vegetable oils instead. Once more it seems we’ve been misinformed, as unsurprisingly this isn’t true. So which cooking oils to avoid, and which should we use instead? Read on to discover the answer.


Cooking oil to avoid

Vegetable oil
Sunflower oil
Rapeseed oil
Palm oil
Rice bran oil
Blends of any of the above
Margarine (usually made from blends of the above)
Anything containing vegetable oil, e.g., salad dressing

It’s claimed they’re more beneficial for health because they’re rich sources of polyunsaturated fats, but let’s take a closer look at this for a minute.


Cooking oil is highly processed

Vegetable oils sound like natural, unrefined products but this couldn’t actually be further from the truth. It’s safe to assume oils are removed from the plant using chemical solvent methods, unless they’re marked as ‘cold pressed’ or similar. The oil is purified and refined before yet more chemical alterations take place to improve the shelf life, taste and texture of the resulting product.


If you’d like to learn more about eating to soothe your gut, I’d highly recommend downloading my online course The Ultimate Gut Health Programme to help support your digestive system whilst avoiding triggering symptoms.

It’d be impossible to include all you need to know in one blog, but the programme will have all you need to know to ensure you’re soothing your digestive system, whilst eating delicious and filling foods. 


Sometimes oils are ‘hydrogenated’ which is when they’re chemically altered to be solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated fats are preferred by food manufacturers as they have a longer shelf life, and improved texture and flavour. However, the main drawback to hydrogenated fats is that they contain highly damaging trans-fats. These are highly detrimental to health and should be avoided. You can read more about them here.

Most cooking oil to avoid is inflammatory and perhaps the main drawback of vegetable oil is it has a very high Omega-6 content. Most people eat far too much Omega-6 fatty acid and not nearly enough Omega-3.

The problem? Omega-6 fat is highly inflammatory, whereas Omega-3 fat is anti-inflammatory.

The problem is that Omega-6 is everywhere, and although we need to consume a certain amount of Omega-6, we consume far too much in relation to the amount of Omega-3 we eat.



When they’re exposed to heat these cooking oils are very easily oxidised, meaning they’re broken down into more damaging forms. This then increases the formation of free radicals which cause inflammation and oxidative damage to your cells.


So which are the best oils to use?


Extra-virgin olive oil

This has a fantastic flavour and is great for making salad dressings, or generally eating raw. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid which is good for your cardiovascular system and great for reducing inflammation. It’s not so great for high temperature cooking as it has a fairly low smoke point.

Coconut oil

This is a far better choice for high temperature cooking, such as in stir-fries. The coconut taste isn’t overbearing at all, so it’s surprisingly versatile and is rich is medium-chain triglycerides which help to boost your metabolism and brain function.

Avocado Oil

Another winner for high temperature cooking is avocado oil which has a very high smoke point. It’s also higher in mono-saturated fats and anti-oxidants than standard vegetable oils.

Butter and ghee

If you’re not vegan then grass-fed butter or ghee is a great choice. Grass fed varieties have a much higher omega-3 content than standard brands, so are a much healthier choice.
For the non-vegetarians and vegans pure animal fats such as goose fat offer a great alternative and are very stable for cooking at high temperatures.


If you would like to speak to me about any aspect of your gut health, including testing options, then please use this link to book into my diary for a FREE 30 minute chat so I can find out more about what is going on for you.  Alternatively please use the ‘Learn More’ link below.

Free Mini Programme

Would You Like to Learn How to Fix Your Digestive SymptomsBeat the Bloat and Feel Amazing?

1:1 Coaching Plans

Get Ready to Permanently Beat the BloatSoothe Your Digestion and Feel Amazing 

Ultimate Gut Health Programme

Delicious, Filling & Inspiring ways to Become Symptom-Free, Soothe Your Gut and Enjoy Your Food Again!