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Oils Aint Oils

I eat very little fried food, and have a relatively low-fat diet. That doesn't mean that I don't use oil in cooking, and using the right oil for each job can make a big difference to the taste and healthiness of a dish.

My preferred all-purpose oil for most tasks is Pure Olive Oil. It's monounsaturated (won't clog your arteries), and it's light enough to be used for frying without weighing down the food. Heavy, stickier oils such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil tend to coat the food, and result in you consuming much more fat - it's "good fat", but it's still full of calories. Olive Oil is expensive, but if you use Pure Oil and cook at a high enough temperature, you shouldn't actually use very much.

Olive Oil Spray (or any cooking spray) is a particularly great way to "fry" with virtually no fat consumption. Invest in a good Teflon frypan and treat it gently and you'll be able to substantially reduce the amount of fat in your diet.

"What's Extra Virgin Olive Oil mean anyway? Only the Italians could have degrees of virginity!"

Olive Oil:

Pure, or Pure Light is the best oil for frying and sauteeing.

Extra Virgin is thicker and more flavoursome, but not good for frying. Best used for flavour on antipasto, in salad dressings etc

Canola Oil:

Good for frying. Fairly tasteless.

Peanut Oil:

Flavoursome Oil, good for asian stir-fries.

Sesame Oil:

Thick, strongly flavoured oil. Use sparingly for flavour in dressings, stir-fries etc. Expensive, but you only need a tiny dash for strong sesame flavour.

Vegetable Oil :

Inexpensive frying oil. OK, but I wouldn't use it by choice.

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