The Cooking Oil Comparison Chart

February 13, 2012 9:00 am
Posted in: Fat
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Cooking Oils Compared

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
737kb PDF, Updated Feb 22, 2012

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:

A Guide to the My Plate Icon
How to Read the Nutrition Facts Panel (available on the Eating Rules Facebook Page)
The Healthy Breakfast Flowchart
The Smoothie Flowchart

197 Comments on "The Cooking Oil Comparison Chart"
  1. Comment left on:
    September 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    friend says:

    Copyright says I cannot publish without permission – but I have never heard of a law that says I cannot share a specific link.

    • Comment left on:
      September 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm
      Andrew says:

      Yep – though I had to add a gentle reminder that it is illegal to republish my copyrighted content on other sites. I also asked that people to link to this page rather than directly to the PDF. No legality there, just common courtesy.


  2. Comment left on:
    October 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    Ahnei says:

    Thank you!!

  3. Comment left on:
    October 12, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Roberto Tomás says:

    I notice that the walnut oil is listed as wholly “green”, yet walnuts are well known to be high in omega-6. From wikipedia’s article on the walnut “Unlike most nuts that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, walnut oil is composed largely of polyunsaturated fatty acids (47.2 grams), particularly alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n – 3; 9.1 gram) and linoleic acid (18:2n – 6; 38.1 gram).” (LA being the omega-6)

    • Comment left on:
      October 15, 2013 at 11:02 am
      dee says:

      Wiki articles are not always written by experts. I just looked at checked the Walnut Oil article. There is a disclaimer at the top stating the citations and references may require removal of some information.
      The link to the .gov site is broken and some of the others may not be interpreted in the Wiki article as intended, generating the disclaimer at the top of the article.
      I use Wiki for quick reference but I see it more as the opinion of writers.

  4. Comment left on:
    October 25, 2013 at 11:23 am
    Farmer John says:

    If you really think that GM foods are inherently bad and organic is inherently healthier, then you’ve got bigger problems than figuring out what oil to use.

  5. .
    December 9, 2013 at 5:57 am

    […] is a great resource on fats called the “Cooking Oil Comparison Chart”. It is a one-page diagram that shows how good each oil is for you (healthier at the top), and […]

  6. .
    January 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    […] oils wisely, this link to the Eating Rules Cooking Oil Comparison Chart can help you with […]

  7. Comment left on:
    February 21, 2014 at 3:23 am
    Becks says:

    All oil is the epitome of junk food, pure calories with zero nutrients. Oil is the same to fat as sugar is to carbohydrates.

    • Comment left on:
      July 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm
      Jessica Stonefield, RD says:

      Wow, you are just so wrong! Most oils are full of nutrients that are healthy for your body.

  8. Comment left on:
    February 22, 2014 at 9:28 am
    Sherry says:

    Is there a place I can buy your chart? If I print it, it won’t be in color. I think your chart is great!

  9. .
    April 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    […] Some oils are very healthy, 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 this Cooking Oil Comparison Chart, of course!  […]

  10. Comment left on:
    June 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    Daniela says:

    This chart is great! I have often wondered about oils. But what about the average “vegetable oil” found at the grocery store? Which category does it fall under?

  11. Comment left on:
    June 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm
    karen says:

    Great chart! Since you created this chart 2 years ago, saturated fat has been found to be ok. So will you be revising this chart? For example, butter, lard and duck fat shouldn’t be gold colored border. What do you think?

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