What Are The Best Fats for Cooking?

Is olive oil your go-to for everything you cook?   Or perhaps you’re into the idea that ghee is a great way to prepare your veggies?

Neither are actually the best approach.

Olive oil is absolutely an important part of Paleo eating, but (and that’s a big but) ideally, you’re eating it raw and drizzling it onto food that’s already cooked.


Because the burning point of olive oil is relatively low, if we cook with olive oil at anything higher than a low temp, it will begin to oxidize and create free radicals.  Not good.

And ghee?

Well, since dairy is not part of the Paleo diet, this is a no-brainer food to avoid.

Coconut oil is another great oil to use for cooking at higher temperatures.  One of my personal faves, but indeed, it does have a very particular flavor that may not suit every type of cuisine  you’re working with.  Indian, Asian or Seafood, yes, but I won’t pretend coconut oil goes with everything.   I’d be kidding myself if I claimed it would be a good swap for a Sicilian Rapini recipe I have.

So what can we use in that instance?

Animal Fat!

While the general approach to Paleo eating is to regularly include lean cuts of wild meats, there is absolutely room for the occasional grass fed rib eye, or pastured pork butt.

Prepare your protein in whichever manner you’d intended and use that fat to saute some veggies, to prepare eggs over easy or to cook another meal featuring a protein with significantly less fat.

Any oils made from nuts and seeds may be used in moderation but don’t forget that they’re all still inflammatory due to their high Omega 6 content, so on any day when you have some, be sure to include a healthy dose of Omega 3s that day, perhaps from a nice piece of wild salmon, to balance out the ratio.

Oils made from non Paleo foods, like corn oil, soybean oil or peanut oil, just to name a few should be avoided just as much as their derivatives.

As much as you can, keep it real and keep it raw; don’t forget to include fresh avocados as a daily fat source, too.