Vegetable oil is known to be the people’s choice when it comes to the best type of oil to use. Its source from grains, fruits and nuts gives it a natural and thin feel which makes it amazing for making meals.
However, if for some reason you had to pick an alternative which would it be?
Most people will suggest you choose either olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, butter or applesauce. However, if you need to substitute vegetable oil in a recipe, it’s important you make good alternatives
In this article, we will be highlighting the 10 best alternatives for vegetable oil for situations where maybe your favorite stores run out.
So, let’s get right to it.
What is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil is a natural oil extracted from various types of fruits, seeds, grains, and nuts, which are all considered to be vegetables in this context.
In the production of vegetable oil, some of the common sources are canola, coconut, corn, cottonseed, olive, palm, palm kernel, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower.
Most of the time, when you buy “vegetable oil” at the grocery store, it is usually a combination of these seed oils based on availability. The term “vegetable oil” simply means that the oil isn’t made from animal-based fats but rather from grains, seeds, and nuts.
Vegetable oil from the name might be associated with health but it is not so. Vegetable oil is used for its flavor. It also assists with food texture, and also to cook food.
If you’re a lover of butter and it seems to be harmful to you, then you need to check; 10 Best Healthy Alternatives to Butter
Why Vegetable Oil is Unhealthy
This might come as a shock because vegetable oil has been known as the healthy choice when it comes to oils but then research has proved otherwise.
For the longest time, a man consumed natural fats in the form of butter, ghee, tallow, lard, coconut oil, or olive oil. The biggest scare is the fact that these fats come saturated, but the fact is the saturation of these fats is what makes them beneficial.
The human body is composed predominantly of saturated and monosaturated fats with negligible amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Now it’s important to note that all the cells in the human body are made up of saturated fats.
Cells in the body require fats that are obtained from the diet, for cell rebuilding and hormone production, but for these to take place, the right type and amount of fat has to be present.
The information shows that vegetable oil contains a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as PUFAs which are quite unstable and oxidize easily.
The type of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oil is Omega 6s which are essential to human health but possess detrimental effects if consumed in excess.
Over time the consumption of these PUFAs has increased due to increased consumption of vegetable oils and products that contain them. This increased consumption has led to the increase of inflammation and impairing gut health.
Also, vegetable oils are quite fragile and easily damaged by exposure to light, heat, and air, which makes them not the best choice for cooking. Vegetable oils are also chemical by-products and are full of chemicals.
Some vegetable products like margarine contain added preservatives, emulsifiers, colors, flavors, and sodium, which keep the oil from spoiling but might have detrimental effects on you when taken in excess.
Don’t Fail to Read Through; 10 Healthy Alternatives To Rice | 2022
List of Vegetable Oils
Not all vegetable oil products come as vegetable oil, some might come in a different format and some of these are:
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Safflower Oil
- “Vegetable” oil
- Any fake butters or spreads
10 Best Alternatives to Vegetable Oil
Now there are a few alternatives to vegetable oil that we would recommend based on research and are found to be the best replacements for your vegetable oil. So let’s get to see some of them:
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a handy vegetable oil substitute even though it is slightly more expensive than vegetable oil.
Basically, Olive oil is taken from the fruits of olive trees. Its contents include monounsaturated fats which are of numerous health benefits which may include decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest alternatives to vegetable oil. Sadly, it is not ideal for frying.
Olive oil comes with natural flavors and might not be ideal for baking. It goes well with sautéing, salad dressing, and marinating.
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a very healthy cooking oil alternative for vegetable oil.
Basically, avocado oil is obtained from the pulp of avocados and has a high content of oleic acid, which is monounsaturated fat.
Equally, avocado oil can be used for deep frying and high heat cooking. It has a buttery flavor and works amazingly well in salad dressing.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made from coconut meat. Basically, coconut oil has a tropical aroma and some health benefits which makes it a top alternative to vegetable oil.
It contains lauric acid which is a saturated fat believed to raise good cholesterol levels in the body. It works well for baking if you don’t mind the flavor.
Also, it is good for high heat cooking and frying.
Coconut oil can become solid at room temperature and might not mix well if you use it with other cold ingredients from the refrigerator.
Yes, butter is an amazing alternative to vegetable oil. Butter contains a high amount of saturated fat as well as vitamins A, E, and K12 which are of immense benefits to the human body.
Butter can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. It is an amazing choice when baking brownies and cakes. You can also use it in stir-frying.
Ghee is made from heating butter until the liquid and milk solids separate from the butter, leaving behind only the oil that is ghee. It is a type of clarified butter.
Ghee has a lot of health benefits which includes anti-inflammatory properties as well as aiding in digestion.
Ghee is a nice alternative to vegetable oil and can be used in high heat cooking and baking. It has a roasted and nutty flavor as well. It is recommended for toasting spices.
Applesauce is not particularly the first choice when thinking of an alternative for vegetable oil but it actually is a substitute and can serve for baking alone. It adds moisture to bakes and gives them the soft fluffy texture you want.
When using applesauce, you are assured of fewer calories as well. Applesauce is naturally sweet and so you should factor this in when adding sugar to your recipe.
7. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is obtained from grape seeds and is a byproduct of wine production.
Basically, Grapeseed oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with vitamin E as well as Omega 6 fatty acid.
Also, Grapeseed oil is a great alternative for vegetable oil because it is natural, flavorless and odorless. It can be used to grill, fry and broil as well as for deep fry. Grapeseed oil can also be expensive as compared to vegetable oil.
8. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil which is also known as linseed oil is gotten from ripened flax seeds.
Basically, Flaxseed oil is of great health benefits and works as an alternative to vegetable oil.
Equally, Flaxseed oil is high in fiber and is believed to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart disease.
Flaxseed oil isn’t good for recipes that require the oil to be cooked or baked. It is however a great choice for salad dressing and marinating and also for drizzling on already cooked food.
9. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a great choice for stir-frying and drizzling and is mostly used by Asians and Middle Easterners when cooking.
Basically, Sesame oil is obtained from raw sesame seeds and is packed full of beneficial nutrients.
Sesame oil, also called “Queen of oilseeds,” has antioxidants and is believed to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, regulate blood sugar, and may help with arthritis.
It has a nutty flavor and works best in low to medium heat cooking like sautéing and stir-frying. Refined sesame oil can be used for frying.
It is not the best choice to use for baking, though, due to its flavor. It has a very strong flavor that can overpower other flavors in a dish, so be cautious when using it. Toasted sesame oil is best for salad dressing and marinating.
It might sound weird but truly yogurt is an alternative to vegetable oil, especially in baking. Using yogurt helps reduce the amount of fat in baked goods and also adds calcium, protein, and vitamin B to the treats.
Using unflavored yogurt like Greek, fat-free, or low-fat yogurt is preferred. When using yogurt in place of vegetable oil, you would need to reduce using other liquid ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vegetable oil is a group of fats obtained from seeds, nuts, cereals, grains and fruits and is commonly used to assist with texture, flavoring a dish and to cook food.
You can substitute any neutral high-heat oil for vegetable oil. Oils like Canola, safflower, peanut or grapeseed oils are all good alternatives
Olive oil and avocado oil are the two best choices for deep frying.
The worst oil you could ever cook with is those that endanger your health like Grapeseed Oil, Canola oil, Vegetable oil/Soybean oil, Margarine or Vegan Butter Substitutes, and Corn Oil.
Canola oil has zero cholesterol but has a high content of oleic acid.
From the above article, you can see that there are some very nice alternatives to your regular vegetable oil, which offer some properties that your regular vegetable might not.
These alternatives come with various flavors and scents to make your dish unique and tasty.