Malaysian palm fruit oil is very versatile in the kitchen, but saying it’s the only healthy oil is a bit like saying broccoli is the only healthy vegetable. When it comes to good nutrition, variety is wise. Chef Gerard Viverito, an expert in functional cooking to maximize the health benefits of each dish, has compiled his list of top healthy oils.
Non-GMO Malaysian palm oil is in his number one position, because it offers so many benefits. Chef G. also places responsibly sourced foods in highest regard, which is why he chooses to prepare meals with Malaysian palm oil. You can read more about Chef G’s affinity for Malaysian palm oil and Malaysian cuisine in his forward for the new Back to Basics cookbook, now available on Amazon, proceeds for which benefit the Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Other oils that made Chef G’s top healthy oils list include:
• Coconut oil: supports good digestion
• Avocado oil: helps protect cellular mitochondria
• Macadamia nut oil: contains potentially cancer-fighting oleic acid (as does palm oil)
• Olive oil: Helps prevent gallstone formation
• Sesame oil: supports strong teeth and bones
Additional considerations when choosing which healthy oil to use for a recipe include:
• Smoke point: Palm oil has one of the highest; macadamia nut oil also has a relatively high smoke point.
• Flavor: Olive oil, coconut and sesame oils all have distinctive flavors. Some avocado oils reportedly have a stronger flavor than others. Palm oil is flavor-neutral.
• Color: Good food appeals to all of our senses, and red is the color most closely associated with a hearty appetite. The beautiful red hue of Malaysian red palm oil (derived from its extraordinarily high beta carotene content) is a feast for your eyes and will help whet the appetites of guests in your kitchen.
Chef G has created this colorful chart to help you decide which oils you might want to stock in your pantry.