Today’s blog is all about answering two very common questions…

Which fats and oils are best to use for cooking?  and  Is butter better?

It’s time to demystify the issues of what to cook with and whether butter is bad for you.  All, of course, with a focus on keeping things additive free, healthy and balanced for you and your family.

It’s actually quite a debatable topic – everyone has their own opinion on which oil is ok and why.  Based on my research, I’ve managed to find there are a few basics that are always agreed upon as being ok, a few you should limit your use of, and some worth avoiding completely.

I’m going to keep it simple and just give you a few Top 5-type lists to work out what to use and what not to use without going to go into great detail about the complex subject of healthy vs unhealthy fats.  If you want more info, check out my fact sheet of all things buttery and oily here.  Be sure to check out the tips and terminology at the end of the fact sheet.  To get into the real nitty gritty, after reading my fact sheet, you can check out the list of sources I used to gather this information at the bottom of the fact sheet.  They’re all amazing people who have done a great deal of research into this topic to give you the full ins and outs of good and bad fats in oils and butter.

Ok!  Here are the best oils to use…


Top 5 Fats & Oils For High Temperature Cooking (e.g.: roasting, stir fry, pan fry)

1. Coconut oil

2. Clarified butter/ghee

3. Sesame oil

4. Rice bran oil

5. Macadamia nut oil


Top 3 Fats & Oils For Moderate Temperature Cooking (e.g.: sautéing, baking)

1. Coconut oil

2. Olive oil

3. Butter


Top 6 Fats & Oils For Cold Use (e.g.: salad dressings, drizzle onto food, dips, spreads)

1. Olive oil

2. Flaxseed oil

3. Avocado oil

4. Walnut oil

5. Almond oil

6. Macadamia oil

Remember, if you want to know why these are great oils, check out my fact sheet, and have a look at the tips and terminology too!


What do I use?

I only ever use organic oils and butter for my cooking and usually stick to coconut oil, pure butter and extra virgin olive oil for cooking, baking and salad dressing.

I occasionally use sesame, peanut, almond, avocado, sunflower or canola oil for cooking, baking and salad dressing (but again, only if organic to make sure there’s no nasties lurking from gmo, pesticides etc).


Got issues with dairy, salicylates or amines?  Here’s a few tips and variations for sensitivities…

If vegan or dairy free, replace butter with coconut or olive oil

If sensitive to salicylates and amines, avoid coconut, almond, olive and peanut oil and substitute with canola, sunflower, flaxseed or rice bran oils (but ensure organic or non gmo and best if canola and sunflower are not cold pressed)

If lactose intolerant, ‘proper’ ghee can be used (if made correctly, not just clarified butter)

So that pretty much gives you all you need to know about fats and oils to use or avoid…

Next question – Is butter better?oils5

Short answer…YES!!  Deny the rampant false messages about how bad the real stuff is for you and remember balance is the key.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m a firm believer in not going to extremes when it comes to the foods we eat – no need to forever completely avoid something that is perfectly ok for you, just keep the balance and enjoy, I say!

Alrighty… Now for the good stuff – how do you change the type of oil or butter you’re using?


1. Start small

Identify which products in your pantry are on the ‘to avoid’ list and pick the top 3 products you currently use the most and need to stop using.  Once you’ve changed the access to these products and the habits for using them, you can move onto removing more of the other bad oils

2. Think about what you use them for…

Is it cooking, baking, dressings, sandwiches or in processed foods?  Where do you consume the bad oils most?

3.  Find substitutes on the good oils list you can use for the same purposes

There are plenty of options!  If it’s purely for cooking and baking, it’s easy.  If you are mostly consuming the oils to avoid within processed foods, it requires becoming savvy about the brands available which use the best ingredients (and label reading – a topic I’ll cover shortly).  Remember, vegetable oils are commonly used in processed foods and often best to avoid.

4.  Use in moderation and check your recipes

Most healthy recipes don’t require a lot of cooking, or a lot of oil… Sure you can treat yourself with the ‘occasional’ oils if the recipe requires it.  And it’s ok to do so when it’s a decadent every now and again type recipe, because you are mindful and balanced in your choices and life to enjoy it without guilt or drama :-).  But ultimately we don’t need to use massive amounts of any oils or butter!

5.  Check out the cookware and methods of cooking you are using too

A good ceramic pan (eg le creuset), non-stick pan (eg neoflam brand), slow cooker or thermomix can do wonders for the amount of oils/butter you use.  Or get savvy with cooking methods – for example sealing the pan to make it non stick (something I’m still mastering!) – and use any good pan, just in the right way/with the right methods.

6.  Source the right oil and butter products 

Use good products not just with your cookware, but obviously with your oils and butter!

Because you’re using additive free, real healthy foods and recipes, you’re not using oil in massive amounts… so go for the good stuff!  And wherever possible, make it organic to be sure, to be sure…  Don’t know the good stuff?  Check out The Food Werewolfdatabase page and keep an eye out for my upcoming product recommendations page for tips on good brands to purchase.

7.  Stick to the good oils and let go of old habits

Deny rampant marketing/brainwashing any access to your clever mind and body, and make a conscious decision to stick to what feels best for you and is right for your body and planet.  Make a commitment to change the old habits with your whole being – physically (by not having the products in your kitchen), mentally (by not allowing propaganda to control your choices) and spiritually (by focusing on the positives and remembering why this change is good for you and your family – healthier, happier and environmentally friendlier).

8.  And repeat the mantra ‘Butter IS Better’!

Embrace the goodness of butter!  And if you’re concerned about the fat content, don’t be!  Be wise in it uses and balanced in your life (keep the exercise and activity as a focus not just the food).  When you’re following an additive free lifestyle, there are a lot more fresh foods in the kids’ lunchboxes and sandwiches are not a daily staple, which means butter isn’t either.  So pure butter can be used in moderation without health effects.  And with a decrease in other bad fat sources such as processed foods, balance is maintained and life is good!  Tip: if sandwiches are still a regular meal, try using butter on only one slice of the kids’ sandwiches, not both, or use a pure homemade nut butter, homemade cream cheese or avocado instead.


So there you have it.  No more mystery surrounding good and bad oils, and butter is better!

What oil does your family use? What’s your favourite use for butter? Pop onto facebookor comment below and share your tips!

Happy healthy cooking!

Loren x

PS Want some great recipes to use the right oils or glorious butter? Click here for a link to The Food Werewolf Recipes page  or head to The Food Werewolf Pinterest board, where I share a load of likeminded foodies yummy recipes.




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