Before I started eating paleo, I really used only one kind of oil while cooking: vegetable oil. I ask myself now, “What was I thinking?” Well, I was using what my mother used and what her mother used along with every other mother in the 50s.  Canola, margarine and vegetable oils were the new “Heart Healthy” oil alternatives back then. Today, I’m going to share with you the REAL 4-1-1 on safe cooking oils and fats that will keep EVERY part of you healthy.

The details:

Saturated fats are more STABLE than unsaturated fats. Meaning, the chemical structure of saturated fats cannot be easily damaged by light, heat and air. Unsaturated fats are the complete opposite. Light, heat and air damage the natural chemical make-up of the fat. In olive oil’s case, high heat completely depletes the oil of its naturally awesome nutritional qualities. Once this happens, the oil, in some ways, becomes toxic.  Ever wonder why your high-quality olive oils are sold in a dark green or brown glass? It’s to keep light out, similar to why beer and wine is thought to be better stored in darker bottles. In the same sense, coconut oil doesn’t go bad or smell rancid from sitting out on the counter without a lid on it the way vegetable, corn, or soybean oil will.  Air oxidizes those unstable oils and makes them rancid.


Coconut oil and Animal Fats are good STABLE saturated fats. Their chemical structure does not easily change when heat is applied. You would have to use very high heat for a long period of time to see any change with this type of fat. Coconut oil and animal fats are far more favorable because their chemical structures remain in tact during the cooking process. The body then recognizes and digests them properly.

Olive oil is very delicate when it comes to heat. Hence, it’s not wise to cook on high heat when using olive oil. Low, low heat is more favorable so that the chemical structure can remain in tact and your body can absorb all of its delicious nutrients. Olive oil is best used for cool dishes or as a dressing for salads.

Canola oil, for example, is an unsaturated fat that is commonly used in a lot of commercial kitchens. It is made in mass quantities, but unfortunately it is very unstable, unnatural and oxidizes VERY easily. It becomes extremely rancid when exposed to air. The chemical structure of unsaturated fat is delicate like a flower, so when you open the bottle and it’s exposed to an environment different than what’s inside the bottle, its chemical structure changes. Don’t ever use this in your kitchen, EVER!


Oils that have gone rancid or have oxidized are not recognized in the body as natural. The body literally thinks that you have just ingested a toxin. Our bodies store toxins and plastic-like foods in our fat cells instead of readily digesting them. This type of storage leads to that pesky irritant you hear about all the time in the gym: INFLAMMATION! Those inflamed fat cells are where chronic diseases, weight gain, weight loss resistance, feelings of fatigue, joint pain, and lethargy all go to hang out.

Now that you are a whiz-kid when it comes to healthy cooking fats and oils, go forth and be awesome in your kitchen. School the next vegan you see picking up some soybean oil at Whole Foods and then do a couple burpees in celebration of your newfound wisdom.

Click here for a handy little chart that I keep in the kitchen. It’s a quick guide for the oils that are best and oils that shouldn’t be in your cupboards at all.  As always, if you have any questions regarding this information or would like some additional reading materials, please don’t hesitate to email me at