Omega-3 oils play an important role in keeping us healthy. They are good for just about every organ in our body: brain, skin, heart, gut, immune system. Cooking at high temperatures can damage oils. The more omega 3 fatty acids in the oil, the less suitable it is for cooking. The heat not only damages the fatty acids, it can also change them into harmful substances. Hydrogenated oils are often used for cooking. Because these oils have already been “damaged” by chemical processing, they are less likely to be further damaged by heat. The oils that are higher in saturated fats or monounsaturates are the most stable when heated. These include peanut oil and olive oil. The more fragile oils are best used at room temperature, like salad dressings. To preserve the nutritious properties and the flavor of unrefined oils, try the “wet-sauté,” a technique that is practiced by gourmet chefs. Pour around one-fourth of a cup of water in the stir-fry pan and heat just below boiling. Then add the food and cook it a bit before adding the oil. Wet-sauté shortens the time oil is in contact with a hot pan. Stir frequently to further reduce the time the oil is in contact with the hot metal. Never heat oils to the smoking point, as this not only damages their fatty acid content, but also their taste; also the smoke alarm gets really annoying. Best cooking oils and fats are: butter, peanut oil, high oleic sunflower oil, high oleic safflower oil, sesame oil, and olive oil. For more information about healthy oils, click here.
“I’ve read your section about oils; however, you don’t mention anything about cooking using omega 3 marine oils. I’m wondering if omega oil can be used in the cooking process and if so, do you know what the smoke point of fish oil would be.”