What oils to use for Paleo cooking?

by kara thornton October 26, 2012



 This question seems to come up quite often.  What are the good ones and what are the bad ones?  Well this blog post would be a lot longer if I listed off all the oils you couldn't have.  I'm sure your tired of constantly being told what you can't have, so lets start with what you can and should be using.

Coconut Oil

    Any paleo enthusiast should always always always stock this in full in the cupboard.  It should be noted that not all coconut oils are created equal.  Some are unpasteurized, some are organic.  Did you know some have a better flash point than others?  Now if you had to ask yourself what is a flash point, perhaps you need to brush up on your paleo 411!  Most coconut oils have a high flash point.  So this refers to when the oil is heated to a certain temperature and starts to discolour and decompose.  Decomposition of your oil is very bad.  This is where carcinogenics become active in your food and you'll be missing out on all those wonderful fats our bodies so desire.  Check the label of you coconut oil to see where yours rates.  In our cupboard, we have 3 different kinds of coconut oils (I don't mess around with my coconut oil).  2 of these oils I use for general cooking.  The major difference in the 2 oils is that one is virgin and other is not.  The regular organic coconut oil is cheap and has no flavour to it at all.  The virgin coconut oil is a little more pricey but does give a nice hint of coconut oil when your looking for that sweet taste.  The third coconut oil you will find in our cupboard is the piece de resistance.  The finest, most pure, gourmet coconut oil there is on the market.  Yes it is pricey, but worth every penny!  I owe organic lives a big thanks for it being a star ingredient in my paleo, raw organic chocolate.  I sold my chocolate throughout the sea-sky corridor this summer through various events and farmers market.  Man what a hit that was!  There is no doubt that had I used any other coconut oil ( and i tried) it just would not have been the same.  I use this same oil for anything i put on my skin.  (torn hands from crossfit? another amazing ointment!).  Your budget will be a deciding factor on which coconut oil is right for you.

Olive oil

    Of course we love a good extra virgin cold pressed olive oil.   This is a great ingredient to use in any dressing. Use it to lightly toss some veg in a pan, but you should not cook with high heat when using olive oil.  It is very easy to over heat olive oil, so take precaution!

Nut Oils

    So nuts are paleo, right?  So does that mean that nut oils are as well?  Well, there seems to be some debate as to whether nut oils are paleo or not.  Some say that it is to concentrated of a form and that our paleolithic ancestors would not have been able to pick that many seeds and eat them all in one sitting.  Some have argued that it can help with your omega 3 ratios.  Well we say use it in moderation.  A nice nut oil can give a nice little bump or kick to a special recipe.  Put these oils in the treat category.  

If your unsure of what your using is paleo or not, chances are, its not!  There are some great lists of whats in and whats not.  Do your research and listen to your body. 

kara thornton
kara thornton


The head chief of Caveman Grocer.

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