The ranking order of edible oils is here, which one is right for you?

A lot of netizens have been asking about cooking oil all the time, saying they don’t know what oil is called good oil. The price difference is so big, is there really a lot of difference in health effects? Every product claims that this oil is very good, and it is dazzling to look at. I don’t know which indicators to compare…

Today I will tell you about the ranking of edible oils. It is estimated that after everyone reads it, it may subvert some of the marketing messages that are instilled on a daily basis. Then let’s talk about what the standards for oil selection are, because the demand targets are different, and the standards are also different.

1 calorie rank

A variety of refined edible oils tied for first place. Because the fat content is 99.9% and the calorie value is 899 kcal/100g, there is no significant difference. Among all foods, 899 kcal/100 grams is the first real calorie.

2 Cholesterol Rank

All vegetable oils ranked last. Because vegetable oils do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is only found in animal foods. Vegetable oils contain only plant sterols, including sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol.

Tips: Cholesterol is called cholesterol in English, where chole stands for “cholesterol”, ster stands for “solid”, and ol stands for “alcohol”. Sterols are also called sterols and cholesterol is also called cholesterol.

Cholesterol Content in Edible Oil

Cream 209mg/100g

Shea Butter 153mg/100g

Lard Suet 110mg/100g

Duck Oil 83mg/100g

The above data are from the second edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2009.

So it can be said that Among animal oils, cream is relatively the highest. Of course, due to the different nutritional status of animals, the oil produced by each animal will also be slightly different.

3 phytosterol content

Then someone might ask: What about plant sterols? Which oil has more?

Since it is a plant sterol, we only need to look at the data in the vegetable oil.

Edible oil phytosterol content

Sesame Oil 588mg/100g

Rapeseed Oil 570mg/100g

Flax Oil 441mg/100g

Sunflower Oil 372mg/100g

Soybean Oil 317mg/100g

Olive Oil 270mg/100g

The above data are from the second edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2009.

4 Vitamin E Content

Whether soybeans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, or various nuts, plant seeds contain more or less vitamin E, which is transferred to the oil when the oil is extracted. Therefore, vegetable oils are an important source of dietary vitamin E.

Vitamin E has several different components, listed here by total vitamin E.

Total vitamin E content in edible oil

Soybean Oil 93.1mg/100g

Cottonseed Oil 86.5mg/100g

Sesame Oil 68.5mg/100g

Sunflower Oil 54.6mg/100g

Corn Oil 50.9mg/100g

Peanut Oil 42.1mg/100g

Olive, coconut and palm oils are all low in vitamin E.

The above data are from the first volume of the Standard Edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2018.

5 Vitamin K Content

Vitamin K is not only important for blood clotting, but also for bone health and cardiovascular health.

Fats are one source of vitamin K. Vitamin K has different components, of which K1 (phylloquinone) is widely found in various plant foods, and K2 is mainly found in fermented plant foods. Because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, when the oil is pressed, the vitamin K1 in the seeds will also run into the oil.

The highest content of vitamin K1 is actually affordable soybean oil and rapeseed oil!

Vitamin K1 content in edible oil

Soybean Oil 193mg/100g

Rapeseed Oil 141mg/100g

Olive Oil 55mg/100g

Sesame Oil, Walnut Oil 15mg/100g.

The content of peanut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, etc. is relatively low, only in single digits.

Data source: Ferlandt G and Sadowski JA. Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) Content of Edible Oils: Effects of Heating and Light Exposure. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 1992, 40: 1869-1873 )

6 Vitamin A

You may ask: With vitamin E and vitamin K, why not vitamin A and vitamin D?

Because vegetable oils do not contain vitamin A and vitamin D. It is found in animal oil, but the content of lard, butter, sheep oil, chicken and duck fat is also very low, and it is not an important food source of these two vitamins at all.

Only one is a true vitamin A champion and that’s cream (butter, butter) with a whopping 840 mcg RAE/100 g vitamin A.

The above data are from the first volume of the Standard Edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2018.

7 saturated fatty acid content

This has to be number one for coconut oil. My coconut oil doesn’t melt until 23 degrees Celsius, and it’s hard clots in winter, and lard, butter, and other fats that are highly saturated in the eyes of the public are not good enough.

By country data,

Saturated fatty acid content of edible oil

Coconut Oil 85% (average of 4 samples)

Palm Kernel Oil 53~77%

Palm oil 50% (average of 2 samples)

Peanut oil, rice oil 17~20%

Corn, soybean, sesame and olive oil, about 12%~16%

Sunflower Oil 10%

rapeseed oil, tea seed oil

The above data are from the first volume of the Standard Edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2018.

People who eat more beef, sheep and pork will eat more saturated fatty acids. They can consider using oil with low saturated fatty acid content for cooking.

8 Total Unsaturated Fatty Acids

The lowest saturated fatty acid content naturally has the highest unsaturated fatty acid content.

So, the top three are canola oil, tea seed oil, and sunflower oil.

Then corn oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, and olive oil.

Palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil bottom.

9 Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Content

Olive oil is famous for its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, or oleic acid (octadeconenoic acid) to be exact. Monounsaturated fatty acids are more cardiovascular friendly, helping to increase HDL-c (the so-called “good cholesterol”) and lower LDL-c (the so-called “bad cholesterol”).

Actually, if you want to get monounsaturated fatty acids, you don’t have to buy olive oil. There are many other options that may be more cost-effective.

Monounsaturated fatty acid content in edible oil

Tea Seed Oil 75%~79%

Olive oil 70%~78%

High Oleic Sunflower Oil 78%

High Oleic Peanut Oil 75%

Canola Oil 59%~65%

Peanut oil 38%~45%

Rice oil 38%~40%

Sesame oil 35%~40%

Corn Oil 28%~31%

Sunflower oil 20%~30%

Soybean Oil 21%~25%

Coconut Oil 6%~8%

The above data are from the first volume of the Standard Edition of the Chinese Food Composition Table, Peking University Medical Press, 2018. The same below.

10 Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content

Let’s not talk about fish oil, no one uses it for cooking. Animal oils, such as lard, tallow, and suet butter, also contain very little omega-3 fatty acids.

The omega-3 fatty acid in vegetable oils is alpha-linolenic acid. It can be converted to DHA in the human body, but the conversion efficiency in omnivores is only 3% to 4%. While it may not sound like a lot, the requirement for omega-3 fatty acids is not large, and even pregnant women only need 250-500 mg of DHA per day.

If you eat 250 mg of DHA a day, and the conversion rate is only 3%, you only need to eat 8.3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid a day. It is still possible to be satisfied by eating oil.

The highest content of alpha-linolenic acid in common vegetable oils is undoubtedly the oil extracted from hemp seeds, with a content between 30% and 60%. Among them, flaxseed oil is the most prominent, but oils from the hemp family such as flax oil, hemp oil, and hemp oil also have similar advantages. The differences between varieties and products are different, but they are all significantly ahead of other vegetable oils.

In addition, niche oils such as peony seed oil and perilla seed oil also have the advantage of high alpha-linolenic acid, but they are generally not available in supermarkets.

The second step is some oils with alpha-linolenic acid content between 5% and 10%. Including walnut oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. The oil of pine nuts is also in this group, but the pine nuts are too expensive to use for oil extraction.

Other oils are basically useless for supplying omega-3 fatty acids. Be it olive oil, tea seed oil, peanut oil, corn oil and sunflower oil, the alpha-linolenic acid content is usually less than 1%.

11 Omega-6 Fatty Acid Content

The omega-6 fatty acid in vegetable oils is primarily linoleic acid. Among the existing oil products in my country, varieties rich in linoleic acid are popular, and the possibility of lack thereof is very small.

Linoleic acid content in edible oil

about 75% safflower oil

Sunflower Oil 52%~65%, Walnut Oil 60%

Corn Oil, Soybean Oil 49%~53%

Sesame oil 40%~47%

Rice oil 35%~37%

Peanut oil 30%~40%

Canola Oil 15%~25%

Olive oil 5%~9%

Tea seed oil 7%~9%

Coconut Oil 2%

12 Essential Fatty Acid Content and Ratio

The human body needs two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid from the omega-6 series, and alpha-linolenic acid from the omega-3 series. The ratio of these two types of essential fatty acids is preferably 4~6:1.

Generally speaking, the omega-6 series of linoleic acid in food comes from a wide range of sources, such as chicken, nuts, peanuts and melon seeds. Most cooking oils are also high in linoleic acid, so there is no need to worry about lack thereof.

The hardest part to get enough of is omega-3 fatty acids. Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from food can be difficult if you are not diligent in eating fish, or if you are eating the wrong type of fish, neither high-fat marine fish nor carnivorous freshwater fish. This can lead to a high inflammatory response, easy acne breakouts, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some people may ask: What are the “non-meat-eating freshwater fish”?

Such as silver carp, grass carp, crucian carp, common carp, bighead carp, Wuchang fish… They are all herbivorous freshwater fish with very little omega-3 fatty acids.

Both types of essential fatty acids are particularly abundant and in satisfactory ratios, except for walnut oil and soybean oil.


Walnut oil, the linoleic acid content of omega-6 is about 60%, while the alpha-linolenic acid content of omega-3 is about 10%. It’s exactly 6:1, which is perfect.

Of course, the proportions of specific varieties and origins will vary slightly. Wild walnuts with the highest alpha-linolenic acid content can reach nearly 20%, but some walnuts are as low as 5%.

In any case, walnuts dominate the pack in this indicator. It is scientifically justified to hold walnuts high in traditional health care, although walnuts are relatively cheap among nuts. kind.

Soybean oil contains about 50% linoleic acid and 6%~10% alpha-linolenic acid in omega-6, which is a suitable ratio.

If you’re looking for third place, it’s Canola Oil. Its linoleic acid content is around 20%, and its alpha-linolenic acid content is between 4% and 10%.

Fourth is linseed oil. Its alpha-linolenic acid is high, but the proportion of linoleic acid is only 15%~25%, the ratio is reversed. This is actually a big advantage, because most processed foods and meats are relatively lacking in alpha-linolenic acid, and flaxseed oil can be used to “find” a balance.

Other oils are either too high in linoleic acid, completely out of proportion to alpha-linolenic acid, or too low in both and too low in essential fatty acids.

13 heat resistance

The greater the proportion of saturated fatty acids and the lower the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils, the better the heat resistance. Heat-labile oil can easily form a large number of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon carcinogens, such as benzopyrene, when it is fried at high temperature for a long time, or when it is fried or overheated. At the same time, trans fatty acids are easily formed during heating.

So, the most heat stable is coconut oil, then palm kernel oil and palm oil.

The least stable is flaxseed oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, followed by corn oil, sunflower oil, etc., which are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Seeing so much data, it’s a bit dazzling. Finally, let me sort it out for you.

What do you primarily want from the oil? Which healthy ingredient are you most concerned about?

Are monounsaturated fatty acids?

Is it an omega-3 fatty acid?

Is a reasonable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio?

Is there a reasonable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio with both monounsaturated fatty acids?

You can see the ranking of these.

When fatty acids are similar, choose varieties with relatively high levels of vitamin E, vitamin K, and plant sterols.

If you want vitamin A and vitamin D, cream (butter) is the only option.

In addition to flaxseed oil and walnut oil, all other oils can be used in daily cooking such as stir-frying, stewing, etc. However, it is best to avoid oily fumes from oils with more unsaturated fatty acids.

Coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils are good options if you want to fry food that tastes good, is heat resistant, and produces fewer carcinogens.

Which one to buy depends on what you need and how much budget you plan to spend on the oil.

In general,price and nutritional value are not strongly correlated, as price is primarily determined by production and marketing costs.

As for the taste, that is, radish and cabbage have their own preferences. People in Northeast China love the flavor of soybean oil, people in Sichuan are reluctant to give up the aroma of rapeseed oil, people in Hebei and Shandong like the strong fragrance of peanut oil, people in Beijing and Tianjin are obsessed with the deliciousness of sesame oil, and some people prefer the lightness of tea seed oil that removes various flavors. smell. I will not comment on this.

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Fan Zhihong_original nutritional information

Beijing Food Nutrition and Human Health Advanced Innovation Center Post Scientist

Director of Beijing Dietitian Association

Director of China Association of Health Promotion and Health Education

China Association for Science and Technology hires chief expert in nutrition science communication

PhD in Food Science, China Agricultural University