Ask Dr. Taz MD: Feb 18th, 2014

Dear Dr. Taz,
It seems like everyone has a different take on the benefit of olive oil and whether or not to cook with it. I tend to use olive oil all the time when cooking, but recently a friend told me I should be using coconut oil. I want to do what is healthy for my family. Can you tell me which one I should be using and why?

Answer: Olive and coconut oil are healthy oils as long as they are each used appropriately. Olive oil has a low smoke point so it should not be used for grilling, frying or broiling, since it oxidizes as higher temperatures and may be unhealthy. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and has a higher smoke point. It has been found to be beneficial in hormone balance and gut health. You can use coconut oil for higher temperature cooking, but consider using it in moderation since it is a saturated fat.