Fats and Oils Ready Reckoner

By February 5, 2014Vegetable Oils

Reckoner Sub 700

I’m frequently asked whether a given oil or fat is good or bad.  Based on the criteria I use in Toxic Oil, I have created this handy little ready reckoner for fast label reading. To get access to this graphic, become a member.  You’ll also get access to loads of other premium content, such as recipes, detailed guides to sugar content and handy calculators to help you show for low seed oil foods.

Join the discussion 28 Comments

  • Waya says:

    I don’t understand why sesame oil is on the “bad” list – do you mean it just shouldn’t be heated, i.e. used for cooking? I was also under the impression that grapeseed was a reasonable oil to cook with as it doesn’t break down under heat. I’d be grateful if someone can explain this … or point me in the right direction to correct my understanding. I’m not being critical, just aware that “food” is a maze of misinformation, and I like to know “why” so I can make informed choices.

  • David Gillespie says:

    Both sesame seed oil and grapeseed oil are high in omega-6 fats – I go into a great deal of detail as to why that matters in my book Toxic Oil (see resource store above). This list is not related to the uses of the oils. I will do a separate list which shows the most appropriate uses based on temperature.

  • Rebekah says:

    🙁 I love rice bran oil especially to make mayo with. Working on sugar for now, I guess oils are next. What do you suggest as a good oil for making mayo? I don’t like it made with olive oil…

  • Linda says:

    Just wondering what the difference between the two sunflower oils are. What makes high oleic sunflower oil good? And how do you know which one is used in a product which is just labelled ‘sunflower oil’?

  • David Gillespie says:

    HOS will be labelled as that – it is isn’t assume its Sunflower Oil – It is good because the fat profile is very similar to Olive Oil.

  • David Gillespie says:

    We use refined (Light) Olive Oil for our Mayo – its delicious. EV Olive tastes too much of Olives to be used in Mayo.

  • Rachael says:

    How about avocado oil? I use itin my mayo and it’s just Devine!

  • David Gillespie says:

    Yep you could certainly use that

  • Nicole says:

    I use macadamia nut oil for my mayo…DELISH!!!

  • Miryana says:

    I was under the impression that omega 3 and 6 oil should be in perfect balance 1:1. Taking more of one over the other is bad, but if in balance it is meant to be good. I was also under the impression that grape seed oil is good for you, much like olive oil, except that it tolerates heat. I don’t like fish and rarely eat it, but I take krill oil daily to compensate and I generally use grapeseed oil in cooking – very little and olive oil on my salads. Even if you want to eat fish, it’s difficult to tell if some of the fish comes from the sea or is harvested in pens. The fish vendors don’t usually advertise this information. And what of the Fukashima contamination of the sea and fish? How does one ensure a healthy diet with all these things to worry about?

  • Nicole says:

    Thanks David, I’ll save this in my phone for handy reference in the supermarket! I use the sugar guide app all the time!

  • Anne says:

    I would also add “vegetable oil” to the bad list. Many processed foods (including supermarket bread) have this on their ingredient list and I assume it’s canola oil. Certainly unlikely to be olive oil!

  • Reama says:

    If these oils (sunflower, walnut, etc.) are bad for you, are the whole seeds/nuts from which they’re derived bad for you too? This is very confusing to me.


  • David Gillespie says:

    You would need to eat significant quantities of the nuts and seeds to consume the same amount of oil. Unless you subsist on a diet of nuts and seeds this is unlikely. If you do, then they are just as dangerous as the oils.

  • Reama says:

    Hmmm, any idea what would be too much? I eat about a cup and a half of nuts a day, mostly walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sometimes some sunflower seeds.


  • Mary says:

    Is it still okay to use evening primrose oil?

  • David Gillespie says:

    It is very high in omega-6 polyunsaturates – I would avoid consuming it.

  • Darcy says:

    Uh oh!

  • […] any other inflammation response it is made worse if we are consuming too much omega-6 fats found in seed oils (vegetable […]

  • Gill says:

    David – Your book Toxic oil isn’t sold in the UK (can’t find it on the two largest online booksellers or on the high street) and the e-version isn’t available on the UK iTunes. Are you going to make it available in the UK soon?

  • David Gillespie says:

    Negotiations are under way to have it available in the UK. As soon as it is, I’ll put a post up on this site Gill.

  • […] know that a diet high in seed oils causes the levels of Omega-6 fats in our cell membranes to rise rapidly.  Those fats react quickly […]

  • Sylvia foxcroft says:

    I bought this book for my Kindle in October 2013 from Amazon (I am in the UK) . Strangely though it is no longer available on Amazon which is a shame as it’s a great book.

  • Kaye Chalmers Gooey says:

    Hi David, my nephew’s wife will only allow Nuttelex spread to be eaten as she believes that it is healthier. My sister gave them some beautiful cultured butter but her daughter in law gave it back saying that they would not eat it because it’s unhealthy. Please write something for all of us to share to remind people that saturated fat in butter is safe and that seed oils in spreads like Nuttelex are not as healthy as people believe. Regards Kaye

  • […] discarded money in the average supermarket than it is to find bread or bread rolls made without ‘Vegetable Oils’.  It’s perfectly possible to make bread using Olive Oil or even (gasp – don’t even […]

  • Helen says:

    I have been trying to buy ‘ToxicOil’ I have a Mini Ipad and can not download ebook. Is organic Flax Oil OK ? Which fats apart from Butter are okay? Is lard OK?

  • David Gillespie says:

    Flax oil is ok as it is mostly omega-3 but it is probably unnecessary to supplement with it. All animal fats are fine as are oils from fruits (olive, coconut, palm and avocado). Macadamia nut oil is also fine as is Ghee.

  • Cathy says:

    It’s pity that you won’t allow access to your information without a person having to join. I’m sure that what you say could make a lot of sense. I read about canola oil ages ago, and decided I didn’t want to buy bread with it in. Only just discovered that Baker’s Delight uses it in my favourite – wholemeal loaf. When I checked their website maybe three years ago, about the listed ingredients, these were wholemeal flour, salt and yeast, from what I can remember.

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