The grocery store may leave you feeling overwhelmed by the large selection of cooking oils. With so many different oil options, it is no surprise there are many questions over which is the best oil to use and when.

Cooking oils are liquid fat when stored at room temperature. Oils provide essential fatty acids that our body is unable to make. These essential fatty acids help regulate our body’s biological functions and are part of our cell membranes. Oils also provide vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect our cells, tissues and organs. Aside from cooking oils, we also consume oil from foods such as nuts, fish, olives and avocados. Eating healthy fats in recommended daily amounts are part of a balanced nutritious diet.

Virginia Aparicio is Health & Human Sciences educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or

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