Being Risk Averse : How Cooking Temperatures and Oils Affect Your Heart Health


  • Heart disease is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, but there’s hope! YOU can do plenty to prevent it.
  • One of the best things you can do is make changes to your diet.
    • Your diet impacts blood pressure and cholesterol.
    • Specific nutrients can literally lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • One great thing to reduce your risk of heart disease is the use of healthy oils in your cooking.
    • BUT THERE’S MORE- oils have very specific temperature ranges they can be cooked at; too hot and it’s bad for your heart!
    • Read below to see our recommended oils and their temperature ranges.
  • We have also included resources to help you manage and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Understanding Heart Disease

Heart disease is the second most common chronic condition and by far the deadliest- totaling over 30.3 million cases and 665,000 deaths per year. That means nearly half the adult population suffers from cardiovascular disease and every 36 seconds, someone dies from complications associated with this disease! (1) The major concern with heart disease is that it is hard to detect without medical intervention and drastically increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.

These stats appear extremely daunting but there is a lot of room for hope. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of cases are preventable through someone’s own actions. But how can you be proactive about your risk?

A Deep Dive into Diet - a Major Risk Factor For Heart Disease

According to the Cleveland Clinic, nearly 2/3 of all cases can be traced back to being influenced by a poor choice in diet. (2) That means every day, you can have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your risk through dietary choices – how powerful!

Why is diet so strongly tied to heart disease? Primarily, this can be attributed to its effect on two of the primary factors listed above – Blood Pressure and Cholesterol. 


  • Diet and Blood Pressure: Consuming salt, sugars, and saturated fats has been shown to increase blood pressure. This is a major concern as sustained high blood pressure weakens your arteries, causing decreased blood flow. Sufficient intake of certain nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium have been shown to combat increases in blood pressure. Yet, less than 2% of Americans are getting enough of these nutrients with their current diet. (3)
  • Diet and Cholesterol: Cholesterol can be most simply broken down into LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. The goal is to keep LDL levels low and HDL levels high. Levels of both are significantly tied to diet. Foods commonly known to be poor for your health increase LDL cholesterol – including full fat dairy, fatty red meat, and processed foods (chips, cookies etc.). Whereas high fiber foods like fruits/vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils have been shown to reduce LDL levels and increase HDL levels – keeping your heart very healthy! (4)


You may be saying to yourself, “Great, the same foods I know are bad are still bad and the good foods are still good, but knowing is only part of the battle. How do I apply this knowledge every day to help myself?”

A Quick Fix to Make a Big Difference in Your Heart Health

Solution: Cooking with Healthy Oils

Healthy oils are those that are liquid at room temperature, plant-based, and have had limited processing. When when you cook with these oils there is strong evidence that your LDL cholesterol levels decrease and HDL cholesterol increase. (5) Avocado and olive oil also have shown blood pressure reductions!

Knowing which oils to pick can make a huge difference, but if you are using them wrong then you may also be causing a problem. A lot of these oils, when exposed to high temperatures cause smoking which indicates the creation of trans fats (very, very bad). When you see smoke, no worries just turn down the temp a bit. Therefore, you want to pick the right oil for the right situation. Don’t worry though, we have already done all that work for you below with some of our favorite oils!

High Heat

Avocado Oil

Smoking Point: 520 ° F

Med-High Heat

Sunflower Oil

Smoking Point: 450 ° F

Med-High Heat

Sesame Oil

Smoking Point: 410 ° F

Medium Heat

Canola Oil

Smoking Point: 400 ° F

Med-Low Heat

Olive Oil

Smoking Point: 380 ° F

Your heart shows up every second of everyday by pumping blood to your whole body. Time to return the favor with a dose of these healthy oils! 

  • Another way to consume these oils is to top your salads with them.

Resources to Take your Health to the Next Level

It is important to note that the best thing you can do, if you are concerned about your risk of heart disease is to discuss your options with your provider. Open communication with your provider can make all the difference!

We also have cooked up a few things ourselves to help educate you in the meantime!

Are you at Risk?

Take the most expansive, evidence-based risk assessment available for heart disease.

Nutrition Guide

Know your foods to know your benefits. we cover the specific benefits of over 100 foods!

Learn More

Go more in depth on heart disease to learn exactly what you need to know.

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