Credit: © Tim Gainey / Alamy

Oils: As ingredients go, they seems like they should be inconspicuous. You won’t find a Yelp review raving about a restaurant’s oil selection. But somehow, these greasers of pans and dressers of salads have managed to inspire a lot of passion. Everyone seems to have an opinion on oils – which are the most flavorful or the heathiest or the even best for the environment.

David McCandless of the site Information is Beautiful decided to tackle the oil debate with a very detailed infographic featuring over 40 oils from avocado to fish (the latter receiving the warning “Don’t cook with it!)

McCandless arranges each oil by smoke point and color codes them by flavor before taking a deeper dive into saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat (broken down by omega-3 and omega-6), monounsaturated fat and trans fats in each. He was also nice enough to provide some notes where necessary, reminding us of things like that high-oleic sunflower oil might help lower bad cholesterol, palm oil is linked to deforestation, and almost oil is great for massages. (A little bit of humor never hurt an oil infographic.)

As First We Feast points out, the graphic is certainly worth revisiting in light of the FDAs new decision to ax trans fats from most products. If you’re in the market for a new oil, this chart is a great place to compare products. Maybe you can even be the next person to become ridiculously opinionated about oil. The future is full of possibilities!


Infographic courtesy of See the larger image here and check out their new book Knowledge is Beautiful.