15 Best Nigerian Cooking Oils and Their Health Properties

Nuelson Penuel Friday, October 20, 2023 Health



In Nigerian cuisine, cooking oils play a significant role in adding flavor, texture, and nutritional value to various dishes. The choice of cooking oil can impact both the taste and healthfulness of your meals. In this blog post, we will explore 15 of the best Nigerian cooking oils and their health properties to help you make informed choices for your cooking needs.

1. Palm Oil:

Palm oil is a staple in Nigerian cuisine, used for frying, stewing, and soups. It is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and beta-carotene, which promotes healthy skin, immune system function, and eye health.

2. Olive Oil:

Olive oil is known for its numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and certain types of cancer. Extra virgin olive oil, with its low acidity and high antioxidant content, is ideal for salad dressings and light cooking.

3. Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is gaining popularity for its health properties, thanks to its medium-chain fatty acids. It provides energy, boosts metabolism, and supports brain health. Coconut oil is great for frying, baking, and cooking traditional Nigerian dishes.

4. Sesame Oil:

Sesame oil is a flavorful option that adds an earthy taste to your dishes. It is rich in antioxidants and contains essential omega-6 fatty acids. When used in moderation, sesame oil can enhance the nutritional value of your meals.

5. Soybean Oil:

Soybean oil is a popular cooking oil due to its affordability and neutral taste. It contains polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to heart health when used in moderation.

6. Sunflower Oil:

Sunflower oil is a versatile and heart-healthy option. With a high smoking point, it is suitable for deep-frying and baking. It is rich in vitamin E and low in saturated fats, making it a healthier alternative to some other oils.

7. Canola Oil:

Canola oil is low in saturated fats and contains healthy monounsaturated fats. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Canola oil's light flavor and high smoking point make it suitable for a variety of cooking methods.

8. Avocado Oil:

Avocado oil is a nutrient-dense option that is rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. It supports heart health, aids in nutrient absorption, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Avocado oil is great for salad dressings, sautéing, and high-heat cooking.

9. Groundnut Oil (Peanut Oil):

Groundnut oil is commonly used in Nigerian cuisine for frying, searing, and stir-frying. It is a good source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Use cold-pressed or unrefined varieties for added health benefits.

10. Grapeseed Oil:

Grapeseed oil is extracted from grape seeds and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. It is known for its mild flavor, making it suitable for various cooking methods like stir-frying and baking.

11. Safflower Oil:

Safflower oil is a versatile oil with a high smoking point, making it suitable for high-heat cooking methods. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and low in saturated fats, promoting heart health when used in moderation.

12. Corn Oil:

Corn oil is widely used in Nigerian cooking. It is a good source of polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E. Corn oil's mild taste and high smoking point make it suitable for frying, baking, and sautéing.

13. Rice Bran Oil:

Rice bran oil is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and gamma oryzanol, which helps lower cholesterol levels. It has a neutral taste and a high smoking point, making it suitable for various cooking methods.

14. Pumpkin Seed Oil:

Pumpkin seed oil is packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and beneficial fatty acids. It has a rich, nutty flavor, making it a delicious addition to salads and dressings. It is best used in lower-heat cooking or as a finishing oil.

15. Flaxseed Oil:

Flaxseed oil is highly nutritious, containing omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and vitamins. It is sensitive to heat, so it is best used as a finishing oil in dressings, smoothies, or drizzled over cooked dishes to reap its health benefits.


Choosing the right cooking oil is crucial for both taste and health. Each oil on this list offers unique properties that can enhance your dishes and contribute to overall well-being. Experiment with different oils to diversify flavors and maximize the nutritional value of your Nigerian recipes. Remember to use cooking oils in moderation as part of a balanced diet for optimal health benefits.

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