Sunday, May 13, 2012

Are Calorie-Free Oil Sprays Safe for Cooking?

Are Calorie-Free Oil Sprays Safe for Cooking?

Q: I like to stir-fry lean proteins with vegetables, usually using something like a PAM calorie-free olive oil spray. Is this type of product harmful to my health? I tend to avoid straight olive oil from a bottle because of its high caloric content.


A: First off, smart choice on using a spray oil instead of pouring straight from the bottle. This is a great strategy for trimming calories if you're trying to manage your weight — you'll save 120 calories per tablespoon of oil you cut from recipes.

The ingredients used in commercial cooking sprays are considered safe by the FDA (although some people question the safety of the chemical propellants they use). But there's an even better option: Pick up a reusable oil mister at a home goods store (they're inexpensive, around $10) and fill it with your favorite olive, canola, grapeseed or other heart-healthy oil. So, the mister contains 100 percent pure oil and NO additives. The reusable misters are more cost-effective and better for the environment, since you're not constantly throwing away the empty canisters. Plus, I've found that by using the mister with straight oil and no additives, you're less likely to be left with a film on your pans. It's a smart choice for you, the environment, and your wallet!