Which fats & oils do you actually use paleo diet coconut oil lard tallow olive oil cooking-min

Which fats & oils do you actually use?

All of the Paleo blogs you read rave about Coconut oil – but is this the fat people really use? I asked the followers of my Facebook page The Paleo Network this exact question:

Which fat and oils do you use?

And with over 300 mentions of different fats and oils, guess which was the most popular?!

That’s right – Coconut Oil with 48% of all the votes!

Which fats & oils do you actually use paleo diet coconut oil lard tallow olive oil cooking-min

Unsurprisingly, Olive Oil was the second most popular at almost 12%, followed by butter, Ghee, Bacon Fat, Avocado, Lard, Tallow then Duck Fat. Less popular, with a few mentions were Grape Seed Oil, Walnut, Dripping, Macadamia Oil, Chicken Fat, Hemp Oil, Oil, Rice Bran and Safflower Oil – see the full list below:

  • Coconut Oil 48.0%
  • Olive Oil 11.7%
  • Butter 9.0%
  • Ghee 7.7%
  • Bacon Fat 7.0%
  • Avocado Oil 5.3%
  • Lard 3.0%
  • Tallow 2.0%
  • Duck Fat 1.3%
  • Grape Seed Oil 1.0%
  • Walnut 1.0%
  • Dripping 0.7%
  • Macadamia Oil 0.7%
  • Chicken Fat 0.3%
  • Hemp Oil 0.3%
  • Palm Oil 0.3%
  • Rice Bran 0.3%
  • Safflower Oil 0.3%


A lot of people were quick to point out that they are very careful to choose their oil/ fat carefully depending on temperature (for instance, saying that they only use olive oil at low temperatures or over salads, and use coconut oil for cooking at higher temperatures)

• Organic cold pressed Coconut high temps and anything lower than 350 I use olive oil
• Coconut, ghee, bacon fat, and at low temps (like my oven roasted tomatoes) I use flavoured olive oil.
• Don't cook with olive oil at high temps!!
• Coconut oil for cooking olive oil for salads
• Don't use anything that is liquid at room temperature as when it gets heated to a certain temperature they turn into hydrogenated fat… Use anything that is solid at took temperature as the compounds are more stable… Use raw organic coconut oil or organic butter
• Coconut oil and ghee depending on what im cooking Olive Oil for salads.
• Is grape seed oil acceptable? I like it as an alternative for high temps.


There were also a lot of you who have a favourite oil, but expressed an interest in trying a new oil, or even rendering your own:

• I'm going to try ghee
• I might try some goose fat
• Heard of walnut but haven't tried it yet.
• I do want to try making ghee.


Quality is clearly a high priority to everyone, pretty much everyone pointed out they use grass-fed butter, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. There were a lot of comments like this one:

• All either organic or from pastured/free range animals.


A lot of people just hate the taste of coconut oil too… it’s definitely worth trying it in different dishes, and also trying other brands. Whilst refined coconut oils don't have the coconutty taste – they are refined oils, so not ideal…

• My partner dislikes coconut flavor. Does it taste very coconutty?
• Is there a coconut oil that doesn't have a strong flavour or does all coconut oil make everything you're cooking coconut flavoured …. ?
• I don't like coconut but coconut oil doesn't really taste of it. I don't mind chicken fish or eggs with coconut oil but not red meat

So over to you, which fats and oils do you use – and in what situation?

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5 replies
  1. Matilda
    Matilda says:

    I use coconut oil, olive oil, lard, butter & ghee. They would be my go to oils.

    I also have macadamia nut oil, but I use that more for dressings, and since it’s getting colder it doesn’t get used as much.

    Overall I find that lard gives the best flavour for baking roast veggies in the oven.

  2. Isabel
    Isabel says:

    I use olive oil a lot, though only just realised that I shouldn’t cook with it. Instead I’ll start using lard, I wish I liked the taste of coconut oil, the only thing I can use it in is a stew. I find the taste too strong otherwise.

  3. Lorinda
    Lorinda says:

    Very interesting survey! I use coconut oil and butter mostly, but also have ghee, macadamia and olive oil. My local butcher sells lard so I might give that a try. I save the fat from roast chicken and love the flavour but realise it is probably quite high in omega 6.

  4. David Campbell
    David Campbell says:

    Frying anything, in any oil- is not the best or nutritious way to prepare and eat food. It would be superfluous to argue or make further comment for those that agree.
    In regards which is the best way to do the wrong thing- for those that can’t get around the taste or flavour of coconut oil –just forget it- go ahead and use a greater evil, oil- but don’t knock the nuts.
    First time I went to Philippines, I saw McDonalds’s and KFC everywhere- but the busiest, fast food joints were the local- “Busy Bee” that was flogging similar fodder. Didn’t understand the difference until I tasted the chicken and fries from the latter. Bingo- straight away, the penny dropped- it was cooked in coconut oil—the locals just couldn’t get around the “Kernal’s” secret recipe- of genetically modified, round up sprayed, hydrogenated- good ole, down home USA type cooking oil– and preferred the coconut oil they grew up with.
    Live and learn or don’t learn and don’t live- all up to you.


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