Which Cooking Oil Is Best For You

Choosing the right oil to cook is not an easy thing. When it comes to fat and oils, we are spoiled for choice. Supermarket shelves are heaving with every conceivable options. But are all these oil good for you. It is imperative that we know what makes a oil healthy and suitable for you. Ideally your cooking oil should have healthy and nutritious fats in it.

Whenever you’re looking to pick a cooking oil, things which you should concentrate are

  • Type of fat
  • Processing method
  • Smoke point
  • Taste and flavour
  • Quality of raw ingredients
  • Nutrients in oil

Types of fat

  • There are three types of fat
    • Saturated
    • Unsaturated
    • Polyunsaturated
  • Saturated fat
    • These are sold at room temperature
    • These fat aid in digestion
    • Healthy options in saturated fat are :- Desi cow ghee and coconut oil
    • Unhealthy options are :- Vanaspati ghee, hydrogenated oil and processed butter
  • Mono Unsaturated fat
    • These contain omega 9
    • Healthy options are :- Olive oil, nuts oil and mustard oil
    • Unhealthy options are :- Refined oil, palm oil, lite oils and extra lite oils
  • Polyunsaturated fat
    • These contain omega 3 and 6
    • Healthy options are :-Flax seeds oil, sesame seeds oil and saybean oil
    • Unhealthy options are :- Canola oil and Corn oil

Processing Method

  • Oils that are highly processed with chemicals
    • Oils have no smell or taste
    • They contain preservatives and other additives
  • Machine extraction
    • This methos is better compared to the first method
    • But the oil still gets in contact with heat and the nutrients do get destroyed
  • Cold press method
    • This is the best method of extracting oil
    • Oil retains it’s taste, nutrients and flavour
    • No heat gets used in this method to extract oil

Smoke Point

  • Smokinh point is the temperature at which the oil starts to burn and degrade
  • For deep and shallow frying 160 degrees and above
    • Coconut oil, mustard oil and desi ghee
    • However is not a healthy method
  • Light cooking
    • Light cooking is done mostly on low heat
    • 120 to 160 degrees
    • Olive oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are used for this method
  • No cooking
    • Dressing on top (below 120 degrees)
    • Flax seeds oil, sesame oil, olive oil, walnut oil, fish oil are some examples
    • This is the best way to add fat in the diet

Taste and Flavour

  • Avoid words like refined, lite, extra lite
  • Pure, virgin, cold pressed oil have true flavour and taste to make your food more palatable and healthy

Quality of Raw Ingredients

  • If ingredients used are not healthy, the oil will not be healthy even it is processed with best cold press method
  • Look for organically certified cold pressed oil
  • Go for locally sourced oils or ghee

Nutrients

  • Look for vitamin A as it helps in dealing with stress and lifestyle changes
  • Vitamin D is vital for immunity
  • Vitamin E reduces damage to the body

Points to Remember

  • Use different oils for different purposes
  • Use pure, organically certified, cold pressed virgin oils
  • Never reheat or reuse oils
  • Keep changing oils as per season
  • Always go for regional oils
  • Maintain a balance between omega 6 and omega 3
  • Choose healthy options from saturated and unsaturated fats
  • Look for the nutrients you need

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