Healthier oils listed here are generally safe for most home-cooking uses
For the last few years, many of my clients have complained about their high inflammatory markers and abnormal lipid or liver function despite using the healthiest cooking oils. Why does this happen? Maybe you are using the healthiest oil but how right is it for you? There is a lot of conflicting information regarding how healthy each of them is. How do we know which ones to use and if we should be avoiding any altogether? Let’s look at what all oils you can pick to cook your food and through them enjoy a healthy life.
Organic oil: This means that the oil is created from a plant grown by farmers or in areas that don’t use pesticides or chemicals.
Extra virgin or virgin oil: No chemicals or extreme heat is used during the extraction process.
Raw or unrefined oil: This is the purest form of oil you can get which allows you to receive the maximum benefits from it.
Cold-pressed oil: This uses the method of extracting oil from different oil seeds at normal temperature in a natural way without any chemical treatment, which helps in retaining most of the
Refined oil: The heating process and solvent or chemicals are used to produce refined oil.
Cold-pressed oils are way healthier than refined oils because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and oleic acid as well as other nutrients. Plus, they are completely devoid of the chemicals that are generally added to oils during the refining process to retain their natural aroma.
By now you know the process of making a variety of oils and which one you can choose for yourself. Go for organic cold-pressed oil, if not then virgin oil or unrefined oil is the second-best option.
Here’s a look at various oils that you can use for cooking:
Ghee: Particularly A2 desi cow ghee, which has been utilised for thousands of years in Ayurveda as a therapeutic agent. It is also considered to be the healthiest source of edible fat. Ghee contains butyrate, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer properties.
Cold pressed coconut oil: It contains higher amounts of nutrients like vitamin E and dietary bioactive compounds like polyphenols. It is a very important source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil) that exhibits healthy properties due to its different metabolism pathways. The fatty acids that give coconut oil its therapeutic values are caprylic, capric and lauric acids, which alone make up for about 50% of the total fatty acid content and can modulate intestinal health and promote gut health. These fatty acids also have antimicrobial properties.
Mustard oil: This is considered healthy edible oil because it is low in short-chain fatty acids, high in MUFA and PUFA, especially alpha-linolenic acid, and a good Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio. Researches indicate that mustard oil has an anticarcinogenic property that prevents cancer formation in the body and reduces body temperature. It also reduces the adhesive impulses in blood platelets which is helpful to minimise the risk of heart failure. The consumption of mustard oil can reduce the risk of asthma, allergic cold and asthmatic eczema in children. It also protects eyes and throat irritation and strengthens our RBC by decreasing cholesterol and improving RBC membrane structure. In addition, the presence of a high amount of alpha-linolenic acid in mustard oil helps to control the high cholesterol level and heart disease.
Seasame oil: It is sought to be the most stable vegetable oil against any oxidation because of its oxidative stability, for it has the lignans such as sesaminol, pinoresinol and sesamol among others. Sesamol is a strong antioxidant, which increases while cooking. Plus it does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which make it effective for reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Peanut oil or groundnut oil: is made from the edible seeds of the peanut plant with a high smoke point making it oil which is commonly used to fry foods. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E as well.