- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Mustard oil
Healthy cooking oil is an important part of every diet as they are the backbone of culinary creations and satisfy our taste buds. Oils are a kitchen essential with multiple utilities like frying, roasting, baking, sauteing, and so on. There are different types of oils available in the marketplace, and people become confused about which oil is best for Indian cooking. Each oil has its own unique properties that can make a big difference in the nutrition, flavour, and healthiness of the food. Not all oils are created in a similar way; thus, it is essential for people to consider a few things before choosing the best cooking oil for them.
How to Choose The Best Cooking Oil For You?
Choosing the right cooking oil depends upon multiple factors- from smoke point to nutritional value and manufacturing procedures. Mentioned below are some of the factors through which people can decide which cooking oil is good for health.
1. Refined vs Unrefined Oil – Manufacturing Process
Sometimes cooking oils are manufactured using the simple cold pressing technique. In this process, the seeds or fruits are pressed, and oil is extracted, filtered and thus, ready to be used. The unrefined oils are referred to as virgin oil as they are not subjected to chemicals, heat, or other procedures.
The manufacturing process of refined oils involves various extraction, heating, and purification stages. Thus, they are suitable for cooking at higher temperatures. Some chemicals are used in the extraction process, which takes away the nutrients from refined oils.
2. Smoke Point
The smoking point or burning point is the temperature at which oil degrades, leading to smoke. When oil reaches its burning, it produces harmful radicals and loses its nutritional value. The burning point varies greatly among different oils, ranging from less than 250°F to more than 500°F. Therefore, people need to select the right oil for different types of foods. On the other hand, those who use an oil with a low smoke point might risk exposing themselves to harmful chemicals and losing some important nutritional value.
3. Fat Composition
Fats are an essential part of the oil. All the oils contain four types of fats mentioned below.
i) Trans Fats
Trans fats or trans-fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that are obtained either from natural or industrial sources.
ii) Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats and are found in plant foods, such as nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils.
iii) Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fat is of two types Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and is found in plant and animal foods, such as salmon, vegetable oils, and some nuts and seeds.
Oils with strong flavour can affect the taste of the food. For instance, peanut oil holds a nutty flavour that can be used in stir-frying, while olive oil has a distinctive taste that only works well with some dishes. On the other hand, vegetable oil has a neutral flavour that doesn’t affect the taste of any food. Thus, it is essential to consider the flavour before choosing the best cooking oil.
5. Nutritional Value
One of the most essential points for people to consider when they get confused about which cooking oil is good for health is its nutritional value. Some oils are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, while others are high in healthy fats and antioxidants. For instance, palm oil and coconut oil are high in saturated fat, while avocado oil and olive oil are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
What Are Some Best Oils Used In Cooking?
Mentioned below are some of the best oils used in cooking.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils used for cooking purposes as it contains high amounts of monounsaturated fats and very low saturated fats. It helps in reducing the risk of heart problems and high cholesterol. This oil is also a rich source of antioxidants. They also have vitamin E, which helps strengthen the hair and nourishes hair and the immune system and vitamin K which promotes blood clotting and improves bone health. One of the most amazing benefits of olive oil is its ability to fight harmful bacteria which develop in the gut.
2. Avocado Oil
Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits, but how beneficial is avocado oil? Avocado oil is one of the healthiest as it is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. In addition to its positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, it is also a great source of Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and boosts the immune system.
Furthermore, since avocados are high in Vitamin E, this oil is also helpful in nourishing hair, reducing inflammation, treating skin issues, and more.
3. Canola Oil
Many people get confused about which oil is best for Indian cooking. The answer to this question is canola oil, as it is one of the best all-around cooking oils. It is suitable for daily use in the kitchen. In addition, it holds a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are responsible for managing health issues such as blood sugar fluctuations, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so on.
It also helps reduce the HDL cholesterol in the blood and increase the LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. It holds high amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids used to accelerate metabolism, which is the process of the body turning food and liquids into energy. The vitamin E present in canola oil helps to improve skin and hair health and keeps the immune system strong against bacteria and viruses.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most contentious oils used by people in recent years. It differs from most of the other oils due to the distinct composition of its fatty acids. This oil is packed with the highest amount of saturated fats; thus, people with blood pressure need to be aware. However, it contains many disease-preventing properties, and still, too much-saturated fat is not suitable for health.
If an individual wants to try coconut oil, they must use it for light sauteing or low-heat baking and in sauces. It also has a medium smoking point. However, when it is used as cold pressed cooking oil, it helps in reducing the appetite due to the presence of medium-chain fatty acids, which also give it antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
5. Sunflower Oil
The health profile of sunflower oil is more complex than most other edible oils. There are three different types of sunflower oil, namely, linoleic (higher in polyunsaturated fats), mid-oleic ( balance of poly and monounsaturated fats), and high oleic (higher in monounsaturated fats). The least healthy one among these three is the linoleic type because of its adverse effects on heart health and cholesterol levels. The healthiest one is the high oleic type, as it is high in monounsaturated fats.
6. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is obtained from the seeds of mustard plants. This oil is one of the best cooking oils used in most Asian countries, including India. It is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
As a result, it helps in reducing inflammation, slows cancer cell growth, enhances skin and hair health, blocks microbial growth and is beneficial for heart health. Mustard oil has a high smoke point and is widely known for its strong flavour and pungent aroma. It is used for stir-frying and sauteing vegetables.
7. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a popular vegetable oil that is extracted from sesame seeds. It is commonly used in cooking and is known for its distinctive nutty flavour and aroma. Sesame oil has been used for thousands of years in various cultures worldwide for culinary and medicinal purposes.
One of the most notable features of sesame oil is its high content of healthy fats, particularly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats have been shown to promote cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation. Sesame oil also contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
8. Groundnut Oil
Groundnut oil, also known as peanut oil, is a popular cooking oil extracted from peanuts. Its mild flavour and high smoke point make it suitable for various cooking methods such as frying, sautéing, and baking. Groundnut oil is commonly used in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cuisines and is appreciated for its health benefits.
One of the most significant benefits of groundnut oil is its high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These healthy fats have been linked to improved heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease. Groundnut oil is also a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
The Bottom Line
A high-quality and healthful diet requires dietary fats. Oils help in fulfilling the dietary fat content in the food. People can look at the ingredient list and decide which oil is best for Indian cooking. Before purchasing any oil, individuals should look for essential factors such as its nutritional value, smoke point, fat content, whether it’s refined or unrefined, and more.
So if you are looking for the best and most healthy cooking oil, go nowhere other than Nayesha Mills. We are the best producers of cold pressed cooking oil so that you can get the most-suited oil for your favourite dishes and healthy. Get in touch with Nayesha Mills now.