What is cooking oil?
Cooking oil is a type of fat derived from natural sources like plants or animals or synthetically made. It is used for cooking and comes in various flavours and aromas. Cooking oils can be used for baking, frying, dressing or sautéing.
Each oil has its unique property depending on the source used, like avocado, olive, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds or coconut. Cooking oil contains three types of fats:
- Saturated Fat: Cooking oils containing high amounts of saturated fats are semi-solid at room temperature, for example, coconut oil, ghee and butter.
- Monounsaturated Fat: Oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are considered good for heart health. They are liquid at room temperature but solidify when chilled. Peanut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil are a few examples.
- Polyunsaturated Fat: These fats are of two types omega-3 and omega-6. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) remain liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Fish oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, and corn oil are a few examples. These fats are also suitable for our heart health; however, excess intake of omega-6 fats is not advisable.
Cooking oil: Benefits & Uses
Here are a few benefits of cooking oil.
- Source of energy: Cooking oils are a good source of energy. One gram of fat provides 9 kcal; hence they help maintain our energy levels.
- Assist nutrient absorption: Oils help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. These vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of our body.
- Support heart health: Oils high in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk.
- Boost skin and heart health: Oils may help retain the natural moisture of skin and hair.
Cooking oil: Types
Cooking oils are of various types. Besides source, oils may also differ in their extraction process. Oils are extracted through multiple processes, and the most common are hot and cold-pressed methods. Let's understand the difference between the two.
- Cold pressed oil: Cold extraction process involves a mechanical press without any chemicals or heat. Cold pressed oils retain their natural aroma, flavour and nutrients since no heat is applied.
- Hot pressed oil: During hot extraction, nuts or seeds are heated to make the extraction easier. However, it may cause the breakdown of some natural compounds or flavours.
Cold pressed oils are considered better than hot pressed as they are minimally processed.
Let's discuss different types of cooking oil.
- Olive oil: It is extracted from olives and comes in various grades like - pomace, virgin and extra virgin olive oil. It has a fruity flavour and is considered suitable for heart health.
- Avocado oil: It is made from avocado fruit and is high in monounsaturated fats.
- Peanut oil: Made from groundnuts, this oil has a high smoking point and is good for frying. It is high in MUFA, PUFA, vitamin E and antioxidants.
- Mustard oil: It is obtained from mustard seeds and is yellow in colour. Mustard oil has a pungent flavour and is high in antioxidants and vitamin E.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is high in saturated fats and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Studies support that MCTs are beneficial for weight management and brain function. Coconut oil is also a popular ingredient in skin and hair cosmetic products due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower seeds. It has high MUFA and PUFA content and promotes healthy cholesterol levels. It has a high smoking temperature and is hence safe for deep frying.
- Sesame oil: Sesame or til oil is made from sesame seeds. This oil has a nutty flavour and has a low smoking point compared to other oils. Sesame oil is also popularly used in cosmetic products.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil refers to any oil extracted from plant sources like corn, soybean, canola, or palm oil. They are usually high in vitamin E and antioxidants and are associated with potential health benefits like a healthy heart, healthy blood glucose levels and anti-inflammatory.
- Ghee: Desi ghee or clarified butter is a good source of healthy fats, vitamins A, D and E. It has a high smoking point and is considered good for digestive health.
How to choose the right cooking oil for you?
Here are a few tips that may help you choose the suitable oil as per the need.
- Usage: Different oils have a different smoking point which is the temperature at which oil begins to smoke and break down. If you need oil for deep frying, choose an oil with a high smoking point, whereas oils with a low smoking point can be used for sautéing. For salad dressings, one can consider extra virgin olive oil.
- Nutritional value: Oils differ in their nutritional content. You can consider coconut oil if you are looking for an oil high in MCTs. Olive or avocado oil suits people looking for oil high in MUFA.
- Method of extraction: It is advisable to check the processing method through which oil has been extracted. One should prefer cold pressed oils made without chemicals or heat.
- Trusted brand: One should prefer buying oil from a reliable source. The product should be FSSAI-approved, certified and free from harmful additives.
How to use cooking oil?
One can use cooking oil for sautéing, baking, deep frying, roasting, grilling, and salad dressing.
Where to buy cooking oil?
Nutrabay.com is India's most trusted leading online website for the best cold pressed oil and cooking oil in India. Products sold on Nutrabay are 100% authentic as they are sourced either directly from the brands or official importers. We guarantee a hassle-free buying experience online with secure payment options. Check out Nutrabay for the most affordable cooking oil price to feel great every day and build a perfectly healthy body.
Is cooking oil safe to use?
Cooking oils are absolutely safe to consume. One must use them as per daily nutrition needs to enjoy the health benefits as they are high in calories. However, one must store them in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent them from going rancid. It is advisable not to reuse the same oil again and again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Which is the best cooking oil for health?
Olive oil, peanut oil, ghee and mustard oil are some of the best oils one can consider for cooking.
2. What are the benefits of cooking with coconut oil?
Studies support that coconut oil help in weight management, boosts digestive and heart health, and acts as a natural moisturizer. It has a high smoking point, is more stable, and is less prone to rancidity and oxidation.
3. What is cold pressed oil?
Cold pressed oils are extracted from seeds, fruits or nuts using a mechanical process without chemicals or heat. Since the temperature is low, it helps retain the natural aroma, nutrients and oil flavour.
4. Which oil is best for Indian cooking?
Mustard oil, ghee, peanut oil and cooking oil are a few best cooking oil.