Best Cooking Oil in India: Searching for best oil for cooking in India? Here I have specified best and healthy cooking oils for heart and overall health.
Best Cooking Oil in India
Cooking oil is the most vital and the basic ingredient in any Indian dish. Whether it is dal or mixed veg curry, oil is used for cooking and to add flavor to the food. However, among so many options available in the supermarket these days, selecting the best oil can get very confusing.
But not anymore…
Let us find out the best cooking oil in the Indian market.
Hello friends welcome to The Knowledge Hunt to make things simpler for you; I have categorized all the oils available in the Indian market into three categories on the basis of how healthy they are for consumption.
#1. Refined Oils
Category number one is that of refined oils:
Most cooking oils available in the market like sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, soybean oil are refined oils. Do not get carried away by their nutritional information or ingredients because the real facts are missing.
The problem lies in the word refined.
Refining an oil is a multi-stage process.
Firstly the oil is extracted at a very high temperature using chemical solvents and even hexane.
In this process all the vitamins and minerals are destroyed. The fatty acid bonds tend to break and the oil starts to turn toxic. Further the taste of the oil is neutralized and the odor from the oils is removed.
Finally preservatives like TBHQ and Anti-foaming agents like dimethyl siloxane are added. What is left behind is the colourless, odorless, tasteless and most importantly nutrition less fluid; Which is packed and sold as the refined oil.
All these oils which we have discussed are very healthy but in their pure form. Any oil (it does not matter how healthy it is), once it goes through this refining process, it should not be used.
#2. Olive, Almond and Avocado Oils
Category number two includes oils like olive oil, almond oil and avocado oil.
All these oils are among healthiest of oils. They are rich in healthy fats, Omega 3’s and they also have high smoking points.
Smoking point is a temperature above which the fatty acid bonds starts to break and the oil becomes unfit for consumption.
Living in India I would not recommend you any of these oils for three main reasons.
Firstly because they are very costly. One liter of pure olive oil will cost you over one thousand rupees. And the same quantity of almond oil or avocado oil will cost you in thousands.
Secondly there is a lot of adulteration in the name of olive oil.
For example, Olive Pomace Oil is blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Almond oil and avocado oil are almost unavailable.
Third and the most important factor is that these oils do not go well with the Indian style of cooking.
Olive oil is the best choice when making something like pasta, vegetable salad, or any other Spanish or the Italian cuisine.
In reality it is just the intensive marketing by the European Union that you find olive oils all over the Indian supermarket these days.
So we have seen why refined oils are bad.
I have not even recommended you the healthiest of oils for daily cooking. Are there any oils which will provide us with the healthiest fatty acids, enhance the flavors of our recipes and wouldn’t even rip our pockets.
#3. Cold-Pressed Oils
Category number 3 includes cold-pressed or the filtered versions of peanut oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and mustard oil. Not refined but cold-pressed – (also known as wood pressed / virgin) – as we call in India the ‘Kacchi Ghani’ versions of these oils are best meant for Indian cooking.
I know there might be some tentacles raised on mustard oil and coconut oil, but I will get to it.
Cold pressing is an ancient method with no heat is involved for the extraction of oils. This not only retains the vitamins and minerals of the oil but also its aroma and flavor.
Cold Pressing Oils is an ancient method of mechanical extraction in which nuts or seeds are pressed by using heavy granite milestones or modern presses. No heat or chemicals are used. Cold Pressed Oils are generally dark and cloudy in appearance and have a peculiar seed smell from which they are extracted.
They are a little expensive as they require the usage of best quality seed, but the high quality oil is assured.
All these oils have high smoking point making them ideal for cooking. They are also high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.
Coconut oil although is an exception, having 87% saturated fat. However, there is nothing to worry about as the special type of saturated fat in coconut oil is called medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
Unlike long-chain fatty acids found in the animal saturated fat, medium chain do not have to be broken down in the small intestine. And are delivered directly to the lever to be used for energy.
Research shows that consuming coconut oil actually increases HDL or good cholesterol.
Today there are over 1500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Kacchi Ghani mustard oil is another great option. However, due to its 47% erucic acid content it has been banned for edible use in USA, Canada and Europe.
The basis of this banning is a study which was conducted on laboratory rats. These rats were given mustard oil in large enough quantities which caused heart problems. However, no harmful effects on humans have been proved till date.
Mustard oil has been used as a common diet staple in places like India, Bangladesh, China, Korea for centuries.
In fact according to a study conducted by experts of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (who compared different oils including olive oil) found mustard oil to be a clear winner ; as it has an ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, helpful in reducing heart complications.
Kacchi Ghani mustard oil is very easily available in the Indian market. You can consume it without worrying about heart problems.
When living in India you can use any of these four oils in its pure form.
In India, since age’s, the oil that you use in your kitchen was largely dependent on what region you come from.
In Kerala, coconut oil a staple, in Andhra and Rajasthan – sesame oil, in north and eastern India – mustard oil, and in central India in Gujarat groundnut oil is mostly used. If you closely observe these oils not only suits the climate of the region but also enhance the flavor of local ingredients and recipes.
I have mentioned some good cold-pressed oils in the table below. If possible you can buy them from nearby stores or simply just click on the product names you wish to buy.
You can try any of them according to your choice & taste.
One thing that should be taken into consideration is that no oil should be reused.
It is also recommended that you keep changing or rotating your cooking oil every three to four months. So that your body gets all the essential fatty acids.
So friends that’s all for this article. I hope you found it helpful.
I promise that whatever I have written in this or any of the previous articles is my honest opinion.
I wish you all the best and thank you so much for reading.
Share your views or suggest ideas or ask your questions via comments section below.
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