|1. Olive Oil||2. Coconut Oil||3. Mustard Oil|
Every food preparation has one ingredient in common, and that is cooking oil. Cooking oil comes in a variety of options that can be used for either baking, frying, or drizzling over food. A wide range of cooking oil is available in the market today, such as vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and so on. Your food requirements and preferences, and the dish you are cooking, will determine the cooking oil that you use.
Every oil has some pros and cons attached to it. Finding a healthy oil has become quite easy nowadays, but since there are so many options, it can become difficult to find the right one. When it comes to cooking oil, certain health conditions must be kept in mind to prevent problems in the future. Cooking oil is a must have item in your pantry and hence we decided to research and list the different types of cooking oils and also the best options online.
Top 10 Best Cooking Oils In India 2020
1. Olive Oil
This is one of the healthiest cooking oils that you will come across, with many variants. It is packed with antioxidants which can keep you safe from many chronic diseases. Unlike so many other oils, olive oil takes care of your heart, reduces pain in the joints, and it also diminishes the chances of getting Alzheimer’s, a disease that plagues many people in their old age.
Your blood cholesterol remains protected from getting oxidized, and the oil also prevents inflammation in your body. For low and medium heating foods, olive oil is the best because it emits a lower amount of smoke.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an essential cooking oil in many regions, especially in southern India. It is best for high heat cooking, as it contains 90% saturated fatty acids that make the oil highly resistant to heat. Coconut oil lasts for a very long time, and stays fresh without giving out any foul odor.
Your cognitive abilities will be largely improved and sharpened if you consume food made with coconut oil. Another important fact about coconut oil is that it keeps you full for a very long time, and makes you feel really heavy. Hence, it is difficult to eat too much food made using this oil.
If you are looking for a healthy substitute for any other cooking oil, coconut oil is the one you should go for. It has the lowest chance of getting stored in your body as fat and hence, acts as the perfect cooking oil for health-conscious individuals. You can also replace butter or vegetable oil with coconut oil for certain dishes.
3. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil has been a part of traditional cooking in India since time immemorial. It’s that one cooking oil you will surely come across in every household in the country. Mustard oil is popular because it can be easily digested and provides stimulation.
This oil has many benefits and a few flaws as well. It has a variety of antibacterial qualities, helps with skin problems, is said to cure colds, and efficiently fights germs and viruses that might have entered your body. If you are desperate to lose some weight, then mustard oil is your best option, as it contains fewer fats.
Mustard oil also contains certain fatty acids that reduce the risk of getting ischemic heart disease. However, there are many places across the globe where the oil is banned, such as in the USA. This is because it contains erucic acid, that is known to cause health problems like respiratory diseases, heart, and blood issues.
4. Palm Oil
Palm oil is almost seldom used in Indian recipes, but this oil makes its way into our system often as a part of many packaged products. There are several benefits of palm oil, and it can be a healthy addition to your diet. It contains beneficial elements like several antioxidants, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
These elements help in reducing the risk of heart disease, improve the functioning of the brain as well as the levels of vitamin E in our bodies. You can check your jars of peanut butter and any other butter consisting of nuts, and you will find small quantities of palm oil in the list of ingredients. It also contains anticancer elements like squalene and phytosterols that fight cholesterol levels in your body.
You must keep some guidelines in mind when you are cooking with palm oil. It is best to not let it heat up too much, because that can lead to the formation of unwanted byproducts. Thus, you must cook it only at medium or low flame to prevent it from reaching the smoke point. Palm oil is a great replacement for trans fat, since it remains solid at room temperature.
However, while we speak of the benefits of palm oil, one cannot overlook the deep negative impacts it has had on society. The production of palm oil has led to large-scale deforestation in places like Malaysia and Indonesia, destroying the flora and fauna of many dense forests. Multinational corporations have illegally and forcefully grabbed lands from the indegineous people for its production as well.
Peoples’ lives and the climate have been deeply impacted by palm oil. India and China are the two largest consumers of this oil and efforts to control its usage must be levied immediately.
5. Almond Oil
We Indians tend to stick to traditional cooking ingredients that include conventional cooking oils like mustard oil. However, almond oil is another type of cooking oil that has some great advantages for your health. It is rich in antioxidants, and contains a high amount of vitamin E.
It prevents heart problems, or at least reduces the risk of having them. Along with this, almond oil also takes care of blood pressure issues. It contains a high amount of antioxidants that can also prevent cardiovascular diseases, inflammation in the body and control cholesterol levels.
Almond oil has a very mild taste that does not dominate any dish, but surely adds a lot of nutritional value to it. However, you must be careful to keep the heat controlled so that the oil does not burn. That can easily suppress all the nutritions present in the oil. You can use it for dressing your salad, for baking something or just merely adding a small quantity as a topping.
It is best to use unrefined or virgin almond oil, as this can have a great impact on your health, skin, and hair. Whole almonds are the best for any diet, but in the absence of that, you can always use almond oil – which is quite healthy as well.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil has been declared as the healthiest cooking oil because of its many benefits. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that make up for the insufficient alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the body, and also provides you with an adequate amount of DHA and EPA. This oil is known to improve the condition of your heart, diminish the chances of inflammation, and also slows down the aging of your brain.
It provides the body with the required dose of protein and fiber, and also helps to keep a check on your diet if you are trying to lose weight. This, it does by reducing your appetite to a certain degree. It also reduces the growth of cancer cells, preventing further health issues. .
This oil is also a great solution to treat problems like constipation and diarrhea. It helps by increasing the frequency of your bowel movements and the consistency of your stool. This is a very common problem that people suffer from, due to reasons like irregular sleep patterns and unhealthy food. You can also use flaxseed oil as a salad dressing or in dips.
7. Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil is very useful, as you can use it in a variety of foods without worrying about the taste. This is because while the oil is great for frying or baking, it does not have a strong smell or taste. It has a high smoke point and thus, can be used for cooking on a high flame.
This oil is actually extracted from the outer part of a rice grain, and is mostly used in Asian countries to make various dishes. Rice bran oil contains a variety of nutrients that can be really helpful for you and your family’s health. It contains a larger amount of unsaturated fat than saturated fat, which is good for the heart.
Other than that, it also contains vitamin E, that strengthens your immunity and improves the health of your blood vessels. It has also been observed to increase an individual’s resistance to insulin. This improves blood sugar levels immensely and also promotes a healthy heart by keeping your cholesterol levels in control.
It contains a variety of antioxidants that helps get rid of toxic elements, and prevent inflammation in the body.
8. Sesame Oil
The edible seeds of a sesame plant are pressed to retrieve sesame oil in its raw form. This oil is often added to various foods for the flavour that it brings to the dish. Sesame oil not only is not only used for cooking, but also for various cosmetic and medicinal needs.
It is full of antioxidants that reduce cell damage due to the presence of free radicals. The oil is healthy for your heart, as it contains 82% fatty acids in the unsaturated form.
Even though research is still ongoing, the usage of sesame oil in food has proven to keep blood sugar levels under control. An additional advantage of this oil is that it helps in the treatment of arthritis. This oil is commonly used in Asian cuisines because of its mild flavour and high smoking point.
It can highly nourish your body with elements like copper, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6; all of which are highly nutritional and beneficial for one’s health.
9. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is once again a commonly used cooking oil in India – just like mustard oil. This oil is also full of unsaturated fatty acids that are known to be great for the heart. However, the type of sunflower oil and its nutrient composition will determine what kind of benefits the oil actually has for your body.
There are 4 different types of sunflower oil, and each one contains a certain amount of oleic acid or linoleic acid. While the former is made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the other is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Both these acids provide immense energy and strength to your body.
Early aging or other issues related to aging is dealt with by the vitamin E contained in the sunflower oil that acts as a shield for your cells. There are no carbohydrates, protein, cholesterol, or sodium present in the oil. Unlike other cooking oils, this one does not lose its nutritional value even when cooked at high flame.
Sunflower oil can be used to fry vegetables, fries, chips, or even samosas. Not only do you get a tasty dish, but also one with many benefits. There are many brands selling sunflower oil in India, and you just have to choose the best one for you.
10. Groundnut Oil
Groundnut oil, also known as peanut oil, is a fairly common cooking oil used in several places around the globe. It is mostly used for frying food, and just like the cooking oils mentioned earlier, this one too has its share of benefits. There are quite a few drawbacks as well that must be kept in mind before consuming it.
It has a high smoke point and is commonly used in Asian food, especially for frying foods. The majority of fat contained in groundnut oil is unsaturated in nature that is good for the heart, as well as for controlling weight. However, it also contains a large amount of omega-6 fats that can cause problems in the body like inflammation, etc.
It also contains a lot of vitamin E and various antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease and also keep away free radicals. . There are several different types of groundnut oils such as refined groundnut oil, cold-pressed groundnut oil, gourmet groundnut oil, and groundnut oil blends. All these different types have their own benefits as well as drawbacks.
11. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is known for being a rich source of vitamin E and has always been considered a healthy counterpart of olive oil. It helps protect your heart from any diseases and also reduces the chances of inflammation. Avocado is originally a staple produced in Central America, but with the spread of a market economy and rampant overseas trade, it can now be found in many countries across the world.
Avocado oil is not only popular for its culinary uses, but also for the end number of benefits it has for the skin. It reduces bad cholesterol and controls triglyceride levels. It is composed of both polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as monounsaturated fatty acids. Avocado oil is available in both refined as well as unrefined form. The former is less flavorful.
People prefer using avocado oil because of its mild taste that does not dominate the food. It can be used very well as a salad dressing, along with some mayonnaise. It has a high smoke point, and thus can be used for cooking food on high heat, while keeping all its nutritional values intact. Full of antioxidants and other beneficial elements, avocado oil is ranked as one of the best cooking oils.
12. Blackseed Oil
Blackseed oil is extracted from a plant that is most commonly found in Southwest Asia. The seeds taste slightly bitter, but fit in perfectly in any Indian or Middle-Eastern cuisine. The oil extracted is of amber color and it is often used to cook food. It comes with various health benefits as well.
This oil helps with rheumatoid arthritis to a great extent. . This is still under study however, and only further research on the matter will be able to provide a definite conclusion. The oil also controls nasal inflammation and treats various inflammatory allergies. Sinus, which is a common problem most people suffer from, can be easily dealt with with the help of black seed oil.
Diabetes is yet another problem that black seed oil can take care of and treat, along with asthma. It keeps bad cholesterol under control and prevents obesity – but only when paired with adequate exercise on a daily basis and a change in food habits. Applying black seed oil directly on the skin can often lead to allergies. There are a few other drawbacks of the oil that must be kept in mind before using it.
13. Canola Oil
The Indian market has been recently flooded with canola cooking oil, as more and more people have started using it. This oil is vegetable-based, and can be found in many cuisines across the world. The only vitamins and minerals that canola oil contains is vitamin E and K.
The reason why it is considered to be so healthy is that it contains a really low level of saturated fat (7%) and the rest is all unsaturated fat. This keeps your weight under control, and is beneficial for your heart. It is a rich source of ALA that is crucial for brain development, as well as for the well-being of the heart.
You can use canola oil for various purposes like baking, sauteing, frying, or even roasting, as it has a medium smoking point. However, there are certain downsides to this oil as well. It is high in omega-6 fats, an imbalance of which can cause problems like Alzheimer’s, obesity, and heart diseases. This oil belongs to a category called GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), which has potential risks that are still being researched.
14. Soybean Oil
Soybean has been a rich source of protein and energy for vegetarians, as it substitutes meat in most cases. The oil extracted from the soybean plant is called soybean oil, which has become quite popular across the world. The best part about this oil is the versatility that enables it to be used for baking, frying, and roasting.
What makes it one of the healthiest options for high heat cooking methods, is its high smoking point. The nutrients contained in it stay intact without breaking down even in high heat. It is mostly made up of unsaturated fats that are good for the heart.
It might also be beneficial for bone health and development. It prevents bones from becoming brittle early on. . Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in soybean oil, which prevents inflammation and also takes care of various heart diseases, cancer, and even blood sugar levels. For best results, you must pair this oil with things like flax seed, salmon or walnuts.
While soybean oil is an excellent choice for cooking, you may even use it to moisturize your hair and skin.
15. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is relatively new in the market, as you might not have heard about it quite often. While most oils contain a large amount of saturated fats, this oil has more unsaturated fats that brings with it many health benefits. While it might not contain a lot of nutrients, it surely contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids.
However, the omega-6 fatty acids must be in balance with the omega-3 ones, without which a lot of chronic diseases can occur. It is able to increase one’s resistance to insulin and also reduces the C-reactive proteins. Certain grapeseed oils can also be quite dangerous as it might contribute to cancer.
It is best to use the grapeseed oil for dressing your salad or having it with baked products.
The oil being used in a dish must be chosen keeping in mind important factors. Every cooking oil has its advantages and disadvantages. Oils are not only used in food to enrich the taste, but also for certain health factors. The heart is usually most susceptible to oil consumption, and hence, its health must be kept in mind before choosing a particular cooking oil to use regularly.