10/01/2019

Cooking Oil - Must know factors - Good/Bad


Which is the Best Cooking Oil in India?

Have you tried searching an answer for this quite popular question over the Internet?
Everyone does. But NO one gets a definitive answer. Why? Because there is no such multi-purpose miracle bottled anywhere.

You are expecting your cooking oil to satisfy all your needs - Health, Taste & Cooking. This is exactly like
Expecting your Doctor to cook for you healthily and serve it to you garnished tastily 
So to say that this specific oil is the best overall, is definitely not the right concept.

Taste Factor

People from different parts of the country love food cooked in their local flavour. North India mostly prefers Mustard whereas Coconut oil/Sesame Oil is mostly used in the South.

The best we can do is to consume two oils which complement each other.
Oil A - If you are taking coconut oil as the main cooking medium. Avoid cooking everything in coconut oil because it has a lot of saturated fat.
Oil B - Add another oil to your diet like rice bran oil or sesame oil to cook few food items. This oils serves as a complement as it has PUFA which is not present in coconut oil.

Blending of oils 

This is another great way to maintain the fat ratio right. The best way is to check the composition and combine oils in such a way that deficiency of one is fulfilled by the other.

Health Factor

Fats are needed by our body for good health. As our body cannot produce them on its own, we are required to consume the healthy fats found naturally in different oils.
We have a variety of oils choose from. Every oil has its unique fatty acid profile. Choose your cooking oil based on its degree of saturation: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Saturated Fats 

Solids at room temperature that resist oxidation and can tolerate higher temperatures. Avoiding its usage is a better option. They can lead to atherosclerosis (thickening or narrowing of arteries). Eg: Animal origin and Hydrogenated oils.

Polyunsaturated Fats(PUFA)

Liquids at room temperature that get oxidized easily. Use polyunsaturated oils when you do not need to heat them, or can heat them at very low temperatures. Eg: Safflower and Sunflower oils.

Monounsaturated Fats(MUFA)

Also liquids at room temperature but comparitively more stable than polyunsaturates. These are considered the good for heart health and to regulate cholesterol. Eg - Olive oil, Peanut oil and Sesame oil.

Cooking Factor

The main requirement of a good cooking oil is that it be stable under the very abusive conditions of deep-fat frying, namely, high temperatures and moisture.

Sautéing

One can sautè food with almost any oil but avoid getting the oil so hot that it smokes. When oil smokes, it signals that the oil has been damaged and potentially cancer-causing properties have formed. Clean the pan and start over at a lower temperature. Most popular oils to use for sautéing include olive oil, canola oil and sesame oil.

Frying

The major use of cooking oil is in frying, where it can transfer heat and contribute flavour and texture to foods. The lighter and clearer the oil is, the more refined it is and higher is the smoke point - Prefer it. Peanut oil and canola oil are ideal for such use.

Caution when using Cooking Oil

  • Fresh oil should be stored properly in a clean container to increase their shelf life. Some oils have more carbon-carbon double bonds and they oxidise (spoil) more readily. Eg: Corn oil.
  • Do not consume the same oil and the same brand for years. Changing oil after every few months is medically recommended.
  • Do not reuse oil, reheating the oil can turn it sour-smelling and rancid. Rancid oil can develop potentially toxic compounds linked to neurological disorders, advanced aging and heart diseases.
  • The other culprits behind oil rancidity include exposure to light, heat, water, certain microbes and the very air people breathe. So take care and stay safe.