Every thing about 5 Good & Healthiest Cooking Oils | Vahrehvah :
Cooking Oils is one of the most vital ingredients used in preparing a variety of dishes. Often every cuisine follows their tradition using authentic oils available in their region. There are a variety of cooking oils available in the markets with different brands.
But often I am asked on which are the best and healthiest cooking oils? Cooking oil is a plant, animal or synthetic fat used for frying, baking and prepare other types of cooking. Some types of oils are also used in food preparation and flavoring which doesn’t involve heat such as salad dressings and dips.
Generally cooking oils are liquids at room temperature but there are few oils that contain saturated fats such as palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil which are solids. You also get flavored oils with aromatic foodstuffs such as garlic, chillies, and herbs. We need to keep one important thing in mind that oils behave differently when it’s heated as it changes its texture, color, taste and it’s nutritional properties.
When oil reaches the smoking point, a lot of nutrients are destroyed why may form harmful compounds. So it’s very important to match the oil’s heat tolerance with the cooking method. There are different types of oils that vary amounts of fats like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats.
Although there is wide range of variety in oils, you need to remember that you use the least amount of fat to prepare the food yet still get the best results in taste and health benefits. Hence think and wisely use the right type of oils and right amount of oil for cooking.
Cooking, we generally learn from our parents, or is passed on from generations or cookbooks etc, but ultimately prepare a healthier and nutritious meal that is more flavorful by using less oil and pan searing. Unsaturated fats are best while limit animal fats/ saturated fats and completely avoid trans-fats.
Some of the popular cooking oils include: sunflower oil, peanut oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, mustard oil, coconut oil and other vegetable oils as well as animal based oils like butter and lard.
Oils that are best suited for high-temp frying (above 230 deg C or 446 deg F) because of their high smoking point are: Mustard oil, Rice bran oil, Avocado oil, Palm oil, Groundnut oil, Safflower oil etc. Knowing the smoking point of each oil will surely help you determine whether to use it in low or high temperature cooking. Listing 5 healthy fats that you should be eating:
- Olive oil: Olive oil is one of the most healthy, hearty oil that is high in healthy monounsaturated fats. This obviously helps you lower your risk of heart disease and breast cancer. It also lower cholesterol because of its high monounsaturated fat content.It tastes just good and is a brilliant option for any Mediterranean dish, pastas, risottos, pancakes etc. Extra virgin oil which is derived from the first pressing of olives is full of antioxidants, is darker in color, less acidity than olive oil and is best choice to be added in salads, cold dishes etc.
- Groundnut Oil: Peanut oil which is also commonly known as Groundnut oil is an awesome combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and is low in bad saturated fats. It’s one of the best choices for all-purpose cooking oil and best for Asian foods.
- Canola Oil: Canola oil is off-late hitting the shelves of all the markets for being said the most healthiest oil of all cooking oils. Canola oil is made from the crushed seeds of canola plant. This oil is said to have the lowest saturated fat content and is healthy alternative rich in monounsaturated fats, high in Omega 3 fats. It also has a medium smoking point and is best suited for fries, baking, sautéing etc.
- Sesame Oil: Sesame oil, commonly known as Til Oil comes in two colors, one lighter color made with un-toasted seeds which is used in India and the other darker color. The lighter color has mild flavour and high smoking point while the darker color has a unique nutty aroma and tastes well in Asian foods, It is generally used as marinade or in stir fries. The lighter and darker oils are high in polyunsaturated fats and should not be heated for a long time. Til oil contains calcium, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium and copper.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil is popular used in southern India and is very different from most other cooking oils. It contains a unique composition of fatty acids which are about 90% saturated, hence making it resistant to oxidation at high heats. It is one of the perfect oils for high-heat cooking methods like frying. Coconut oil is known to fight bacteria, build immunity and increase metabolism.
- Other popular cooking and healthy oils are Avocado oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil etc which are not readily available in most Indian markets as they are not commonly used in regular Indian cooking.
- Finally, remember to consider that for high temp cooking select oils with a high smoking point and for low temp cooking or adding to dishes or salad dressing, use oil that have higher Omega-3 fatty acids as they promote healthy cells and decrease heart attack risk as they are known for their anti-inflammatory action.
- In short, choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which will minimize your risk for heart diseases, obesity, or other related health problems. Apart from developing healthy eating habits, you should also understand that working on any type of physical activity or regular exercising will keep you fit and strong. Enjoy cooking and eat healthy and hygienic homemade foods.
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- Enjoy cooking healthy foods and stay hale and hearty. Always remember that: “VahrehVah is all about inspiring others to cook”!