There is a plethora of cooking oils in the market. Almost every cooking oil ad claims that that oil is healthy. It is a confusing scenario. So, we requested nutritionist Shilpa Mittal to enlighten us about the nutrient composition of different types of cooking oils. Thus, it’s fry time, Guys!
It’s Fry Time, Guys!
She shared the following information with us:
Coconut oil or copra oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts and has 80% saturated fats. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without getting spoilt.
Coconut oil is largely made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) such as lauric acid, which is good for the digestive tract. This is helpful in Alzheimer’s and brain cancers and brain problems, repairing underactive thyroid glands, boosting liver enzyme health, working for better T3 and T4 conversion in the liver and boosting immunity.
Although it’s mostly comprised of saturated fat, the type of saturated fat (MCT’s–medium chain triglycerides rather than long chain) are metabolized differently and pose less risk on cholesterol and heart disease.
Coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees F (171 C), which means it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking. Any oil in excess, refined, wood churned, cold pressed and virgin will cause damage to the heart.
Palm oil, 50% saturated fat, is derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms, mainly the African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and to some extent from the American oil palm and the maripa palm (Attalea maripa).
It has High beta-carotene content. The health benefits provided by the use of Palm oil are such that they help in improving vision, preventing cardiovascular issues, reducing the risk of cancer, provides naturally soft skin, improves hair growth, supplies the body with Vitamin K, richly loaded with antioxidants.
It may pose risks to heart health, in excess, due to high saturated fats. There are also environmental concerns related to the steady increase in its production. Additionally, since you can get similar health benefits from other oils and foods, it’s probably best to use other fat sources for most of your daily needs.
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a mild-tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts. It contains monounsaturated fats which are good for heart health and increase the levels of “good cholesterol” called HDL. Peanut oil has high levels of polyphenol antioxidants, including resveratrol. It has an exceptionally high smoke point, making it great for frying and deep-frying.
The oil tastes strongly of peanuts. Peanut oil goes rancid faster than other oils. Buy in small bottles, and store in a cool space.
Rice bran oil:
Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the hard outer brown layer of rice called chaff (rice husk). It is known for its high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F) and mild flavor. This makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.
It’s got an ideal balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA). To be precise, rice bran oil has 37 percent polyunsaturated fats and 45 percent monounsaturated fats, almost a 1:1 ratio.”
A component of rice bran oil is the antioxidant γ-oryzano, which might help lower cholesterol. Rice bran oil is also rich in other phytosterols from the bran which makes it rich in Vitamin E that is essentially an antioxidant. It is known as the heart-friendly oil.
In excess may cause stomach disturbances, intestinal gas and unpredictable bowel movements.
This oil is generally found in processed foods and contains a high ratio of polysaturated fat.
It has a relatively high smoke point as a frying medium. Its stability gives products a long shelf life. It can be used in rotation with other oils such as canola oil, groundnut oil, etc. as part of a healthy diet. The light texture of this oil makes it great for cosmetic use, making it a common ingredient in creams, lotions, etc.
There is still a lot of debate about whether cottonseed oil is as healthy as many people claim. Studies show it may raise the risk of heart disease and spike cholesterol levels, as cottonseed oil has a high ratio of saturated fat and may also contain traces of pesticides used when farming cotton crops.
To be continued…