Oil is one of the foundational elements of our cooking process, but despite its vital role in our diets, it is a highly misunderstood component. Beset by differing opinions on its healthiness and the part it plays in cardiovascular health, cooking oils are seen a necessary evil.
We would like to challenge this view. Oil per se is not unhealthy. The problem starts when you consume it in excess and when you choose the wrong type of edible oil.
Here’s a quick look at some of the basic mistakes people make while choosing their cooking oil –
1. Using oil with the wrong smoke point
Each type of oil has a different smoke point. The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it starts to burn and degrade. Oils with a high smoke point should be used for frying, and high heat cooking and oil with a lower smoke point should be used cold such as for salad dressings. Factors such as the manufacturing process of the oil, its source and its storage all play a part in determining its smoke point.
(Solution: Choose oils such as soya bean oil or sunflower oil for high heat Indian cooking)
2. Using contaminated oil –
The current trend towards pure or organic foods has resulted in many people buying unprocessed, locally sourced oils. Unfortunately, untouched by technology doesn’t necessarily translate into healthiness. Many seeds and vegetable sources contain contaminants such as gums, chemical toxins, colour pigments, and waxes. A refining process is generally safer for home consumption as it removes all contaminants.
(Solution: Always buy a branded product to ensure that a certain level of quality is maintained)
3. Not checking the fine print
Most people don’t really check the composition of the oil they are buying. Nowadays, all nutritional value, as well as processing information, is present on the labels, and it is important to be aware of what each manufacturer is offering. For example, Kriti Refined Oil, a leading soybean and sunflower oil manufacturers in India, employs a special processing technology to keep the original nutritive value of their base product intact AND fortifies its cooking oils with added nutrients such as a Vitamin A and D.
(Solution: Check and compare different brands to find the healthiest oil for your cooking style and budget. Stick to manufacturers who offer locally sourced products, and you can’t go wrong!)
4. Not researching the fat content of the oils
All cooking oils are made up of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids in different proportions.
Generally speaking, you should avoid oils with a high amount of saturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol, omega-3 polyunsaturates present in soybean refined oil are useful to keep you heart-healthy, and refined sunflower oil full of omega-6 fatty acids are known to be great for growth and brain function.
It is important to know and understand the difference between different types of fatty acids and choose the brand that offers the healthiest option. For example, Kriti’s refined sunflower oil has 60% PUFA (Polyunsaturated fatty acids), which makes it a much better choice for your heart. It also comes with a unique property called Lescon, which ensures that the same amount of food can be cooked evenly in less amount of oil!
(Solution: spend time to understand the effects of different components on the body; you can also check with a dietician in case online resources seem confusing. Once you have basic understandings find the oil brand and type that supports your health goals)
Hope our article helps you get the best cooking oil for your family. Do write to us with your thoughts and experience!