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How to choose a healthy cooking oil

By Deepshikha Agarwal, nutritionist

Published: Thu 21 Jan 2021, 11:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Feb 2021, 6:24 PM

Today, there is a wide variety of cooking oils available in the supermarkets. From vegetable to canola, to avocado to olive oil and not to forget, the various smoking points of all these different oils — it is important to get the basics right and understand the nutritional benefits they offer, so you can make an informed choice while preparing your favourite meals.

Canola oil

Canola oil has high monounsaturated fat content and is a good source of polyunsaturated fat (32 per cent). This is good fats and can actually help reduce the total cholesterol and LDL levels, reducing the risk of heart diseases. This oil can be a good choice as it’s not only healthy but also inexpensive, can be used for a variety of different purposes from frying, baking, grilling to stir frying.

Coconut oil

This oil is really high in saturated fats (bad fats) so, it can be a substitute to butter but not to healthy oils like olive oil or canola oil. Therefore, it is not recommended to make this oil as part of your regular cooking. Consuming one spoon every day, as a remedy for severe constipation, can be considered only if your lipid profiles are in check.

Olive oil

Olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. The best way to prevent heart blockages is to include antioxidant rich foods like olive oil in the diet. One tablespoon of olive oil would provide 8 per cent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin E.

It can be included in our diet in some of the very simple ways like a salad dressing or dip. Don’t use it for overheating/cooking as the phenols and vitamin E in olive oil can easily get damaged by light and heat.

Rice bran oil

Where does this oil come from? It is made from the bran of rice and contains a blend of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fatty acids and saturated fats which means it is a balance of good fats and bad fats. In comparison to this, olive oil has an edge — it’s cold-pressed and being natural allows it to retain all natural antioxidants and vitamins. But one has to make sure it’s authentic. Both these oils do not have trans fats so they are a heart-friendly choice.

So, just by making a simple switch to some of the healthier oil options, you can make your diet a lot better.


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