Most Indian households these days use refined oils for cooking and perhaps because it is the most widely available and cheapest option in the market.
The word 'Refined' may get you to believe that the oil you purchased is pure and free of harmful chemicals, but the truth is that the refining process actually degrades the quality of cooking oils. The refining process includes bleaching, de-deodorizing and hydrogenation of oils which kill the nutrients naturally present.
This revelation brings out a demand for a better and healthier option. The sole answer to that is cold-pressed organic vegetable oils. No, this is not a new type of cooking oil but just another name for the traditional wood-pressed Ghani oil that was used by your grandmother in the olden days.
Cold-pressed oils are better for your health and are much healthier than refined cooking oils. Here the key advantages of choosing cold-pressed oil over refined oil.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Cooking Oils
- Better Nutrient Profile
Unlike refined oils that are extracted using high temperatures, cold-pressed oils are extracted using a mechanical wooden press which involves no heat. This retains all the nutrients in the oil that are beneficial. Cold-pressed oils have higher amounts of antioxidants, phospholipids, lecithin and even proteins which make it a healthier choice.
Hexane is a chemical solvent derived from petroleum and used to extract more oil from the meal. The meal is washed with Hexane, and as a result, some trace amounts are left behind in the oil. Hexane is bad for your health and can cause dizziness, weakness, nausea and abdominal pains.
On the other hand, cold-pressed oils are extracted without any chemical solvents like Hexane. The quantity produced is less but safe to be consumed.
- Good for Your Heart
The refined oils used for cooking are actually inflammatory in nature and lead to several heart diseases. They increase bad cholesterol and may even lead to insulin resistance.
Cold-pressed oils are rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids that will help increase good cholesterol levels and keep your heart health in good shape.
- No Trans Fats
When refined oil is subjected to high temperatures, it leads to the formation of trans fats. Trans fats can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. They are even banned in some countries. Now, you wouldn't want to consume refined oil with trans fat in it, would you?
Cold-Pressed Oils In The Market
There are several vegetable oils like coconut, soybean, groundnut, safflower, mustard, and sesame that are available in a cold-pressed form. Each of these oil has a distinct flavour profile, and you can pick one based on your taste buds and liking.
Keep in mind, some natural oils like mustard oil have a low smoke point, i.e. they burn quickly leading to the formation of harmful free radicals. Such oils should not be used for frying or heated for long durations.
Availability Of Cold-Pressed Cooking Oils
Informed households these days are opting for cold-pressed oils that are a healthier alternative. There are are several vendors in the market that cater to this rising demand for cold-pressed cooking oils, but you cannot be sure of the quality.
It is best to buy cold-pressed cooking oils directly from organic farmers who have their own oil distilling units. This way, you can be sure of getting organic and unrefined, cold-pressed oil. Our grandparents were some of the wisest people when it came to eating healthy. They used the cold-pressed or lakdi ghani oil for ages, and it helped them stay fit and live a long, healthy life. Isn't it best to follow the wisdom of the wise?