Cooking oils are the most important part of the Indian diet and a natural source of healthy fats. Choosing the right cooking oil with healthy fats can assist you in managing weight with additional health benefits to your heart, improved lipid profile and cholesterol management. Here is the checklist that you need to consider to achieve a healthy cooking oil for your kitchen.
1. Contain Omega3 fatty acid and Omega 9 fatty acid
Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 9 fatty acids are reported to have a positive effect on the nervous system, blood pressure, hematic clotting, glucose tolerance, muscle strength, and inflammatory processes in the body. These also lower risk of heart disease, arthritis, and even cancers. 6,7
Omega-3 fatty acids are also named “vitamin F” from “Fatty acids”.
Here are the recommended cooking oils for Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids:
Oils rich in Omega 9 fatty acids
Oils rich in Omega 3 fatty acid
Semi-refined and refined safflower oil
Flax seed oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Virgin Olive oil
Olive Pomace oil
Extra light olive oil
2. Low in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid
Excess to Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids is known to worsen your breathing if you are COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patient or suffering from severe bronchitis.
Also, stop using omega-6 fatty acid supplements if you have COPD.
3. High Smoke Point
All cooking oils have a range of smoke points or temperatures at which they’re no longer stable. Beyond this temperature, oil is no longer stable and begins to break down to release free radicals.
These free radicals can have negative health consequences, potentially causing coronary heart diseases, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and digestive problems.3
So avoid using cooking oils with a low smoke point to cook. Instead, oils with low smoking points can be used for cold dishes and salad dressings.
There are certain chemical reactions (Oxidation, hydrolysis, and thermal polymerization occurring as a result of repeated heating that can badly affect our health.
The oils rich in antioxidants are found to reduce the harmful effect of repeated cooking oils.
Here is the list of recommended cooking oils rich in antioxidants with their smoke temperatures:
Cooking Oils rich in Antioxidants
Smoke Temperature (oC)
4. Balanced Saturated fats
Cooking oils with saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are well tolerant to heat. Also, saturated fats are mythic to be unhealthy. Rather, saturated fats are less harmful in comparison to trans-fat when consumed in moderation.
Whereas the oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats are less tolerant to heat and therefore should be avoided for high heat-based cooking.5
Here are some healthy oils with a moderate quantity of saturated fats and monounsaturated fat that should be used for cooking:
5. Non-Genetically Modified (Non- GMO)
Before you buy any cooking oil, make sure it is low in saturated and omega-6 fatty acids and high in monounsaturated fat, omega-3, and omega 9 fatty acids to reduce the risk of heart problems.
All refined seed and vegetable oils are highly processed genetically modified Oils (GMO), partially hydrogenated and rich in Trans fats and therefore should be substituted with better cooking oils.
Here is the list of cooking oils that you should include and avoid in your cooking:
Cooking Oils Recommended
Cooking oils to Avoid
Vegetable shortening or Dalda
Among all cooking oils, Extra virgin Olive oil of high quality is the healthiest to be recommended as cooking oil for daily use. It has a smoking point of 207°C with an omega 6 fatty acid: Omega 3 fatty acid ratio of 9:1, Low in Saturated fat, 73% monounsaturated, and high in Omega 9. Also, Extra virgin Olive oil is easily available in all grocery stores.
Other than olive oil, Expeller pressed Canola oil is also a recommended cooking oil for standard high heat cooking, but it should be non-GMO if possible. It has a smoking point of 200°C with an omega 6 fatty acid: Omega 3 fatty acid ratio of 2:1, 62% monounsaturated, and 32% polyunsaturated fats.
Blending of two or more edible oils intensifies the effectiveness of cooking oils and offers perfect balance of healthy fatty acids with antioxidants simultaneously.
The Blend of canola oil with flax seed oil is effective in reducing LDL or bad cholesterol levels and inflammatory reactions.7