Essential oils for cooking and their advantages

Have you been searching for an alternative to your cooking oil while maintaining a nutritional balance? Well, this a thought that many of us battle since taste is important too especially because it is the basic ingredient for most of the dishes we prepare. We have compiled a short list of cooking oils that can find some place in your kitchen routines, have a look:

Mustard oil - A very popular and widely used oil in the northern Indian, mustard oil stimulates digestion and circulation. It has antibacterial properties and is used for making varying types of concoctions to treat coughs, colds and certain allergies. Known for its strong flavor and pungent aroma, it’s often used for sautéing and stir-frying vegetables.

Coconut oil - This oil is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for generations in the southern regions of India. Rich in saturated fats, coconut oil is believed to retain the good cholesterol in our bodies. It comes with a multitude of purposes like driving out dryness from the body and nourishing the hair. 

Olive oil for salad dressings

Olive oil - Considered extremely healthy, olive oil contains high amounts of vitamin E and antioxidants. It lowers down the cholesterol in the body and has monounsaturated fats that reduce the risk of issues related to heart. Olive oil is also an excellent base for preparing salad dressings and finds high usage in Mediterranean food palette. 

Peanut oil/ Groundnut oil - Having a high smoking point, groundnut oil can be used to deep fry a variety of foods, especially Indian and Chinese. The formation of harmful substances occurs only beyond the smoking point to which groundnut oil takes a long time to reach. It is a good source of unsaturated fats and keeps quite a few diseases at bay owed to antioxidants. 

Sesame oil - This oil is good for people with diabetes and nourishes the circulatory system. Its flavour is very light and can also account for dental health. Being rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, sesame oil can also help in improving immune function. In India, its highest consumption is seen in Andhra region and Rajasthan. 

Desi ghee - We recently spoke about Indian super foods and desi ghee had made it to the list. It is one of the best options to cook in. It is loaded with the good fats and facilitates weight loss if accompanied with an active lifestyle. Many Indian mothers choose to boost their children’s health by preparing food in ghee. 

Some things to keep in mind regarding usage of oils:

importance of choosing cooking oil for health

Excess is bad: Oil is not a complete edible dish and the required nutrition does not come from it. It can serve as an addition to the benefits of food in terms of taste in health.

Mix them up: Use multiple oils while cooking. Explore a variety of dishes and their preparation and figure out what you enjoy the most.  

Avoid stocking up: It is advisable to not store oils for longer periods of time. If kept for long, check their smell before using them. Try to keep your oils in a cool and dark place. Some oils can be reused while some should not be. The smoke point of a cooking oil is the temperature at which it begins to smoke while it's being heated. This is a sign that the oil has begun to degrade and break down into unhealthy compounds.

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