10 Best Cooking Oils to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Oil is the heart of almost every favourite Indian dish. Imagine, relishing those lip-smacking hot jalebis, without cooking oil? Sounds impossible, right?

India has a diverse culture when it comes to foods and different types of oils are used for cooking across India. Cooking oil differs according to the availability of natural resources, climate, and the type & flavour of the dish.

Which is the best cooking oil for your health? We have zeroed down on 10 cooking oils that are good for your health and suitable for your most favourite Indian dishes.

1. Ghee

Ghee is a treasure house of nutrients. Its usage has been deeply rooted with different cultures in India. A rich source of amino acids that help mobilize fats, ghee is the natural and perfect option for diet-conscious people. Apart from reducing your exposure to cancer-causing agents, it has anti-inflammatory properties and contains fats that are good for the heart.

You can explore various options of ghee here

2. Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is popularly used for cooking in the northern parts of India. Loaded with health benefits, it promotes blood circulation and contains monounsaturated fatty acids. In fact, adding mustard oil to your diet can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart. Its anti-infective properties can help treat digestive tract infections.

3. Groundnut Oil

A popularly used cooking oil across India as well as other countries in Asia, groundnut oil contains a high amount of unsaturated fats and is a recommended cooking oil for heart health. It adds flavour to your food and is commercially available. This oil contains a good balance of diverse types of fatty acids and is low in SFA. You can cook a variety of tasty dishes using mustard oil.

4. Coconut Oil

Natural coconut oil has been used to maintain healthy hair and for body massage. However, it is also popularly used as a cooking oil in the southern parts of India. Those yummy fried banana chips from Kerala derive their awesome flavour from coconut oil! It has antiviral and antifungal properties, which are good for health.

Virgin coconut oil has zero transfats, which promotes heart health, helps reduce weight, and contains MCTs that help repair brain function. Check out virgin coconut oils, which are high in lauric acid that helps boost your immunity.

5. Palm Oil

Derived from the fruit of oil palms, it suits spicy dishes and curries well. It contains antioxidants, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. It is popularly used for frying and is also an excellent source of tocotrienols, which is a form of Vitamin E that promotes brain health.

6. Sesame Oil

This edible oil derived from sesame seeds is not only used for culinary purposes, but also has medicinal properties. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and comprises 82% of unsaturated fats, which is good for your heart. Additionally, it is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids and supports healthy blood sugar regulation. Apart from frying, it is also popularly used for dressing salads.

7. Almond Oil

Add that extra dose of nutrition to your food through almond oil. It helps you maintain a healthy weight and is good for the heart. Additionally, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Full of vitamin E, almond oil also offers antioxidant benefits.

8. Safflower Oil

A commonly used cooking oil, safflower oil is a rich source of fatty acids. It helps fight inflammation, improves blood sugar levels, and helps maintain a healthy heart. Thanks to its neutral flavour, it is a healthier option when it comes to cooking at high temperatures as it has a higher smoke point than olive oil and sesame oil.

9. Soyabean Oil

This edible oil also has a high smoke point and is rich in heart-healthy fats. Additionally, it contains Vitamin K, which is beneficial for promoting bone health. It supports healthy skin and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for maintaining healthy blood levels. Thanks to its neutral taste, this oil can be used in versatile dishes, including salads.

10. Sunflower Oil

Known as an energy booster, sunflower oil is one of the best cooking oils for the heart and is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It strengthens the immune system and boosts digestion. Also, it is easier to digest and has laxative properties, which can be used to prevent constipation. It is generally recommended to combine sunflower oil with mustard oil.

Tips for using healthy cooking oils:

  • Rotate different types of oils so that your body gets all types of nutrients.
  • Opt for natural, organic, and chemical-free oil for additional benefits.
  • While cooking local dishes, it is best to use the cooking oil, which has been traditionally used to prepare that dish.
  • Avoid consumption of refined oil, as it loses its nutrients during the process.

Healthy eating is a gateway to good health. Talk to an expert on nutrition on which cooking oil is best suited for your body.