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Cooking Oils Uncovered: A Guide to Choosing the Right Oils for Your Health

Let us say you decide to live a healthy lifestyle. So, what would you do about it?

You would be cutting out junk food, eating a healthy diet, and going out for a run in the morning. Will that be it? But even when you think you are doing everything right you will still be missing out on something or probably doing something wrong.

But what could that be? Any guesses? You will not give enough importance to oils. Yes, you read that right – the cooking oil you use to cook delicacies. Just so you know, they matter more than you realise. You could be making healthier choices but using the worst oil. It won’t be doing your health any favours.

So, it doesn’t matter if you have high cholesterol or diabetes, you must choose the right oils for your health. Here’s a blog post that can help you with that. 

Extra-virgin Olive oil

When you are looking to improve your heart health, look no further than extra-virgin olive oil. 

The Pros: 

  • The oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats that can lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
  • Research also showed that consuming more than ½ tbsp of oil every day can reduce the risk of cancers and respiratory diseases. 

The Cons 

Olive oil can be used to prepare baked delicacies and sautéed dishes; however, it has a low smoke point, making it unsuitable for deep frying. 

Mustard oil

A staple in Indian kitchens in North and East India, mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and a compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which gives it its characteristic pungent smell and potential health benefits like improved heart health.


  • Rich in monounsaturated fats, which promote heart health.
  • Contains a unique compound called allyl isothiocyanate which has potential anti-cancer properties.
  •  High smoke point makes it suitable for Indian cooking methods, including frying.


  •  Its strong flavour might not work well with all types of dishes.
  •  Unrefined mustard oil (common in India) contains erucic acid, which may pose health risks if consumed in large quantities.

Coconut oil

While coconut oil is high in saturated fats, it’s also rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can provide quick energy and may aid weight loss. Plus, it imparts a delicious flavour to South Indian curries!


  • High in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily absorbed and converted into energy.
  • It has antimicrobial properties due to its lauric acid content.
  •  Imparts a unique, sweet flavour to dishes.


  •  High in saturated fats, which can raise cholesterol levels if consumed excessively.
  •  Its distinct taste may not suit all dishes.

Groundnut oil

Groundnut oil, with its perfect balance of saturated and unsaturated fats, is a versatile choice. It can withstand high heat, making it a good option for frying and sautéing.


  • Has a balanced ratio of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.
  • It can withstand high heat, which makes it suitable for frying.
  • Neutral flavour works well with various cuisines.


  •  Not the highest in heart-healthy mono or polyunsaturated fats.
  • Refined varieties may contain trans fats, which are harmful to heart health.

Rice bran oil

Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, rice bran oil is a nutritious choice that can withstand high cooking temperatures, making it suitable for stir-frying and sautéing.


  • Good balance of mono and polyunsaturated fats.
  • High in antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer.
  • Can withstand high cooking temperatures.


  •  Not as readily available or commonly used in Indian kitchens.
  •  Some may find its flavour too mild for traditional Indian dishes.

Avocado Oil 

We are not strangers to the health benefits of avocado oils. But what about avocado as a cooking oil? Turns out, it is one of the healthiest oils you can choose from, but it has side effects. 


  • Avocado oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. 
  • Offers high nutritional value at low and high temperatures. This is because it has a high smoke point, making it suitable for high-flame cooking. It is also a healthy option for baking. 

The Cons 

  • Avocado oil should be avoided by pregnant women and those who have had latex surgery recently. 

Sesame oil 

Being a staple in the Indian and ancient kitchen, sesame oil is a heart health option. 

    The Pros: 

    • It is another oil rich in polyunsaturated fat.
    • It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that lower the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
    • It also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
    • Having a high smoke point, the oil can be used for high-heat frying.  

    The cons: 

    • Sesame oil is high in calories, which may lead to weight gain.
    • It is also not suggested for someone who is taking blood pressure medicine. 

    Closing thoughts 

    Selecting the right cooking oil for your culinary endeavours is not merely a matter of taste, but a crucial decision for your health and well-being. With a vast array of options available, from heart-healthy olive oil to versatile coconut oil and beyond, understanding their properties and making informed choices can have a profound impact on your overall health.

    By considering factors such as smoke points, nutritional content, and personal preferences, you can embark on a culinary journey that not only tantalises your taste buds but also promotes a healthier and happier lifestyle. So, as you explore the world of cooking oils, remember that knowledge is your most valuable ingredient, ensuring your culinary creations are both delicious and nutritious.

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