Not sure which oil to use? Read before deciding

How much oil should you consume per day? What is the healthiest oil for frying? How about a vinaigrette? Do you often ask yourself these questions? With markets offering so many options, choosing the right oil for the right use has become a tricky business. Well, let us help you there.

Even though coconut oil is still the preferred oil for cooking in Kerala, people are also open to trying other oils. While some aren’t sure whether to choose olive oil or canola oil for frying, others aren’t sure about peanut oil or sesame oil. . There are also conflicting reports about the health benefits of these oils. Additionally, brand advertisements entice consumers with enticing promises of low cholesterol and high amounts of heart-protecting omega 3 fatty acids. The low-fat, low-carb diet is all the rage these days. Fats are essential for the human body as they provide the necessary calories for a day and also provide nutrients.

When using oils, note the changes that occur when heated. The color, nutritional quality and smell change when the oils are heated. When the oil reaches the point of smoking, a lot of nutrients are lost and produce many harmful components for the body. Also, the amount of fats in each oil is also different.

coconut oil

It was believed that coconut oil could cause serious health problems. However, the latest studies show that consuming coconut oil is healthy. It is loaded with saturated fatty acids and vitamins E and K. Additionally, coconut oil can be heated to high temperatures without causing any harmful effects.

Representative image: IANS

Olive oil

It’s a fairly recent entrant to our pantries. Olive oil is usually used as a salad dressing or as a light stir-fry without overheating it. It cannot be used for frying because too much heat will alter its taste and flavor.

Photo: Shutterstock/Marian Weyo

Mustard oil

It is not popular in Kerala due to its strong flavor and smell. Mustard oil is mainly used in northern India and Bengal. The strong smell could be reduced by heating it to smoking point. Even though mustard oil has a strong smell, it is known for its amazing health benefits. Besides omega 3 fatty acids, mustard oil contains many health-promoting mono-saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Sesame oil

It is one of the best oils available on the market. Sesame oil can be used as a salad dressing or for frying or sautéing. In addition, it contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and vitamin B6.

Peanut oil

It is a reservoir of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Peanut oil is excellent for cooking because it contains few “bad” fats.


Italian cuisine: Hands frying small breaded fish (anchovies, sardines, small cod) in olive oil in a pan.

Canola oil

It is a new entrant in the market. Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils because it contains fewer bad fats. In addition, it contains a lot of omega 3 monounsaturated fatty acids.

Sunflower oil

It is loaded with vitamin E. In addition, sunflower oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is excellent for frying as nutrients would be lost even if heated at high temperature.

Photo: Shutterstock/rustamank

bran oil

The oryzanol in bran oil can lower cholesterol. It contains a lot of monounsaturated fat and a moderate amount of polyunsaturated fat.


It is considered the most dangerous. However, ghee can be consumed in small amounts. The saturated fat in ghee reduces glucose levels and eliminates the fat that has been deposited in the body.

Olive oil is best for cooking eggs and pasta. It could also be used as a delicious salad dressing. Meanwhile, sunflower oil could be used for frying food. Try cooking Chinese and Thai dishes with sesame oil. Meanwhile, bran oil and canola oil could be used for traditional dishes. Nutritionists say that a healthy person needs no more than 2 tablespoons of oil per day. 20% saturated (ghee, coconut oil), 30% polyunsaturated (soybean, peanut, bran oil) and 50% monounsaturated (olive, canola and sunflower oil) is the right proportion in which various oils can be included in your cooking. Cashew and other oilseed oils could also be used.

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