General Health

Which Is The Best Oil For Cooking?

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Be it frying, baking, or sauteing, cooking oil is frequently used in an Indian kitchen. While refined oil is the most commonly used oil for cooking, it may not be healthy for your heart and other vital organs. Refining of oil is done to increase its shelf life, however, the process also removes some nutrients from the oil, making it unhealthy. Read on to find out the healthy cooking oil options. 

Which cooking oils are considered healthy?

Research by Harvard’s School of Public Health has revealed that most plant-based oils contain unsaturated fats (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids), which are considered healthy for the heart. As per the Harvard Medical School, people should use unsaturated fats that are liquid at room temperature, for cooking as they are associated with a lower risk of developing heart diseases. Let’s look at some of the heart-healthy cooking oils.

1. Olive oil

Olive oil is popularly used as the source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown that consumption of olive oil can help in increasing the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and improve the absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E, C and flavonoids. One can either use it for cooking or as a salad dressing. 

2. Canola oil

Canola oil has low saturated fats and is rich in monounsaturated fats, which helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), thus preventing heart diseases. Canola oil also contains vitamin E and K, which are essential to maintain a healthy blood flow to the heart and other vital organs.

3. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is high in polyunsaturated fat, which helps in preventing heart attacks and strokes by lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Studies indicate that sunflower oil also reduces inflammation in the body, which can otherwise damage the blood vessels and result in heart attacks. 

4. Peanut oil

Peanut oil is a natural, cholesterol-free oil that is rich in unsaturated fats. Peanut oil also contains antioxidants and vitamin E that protects the cells from oxidative damage. However, it is advised to use peanut oil in moderation as excess consumption can be harmful.

5. Safflower oil

Safflower oil contains polyunsaturated fats such as linolenic and linoleic acids that prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries, thereby reducing the risk of developing heart diseases. Safflower oil also prevents abnormal clotting of blood and lowers blood pressure. 

6. Soybean oil

Research reveals that soybean oil consists of polyunsaturated fats such as oleic acid, which helps in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and reduces of risk of developing coronary heart disease. It also contains vitamin E and K, which help in keeping the blood vessels healthy.

Tips to handle oils

  • Never overheat or burn the oil as it loses all the nutritional value and gives the food an unpleasant taste. 
  • Do not reuse heated oils. 
  • Store oils in dark coloured glass bottles and away from direct sunlight.


People should use unsaturated fats, found in plant-based oils and omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, as they lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. Those with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension or heart diseases should consult their doctor before switching their cooking oils. 

Need to know which cooking oil is best for you?

Consult a Dietician Now


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