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Old 1st October 2018, 15:59   #1
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Default The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

Guys, simple question = what oil to use for cooking at home?

It seems, after sugar, refined oil is the next bad thing for your health. But haven't been able to get a clear answer, so thought of asking on my favourite community .

Which is the best / most healthy / least evil oil to use for cooking at home? Cooking consists of typical Indian meals. Which should be my kitchen's Mobil 1 ?

Someone told me olive oil is good, but this post and some other ones say otherwise.

Thanks!

Last edited by GTO : 1st October 2018 at 16:44.
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Old 1st October 2018, 16:29   #2
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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Guys, simple question = what oil to use for cooking at home?
As a subject matter expert, I can tell you there is no clear answer to your question, Rush.

Plenty of factors including fatty acid profile, oil characteristics during cooking including smoke point come into play. With India, the decision gets even more complicated because of regional preferences for various oils for various dishes. A lot of people could disagree with me, so to keep it brief, I can tell you this... for any kind of dishes where no heavy cooking, deeping frying is required, get cold pressed olive oil. It is THE global gold standard as far as edible oils are concerned.

For deep frying and specific to Indian dishes; cold pressed mustard, groundnut and sunflower oil should be preferred. Unfortunately, very hard to get these in the form I like, you will have to source raw material and get the crushing done by yourself, too much pain but surely worth it. I, being from North Indian farming family, can't live without ghee in any of my dishes! I know, sounds ridiculous!

Because sourcing the right oil is a lot of work, easy way for most of us is to go to nearby supermarket and buy whatever is there on shelves, plenty of brands to choose from.

Refined oils are the norm in Indian food habits now a days, plus the fact that palm oil is deeply got into our diets, knowingly or unknowingly. Fact is, from a roadside eatery to best 5-star restaurant, good chances all our dishes are cooked in palm oil imported from Malaysia and Indonesia. Sad truth, really!
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Old 1st October 2018, 16:30   #3
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Many LCHF/Keto diet recommends Coconut oil for cooking. But recently a Germen researched termed coconut oil as "poison". Coconut oil also have high smoking point, which is good for frying.

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Old 1st October 2018, 16:33   #4
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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Guys, simple question = what oil to use for cooking at home?

It seems, after sugar, refined oil is the next bad thing for your health. But haven't been able to get a clear answer, so thought of asking on my favourite community .

Which is the best / most healthy / least evil oil to use for cooking at home? Cooking consists of typical Indian meals.
Dr Devi Shetty (Cardiologist) in an interview had answered this question:

Q : Which oil is better – gingili, groundnut, sunflower, saffola, olive?
Dr Devi Shetty: All oils are bad; the so-called best oil company has the largest marketing budget.


Back in our school days, we used to get the cooking oil from the mill where the groundnut oil was extracted using millstone. Now these mills are closed owing to onslaught of the packed oils. The mill oil neither have preservatives nor they are filtered / double filtered and are "supposedly" better than packed ones.
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Old 1st October 2018, 16:49   #5
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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the fact that palm oil is deeply got into our diets, knowingly or unknowingly. Fact is, from a roadside eatery to best 5-star restaurant, good chances all our dishes are cooked in palm oil

Thanks very much for the informative post.

Regarding Palm Oil, In our house, we use it for Pooja purpose only. But, wanted to explore more on it as there are different stories about Palm Oil. Some says its good for heart and some says it's bad. What's the real story behind it? How bad it is and how good it is?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 1st October 2018, 17:07   #6
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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Back in our school days, we used to get the cooking oil from the mill where the groundnut oil was extracted using millstone. Now these mills are closed owing to onslaught of the packed oils. The mill oil neither have preservatives nor they are filtered / double filtered and are "supposedly" better than packed ones.
Hmm!! This particular message is nostalgic for me. My father used to work in a mill (in Davangere) that manufactured groundnut oil. So, for almost 20 years we used that oil and never had any issues. As most of the mills from my hometown, even my father's mill got closed and then we slowly switched to using 'refined sunflower oil', which I am sure is not at all good for health, especially the 'refinement' process!

Last edited by GTO : 1st October 2018 at 23:50. Reason: Post edited for readability. Capitalisation please.
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Old 1st October 2018, 18:03   #7
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Guys, simple question = what oil to use for cooking at home?

It seems, after sugar, refined oil is the next bad thing for your health. But haven't been able to get a clear answer, so thought of asking on my favourite community .

Which is the best / most healthy / least evil oil to use for cooking at home? Cooking consists of typical Indian meals. Which should be my kitchen's Mobil 1 ?

Someone told me olive oil is good, but this post and some other ones say otherwise.

Thanks!

GTO,

When it comes to cooking oils, its best to trust what our parents/grand parents consumed. I would explain you why.

In the north and east part of India (and perhaps in the western part as well), traditionally, Mustard oil was used, along with Ghee and small amounts of butter (home made butter and not commercial butter).
Similarly, in the southern and middle part of India, the more prominent oils were Til (sesame seed) oil, and most importantly - Coconut oil.

Note that all these oils were unprocessed or minimally processed. The Coconut oil consumed mainly in south India was prepared using traditional methods (using Cheku etc.) while in the north the Mustard oil was extracted using Katchi Ghani variety - or in other words - Cold pressed. Similar was the case with Groundnut oil.

Things changed quickly with the advent of multinationals abhorring saturated fats citing some shady medical researches which concluded that saturated fats were bad and were directly linked to heart disease and it was best for our body to consume chemically refined/double refined oils like Soybean/Corn/Sunflower etc. Now its a topic of debate that who funded these medical studies and what was the motive - i am not going to discuss this.

Recent studies have shown that Chemical refinement is the culprit in the oils which cause it to increase its disease causing properties, rather than saturated fats as such.

https://www.quora.com/Is-refined-oil-good


Furthermore, the main cause of heart disease which was earlier thought to be linked to Saturated fats, is now increasingly being linked to Inflammation in the body (inflammation inside the body is a different subject than inflammation outside body like that caused by a wound).

Some good study material can be found here:

https://food.ndtv.com/opinions/the-c...mption-1908460


https://www.bewell.com/blog/truth-saturated-fat/

So if you ask me about best cooking oils in India, i would rate in the following order (lowest number is best):

1. Ghee or clarified butter made using Cow's milk preferably at home (Surprise !)
2. Virgin cold pressed Coconut Oil
3. Cold pressed Mustard Oil
4. Cold pressed Groundnut and Sesame oil
5. Physically refined Rice bran oil. This is a new entrant on the block but more research and studies are needed to determine its effectiveness and inflammation response in human body.



And the worst ones (lowest number being the worst):

1. Hydrogenated Vegetable oil (also known as Vanaspati Ghee): The most harmful cooking oil one can have, with high amounts of harmful transfats and chemically processed.

2. Refined Soybean/corn/sunflower etc.: Anything just "refined" is chemically refined and known to increase inflammation in the body. Recent awareness on this topic suggests that inflammation is the root cause of many bodily diseases - rather than factors like dietery cholesterol.




You may wonder why did i omit Olive oil. Its simply because olive oil in its best form (Extra virgin cold pressed) is not at all suitable for Indian cooking due to its low smoke point. At best, it can be used for salad dressing. In itself its a good oil.

Last edited by DCEite : 1st October 2018 at 18:05.
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Old 1st October 2018, 20:00   #8
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

We mostly use sunflower refined oil for all cooking purposes.

Though, not directly linked to this thread - which oil is best for someone who had bypass surgery?
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Old 1st October 2018, 20:12   #9
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We have been using Desi Ghee non processed dominantly for nearly everything since I remember . Few time when we are unable to get the Desi Ghee from our village then we use Milk food which we find best among all brands .I believe any processed oil is unhealthy whatever research says ( cause it is never like research is over ).
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Old 1st October 2018, 20:16   #10
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

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Things changed quickly with the advent of multinationals abhorring saturated fats citing some shady medical researches which concluded that saturated fats were bad and were directly linked to heart disease and it was best for our body to consume chemically refined/double refined oils like Soybean/Corn/Sunflower etc. Now its a topic of debate that who funded these medical studies and what was the motive - i am not going to discuss this.
The very reason I do not have trust in research conducted by these multinationals is because of this.

Quote:
The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.
Link

Quote:
Recently, evidence emerged that the sugar industry had paid scientists in the 1960s to implicate saturated fat, and not sugar, as a cause for heart disease. While the revelations are stunning, food industry funding of nutrition research is more common than consumers may realize.
Link

Quote:
Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease while largely characterizing sugar as empty calories linked to tooth decay. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.
Link
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Old 1st October 2018, 20:26   #11
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

Growing up, groundnut oil and homemade ghee were the cooking fat of choice in the family. Soybean oil was probably tried at some point, but was discarded due to taste issues.

Since I began cooking a decade ago, I decided I'll just switch to moderation in eating habits as a whole instead of comparing stats on everything I ate or cooked with. The better half is of a similar bent of mind, so our kitchen cabinet now has groundnut oil, ghee, unsalted butter, mustard oil and extra virgin olive oil.

What I've learnt over years is it really doesn't take a lot of cooking fat to get awesome flavour in most preparations.

We don't deep fry stuff often, and our annual consumption for a kitchen cooking for two is about 2 litres of groundnut oil, 1 kg of unsalted butter, 1 kg of ghee, 1 liter of olive oil and about 1/2 liter of mustard oil. Neither of us drinks sugary stuff, and the 1 kg sugar tin I bought last year is still more than half full.


My mother was shocked when I mentioned these numbers, and no, we aren't stuck eating boiled vegetables! We just realised fat isn't essential to flavour as lore would have us believe.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 1st October 2018 at 20:32.
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Old 1st October 2018, 20:59   #12
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our annual consumption for a kitchen cooking for two is about 2 litres of groundnut oil, 1 kg of unsalted butter, 1 kg of ghee, 1 liter of olive oil and about 1/2 liter of mustard oil. Neither of us drinks sugary stuff, and the 1 kg sugar tin I bought last year is still more than half full.
How beautiful and controlled is that. Lovely. Annual consumption at that. I would love to keep similar tabs, but the psychological fear trumps - till the time we have a cook, I might resist keeping tabs!

Sometime back when my mom was admitted to an Apollo in Bangalore, got a chance to discuss with the dietitian there - she suggested "change the cooking oil regularly." We anyways had been doing that.

Sometimes we get ghee and mustard oil from our village that has awesome aroma and flavor; but mostly we have had to be content with switching between sunflower, ground nut, canola, rice-bran, mustard, and soybean oils.
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Old 1st October 2018, 21:40   #13
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Default Re: The Oil Thread (cooking, not engine)

Coconut Oil is better amongst the common refined sunflower oil and even groundnut oil. However it adds a taste to the food that (to put it mildly) is very difficult to acquire.

Since 10th grade, we've been tought to choose oil that has low PUFA - Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids content. They tought us the reasoning too but I can't remember now :(. Basically consuming less oil is more or less the best option.

Btw, My mum bought a few earthen pots to cook so that the nutrients stay preserved. They worked Ok for 2 months, but then the domestic help couldn't manage to be too careful while washing.
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Old 1st October 2018, 23:08   #14
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We use made at home Ghee, cold pressed Gingelly (Till) oil, coconut oil and refined ricebrawn oil at our home. The last one is for deep frying, due to it's high smoke point. I have read olive oil and sunflower oil are good, but should not be used for deep frying.

There is a lot of recent controversy about the packed refined oils in the market. Some even go overboard and allege they contain mineral oil, which I feel can't be true. Nobody can consume mineral oil even one time without falling ill immediately.

What I understood from a friend in the trade is, they are also cold / hot pressed initially. But that process can release only about 85% of the oil. What is done next is to crush the oil cake and mix it with a solvent (Hexane?), heat it and press again to bring out as much oil as possible. The resulting oil will contain the solvent, which will be removed by heating and distilling. The final oil will contain very low quantities of the the solvent (10 ppm) which he says is safe for human consumption.

# During the 70's there was a serious issue of roadside eateries in TN, especially near arrack/toddy shops, adulterating cooking oil with motorcycle oil sourced from mechanic shops. They fried hot bajji/pakora in that oil, which drunkards consumed happily in their inebriated state with serious consequences. After that coloring of lubricants was made compulsory for many years.
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Old 1st October 2018, 23:40   #15
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There is a lot of recent controversy about the packed refined oils in the market. Some even go overboard and allege they contain mineral oil, which I feel can't be true. Nobody can consume mineral oil even one time without falling ill immediately.

What I understood from a friend in the trade is, they are also cold / hot pressed initially. But that process can release only about 85% of the oil. What is done next is to crush the oil cake and mix it with a solvent (Hexane?), heat it and press again to bring out as much oil as possible. The resulting oil will contain the solvent, which will be removed by heating and distilling. The final oil will contain very low quantities of the the solvent (10 ppm) which he says is safe for human consumption.
We have been using "refined" Sunflower oil for the last 20 years. Earlier it used to be regular groundnut oil.

How do they manage to sell the "refined" sunflower oil at Rs 90/100 per litre when the wholesale price of sunflower seed is atleast Rs 90 per Kg and with 3 Kg of Sunflower seed needed to make 1 litre oil, the price should be atleast Rs 350 per liter of Sunflower oil ? The math doesn't add up. This thought has been lingering during the last couple of years after a colleague mentioned that all refined oils are mostly petroleum/mineral oils that are refined to convert it to edible grade oil.

I now strongly believe that atleast in India, we unsuspecting consumers are being conned and sold edible grade mineral oil in the name of "refined" sunflower oil.
Link to one of the sources
Unfortunately, we have such lax and unregulated rules that it is so easy to deceive people and get away with it.
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