Which vegetable cooking oil is good for health

Throughout India, various vegetable cooking oils are in use. There is a lot of debate from olden times onward with regard to which is the best cooking oil for health. In this article, I gave an account of various cooking oils which are widely used in India with their merits and demerits.


In various parts of India various cooking oils got their prominence. The type of vegetable cooking oil used in these regions is based on the type of oil seed crops grown there. In India mostly Groundnut oil, Sesame oil, Sunflower Seeds oil, Mustard oil, Soybean seeds oil, Rice bran oil, Coconut oil etc. are mostly used for cooking purpose. With increased demand for oils, we are exporting Palmolive oil, Cottonseed oil, Olive oil, Soybean oil from foreign countries.

Vegetable cooking oil
Vegetable cooking oil images (author)

Qualities of good vegetable cooking oil

Vegetable cooking oils are a mixture of three fatty acids-saturated fatty acids (SFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association (AHA) and Nutrition experts recommend oils which contain SFA, MUFA, and PUFA in equal quantities in oil is best for heart and health.

If oils contain antioxidants to the maximum extent it is good for health. These antioxidants involve in various metabolic activities and also neutralize poisonous free radicals.

Every cooking oil when it is boiled at a particular temperature gets converted into oil polymer or trans fat. This temperature is known as the smoking point of the oil. Oils with high smoking point do not lose their taste and nutritional quality.

Qualities of various cooking oils

The following are the qualities of various cooking oils widely used in India.

  1. Ground nut oil

    This oil is extracted from groundnut seeds. This oil includes SFA, MUFA, and PUFA in equal quantities. This oil is suitable for all cooking purposes including frying. If the seeds are infected with fungus before oil extraction, then the oil will be contaminated with very poisonous aflatoxin. Oil gets a nutty flavor.

  2. Sunflower seed oil

    This oil is extracted from Sunflower seeds. This oil contains more quantity of MUFA and PUFA. As it contains high MUFA and PUFA, this oil can help in controlling cholesterol levels in the body. It is also useful for frying purpose. But because of a high quantity of MUFA and PUFA, the oil becomes responsible for oxidation in the body and form free radicals.

  3. Palmolive oil

    This oil is extracted from mesocarp of Palm Seeds. This oil includes high quantities of SFA. Cholesterol levels may be increased due to high levels of SFA's present in this oil. This oil contains more antioxidants. This oil is good for all cooking purposes.

  4. Mustard Seed oil

    This oil is extracted from mustard seeds which is very pungent in odour. MUFA quantity is very high in this oil. A poisonous Erucic fatty acid is present in this oil. The oil is good for deep frying as the smoking point of this oil is high.

  5. Soybean oil

    This oil is extracted from soybean seeds. As this oil contains a high quantity of MUFA and PUFA, it is helpful in controlling cholesterol levels in the body. As this oil include high quantities of MUFA and PUFA, it becomes responsible for the creation of free radicals. Formation of free radicals in the body is the reason for various bodily ailments.

  6. Olive Oil

    This oil is extracted from Olive seed oils. This oil contains more quantities of MUFA and antioxidants. So this oil is good for heart patients as it controls cholesterol levels in the body. The smoking point of this oil is very low than any other oil. At high temperatures, this oil changes into trans fats. So this oil is not good for frying purpose. Hence this oil is good for salad preparation and dressing food items.

  7. Ricebran oil

    This oil is extracted from the bran separated from rice grains. This oil includes SFA, MUFA, and PUFA in equal quantities. This oil includes a high quantity of antioxidants. The antioxidant-Oryzanol which controls cholesterol levels and protect the health of heart is present only in this oil. The smoking point of this oil is very high i.e. 450 degrees Foreign heat. So at high temperature also the taste and quality of this oil would not change.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, the Rice bran oil contains equal amounts of SFA, MUFA, and PUFA. So this oil is best for cholesterol control and is good for heart patients. Physically refined Rice bran oil contains good quality antioxidants like Oryzanol, Tocopherol, Phytosterol etc. The antioxidant Oryzanol cannot be found in any other oil but is present only in Rice bran oil. This antioxidant helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). So this cooking oil is helpful in reducing cardiovascular diseases. Rice bran oil helps to fight against metabolic syndromes of the body. Because of the metabolic syndrome, we get various ailments like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases. Rice bran oil even boiling at high temperature is stable, unlike other vegetable cooking oils. So this oil good for all cooking purposes and also for frying.

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Author: Reena Upadhya02 Apr 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

It is an excellent article describing the quality of various cooking oils. It is very important to know the type of oil that we are using in our day to day cooking and the health benefits it imparts. Most of us neglect this part and randomly pick one without giving it careful consideration. The author has mentioned qualities of 7 different cooking oils that are widely used in cooking. I would like to add a few more.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is widely used for cooking purposes, especially in Southern India. The best thing about using this oil for cooking purposes is its fats are easily converted into energy when compared with fats from other oils. Thus, metabolism gets boosted and helps in weight loss. It also curbs appetite to some extent.

Sesame oil: Sesame oil gives a nutty flavour to the dish and thus one can very well appreciate the distinct taste it offers. It is a rich source of vitamin K which is necessary for bones and also helps in preventing clotting in blood. Also, it decreases blood sugar and blood pressure and is good for the skin.

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