Healthy Cooking Oil

With wide range of variants in oils, Doesn’t know which to select to turn your daily dishes into healthy culinary delights? Herewith I present the details of mostly used oils with comparisons on its nutritious values.

The oils considered are Rice bran oil | Olive Oil | Safflower | Sunflower oil. Based on the comparison a conclusion that briefs the benefits of all these oils on various phases of cooking like steaming, deep frying, grilling is also given.
Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil contains a range of fats, with 47% of its fats monounsaturated, 33% polyunsaturated, and 20% saturated. Rice bran oil is chemically extracted, then fully refined, bleached, deodorized and dewaxed, or winterized, depending on the application.

Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is notable for its very high smoke point of 490°F (254°C) and its mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.

It is popular as cooking oil in several Asian countries, including Japan and China. It has good stability, flavor and shelf life, as well as an acceptable cost and strong consumer appeal.

Further, rice bran oil has been shown to help reduce cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease. The oil has a good fatty-acid profile and is a rich source of antioxidants and micronutrients, as well as tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Its cooking application is fabulous.

  • Frying Purpose: Rice bran oil exhibits excellent frying performance and contributes a pleasant flavor to the fried food. It possesses good storage stability and fry life without hydrogenation, due to its moderate level of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids and at least in part to its low linolenic acid content. These properties make it a premium choice for frying upscale products with delicate flavors.
Most Japanese restaurants in the USA have now switched to Rice Bran Oil for their Tempura Frying Oil because of its superior performance in this special application. General frying applications, ranging from potato chips and similar snacks to chicken, exhibit excellent taste and texture profiles when using Rice Bran Oil. Since hydrogenation isn't required for stability, it is natural high-quality liquid frying oil that is also free of trans-fatty acids. · Snacks: When processed to retain high levels of tocols, rice bran oil may be used as a natural antioxidant source for topically coating a wide range of products such as crackers, nuts, and similar snacks to extend shelf life. This use is further enhanced by the highly desirable flavor of rice bran oil.

Alternatively, as described in a patented process (Taylor et al., 1996), this specially processed rice bran oil may be blended with less-stable oils (such as soy with a high linolenic acid content) to improve their stability in food systems.
  • Stir-Frying: Rice Bran Oil is also a great choice for use in stir-frying. While its delicate, nut-like character complements the natural flavor of stir-fried meats, seafood’s and vegetables, it never overpowers them. A further advantage is its natural resistance to smoking at high frying temperatures. Not surprisingly, RITO's Rice Bran Oil has quickly become the oil of choice by many high-end Asian-American restaurants.
Its Nutritious application is excellent.
  1. Gamma Oryzanol: Rice bran oil is rich in gamma-oryzanol, a group of ferulate esters of triterpene alcohols and phytosterols. The high antioxidant property of gamma-oryzanol has been widely recognized. Studies have shown several physiological effects related to gamma-oryzanol and related rice bran oil components. These include its ability to reduce plasma cholesterol, reduce cholesterol absorption and decrease early atherosclerosis, inhibit platelet aggregation, and increase fecal bile acid excretion. Oryzanol has also been used to treat nerve imbalance and disorders of menopause.
  2. Tocotrienols: Rice bran oil is the only readily available oil, other than palm, that contains significant levels (approximately 500 ppm) of tocotrienols. These occur in at least four known forms and are similar to the tocopherols in chemical structure. They belong to the vitamin E family and are powerful natural antioxidants. The protective benefits of dietary antioxidants in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer have been widely publicized.
  3. Rice Bran Oil is a healthy oil with uses in cooking, frying, as a salad dressing, baking, soap making, as even a supplement to horses, dogs and other animals.
  4. For grilling, you need oil that can take the heat. Specifically, you want oil with a high smoke point, the point at which oil starts to smoke. When cooking, you don't want your oil to smoke, because it imparts a negative flavor to the foods.
  5. Rice bran oil's smoke point is 490 degrees F, higher than even grape seed oil (480 degrees) or peanut oil (320 - 450 degrees). Even in the hottest of situations, rice bran oil won't smoke or breakdown. Your foods will taste better, and they will be less likely to stick to the grill or griddle.
  6. Pure rice bran oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant.
  7. Rice Bran Oil has NO cholesterol and NO trans fatty acids. It is naturally low in saturated fat.
  8. Rice Bran Oil is also rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids.
  9. Rice Bran Oil is naturally free of trans fatty acids (TFA's).
Sunflower oil is chemically extracted, then fully refined, bleached, deodorized and winterized. It is light in flavor and appearance, and supplies more vitamin E than almost any other vegetable oil. This versatile, healthy oil is valued all over the world for its light taste, frying performance and health benefits. It contains a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and has low saturated-fat levels.

There are three types of sunflower oil: linoleic, mid-oleic and high-oleic.
  • Linoleic is common cooking oil that has high levels of polyunsaturated. It is also known for having a clean flavor and low levels of trans fat.
  • High-oleic sunflower oils are classified as having monounsaturated levels of 75% and above.
Sunflower oil has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits, as its low fat content and high level of oleic acid help lower cholesterol.


Safflower oil is typically pressed, and then chemically extracted as well as fully refined, bleached and deodorized. It is flavorless, pale-yellow oil that contains more polyunsaturated than any other oil. It has a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep frying, and is also popular for use in salad dressings because it does not solidify when chilled. Safflower is an annual oilseed crop.
There are two types of safflower oil:
  • Oleic, which is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and linoleic, which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • High-oleic safflower oil is currently in demand, as it is lower in saturates and higher in monounsaturated than olive oil. This type of safflower oil is heat stable and used for frying French fries, chips and other snack items. It is also used in food coatings and infant food formulations.
Olive Oil

Olive oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives. Olive oil comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved. Varieties include:
  1. Extra virgin - comes from the first "pressing" of the olive, is extracted without using heat (a cold press) or chemicals, and has no "off" flavors is awarded "extra virgin" status. The less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria, it can be designated as "extra virgin".
  2. Virgin - from the second pressing.
  3. Pure - Olive oil is made by adding a little extra virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. It is a lesser grade oil.
  4. Extra light - undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavor. It is a marketing concept and not a classification of olive oil grades. It is completely unregulated by any certification organizations and therefore has no real precedent to what its content should be. Sometimes, the olive oil is cut with other vegetable oils.
Of all its varieties Extra virgin Olive Oil tops for its properties & benefits. Its health benefits are tremendous.
  • Diabetes: It is noteworthy that olive oil has a beneficial effect in the dietary treatment of diabetes. In addition it helps control blood pressure and increases the bone mass. It is believed that olive oil has a favorable effect on the development of the central nervous and vascular systems, in brain development as well as normal child development.
  • Heart Disease: The researchers concluded, "Exclusive use of olive oil during food preparation seems to offer significant protection against coronary heart disease, irrespective of various clinical, lifestyle and other characteristics of the participants." Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (mL) - about 2 tablespoons - of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood. But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed. Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils, one of the healing fats. Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually omega-9 oil which is monounsaturated.
  • Protection against Chronic Degenerative Disease: In many parts of the world, a high fat intake is associated with degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, colon cancer, and arthritis. But in some parts of the world, a high fat intake is actually associated with lower rates of these conditions. A closer look at the foods eaten in these places reveals that the high fat intake is actually due to the generous use of olive oil. Comparing these areas, such as the Mediterranean, where olive oil is the main fat used, to other regions, like the United States, where other fats such as animal fats, hydrogenated fats and vegetable oils like corn oil dominate, turns up some very interesting data. It turns out that people who use olive oil regularly, especially in place of other fats, have much lower rates of heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma.
  • Human metabolism at a good balance, body's growth and bone growth at a good level. It is obvious that olive oil means good health and development for our children.
  • Good level of Vitamin E in our body. This vitamin has the property to delay the change of the cellular structure which leads to natural decadence, the people's aging, so one of the best medicaments for delaying aging is the olive oil. On the other hand, as we all know, Vitamin E improves our sexual life. So one can say that olive oil is by itself an aphrodisiac!
  • Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: As far as other diseases go, regular use of olive oil has been associated with lower rates of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are used by the body to produce substances which are relatively anti-inflammatory. By reducing inflammation, these fats can help reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms, and may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of asthma.
  • Colon cancer: Spanish researchers suggest that including olive oil in your diet may also offer benefits in terms of colon cancer prevention. Their study results showed that rats fed diet supplemented with olive oil had a lower risk of colon cancer than those fed safflower oil-supplemented diets. In fact, the rats that received olive oil had colon cancer rates almost as low as those fed fish oil, which several studies have already linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.
Based on my above research in choosing the best cooking oil, I prefer Olive oil Extra virgin for cooking purposes while its better to use Rice Bran Oil for deep frying, Stir frying and making of snacks. And I have put it on action and felt that the taste doesn’t go down while using olive oil. The taste remains the same & the flavor is really more. I even tried cooking South Indian specials Sambar, rasam, vegetable curry and in everything the taste is superb and one more thing I felt is that though I use more oil after the dish is ready I found no oil dancing on it & also not sticky.

On coming to Rice Bran Oil, I tried in for making French fries, bajji’s, pakoda’s, vadai’s all deep fry items and found to my surprise the crispiness is for a longer time & no oil rests on our fingers when we touch. About the taste, really yummy Yaar. On considering the cost of the oils I should accept that both Olive Oil & Rice Bran oil are really expensive than the other normally used oils.

But one spoon of Extra Virgin oil can replace two spoons of the other oil we regularly use and so it undergoes a prolonged usage with little amount and on considering the health benefits which stops us from Doctors fees, the cost of purchasing it is not that much high indeed.

Hope you all will try my suggestion on nutritious aspects & live long a healthy & tasty life.