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Cold Pressed Oils- Health benefits & much more



Just when refined oils have started becoming a part of regular cooking, there is a new wave of Cold pressed oils that has come into existence. One would often hear that cold pressed oils are better and have high nutritional value. The big question of this being just another fad or a reality keeps looming in our heads.


What is Cold Pressed Oil

To find an answer to this, let’s first find out what is a cold pressed oil? Cold pressed oil refers to a method of oil extraction where the oilseeds are crushed and pressed (without using heat) to extract oil. The entire process involves pressure and no heat and that is what makes this oil healthier than any other form. No additional solvents are added in this method of oil extraction. The seeds used in extraction are of superior quality.


What is refined Oil

On the other hand, in the industrial method of extracting oil, there are varied processes like bleaching, steaming, distillation and hydrogenation. It is all about filtration of oil through various chemicals and heat that makes the final output very light and shiny in texture. Further, the quality of seeds may be of mixed quality. The mechanical process makes the oilseeds lose the majority of nutrients that the human body needs on a daily basis. The oil is devoid of any flavour, aroma!

Cold pressed oils are cholesterol free and are unrefined or unprocessed


Cold pressed Oil or Refined Oil – which is better?

Traditionally in India, oils used in cooking like groundnut/peanut oil, mustard, coconut oil and sesame oil were extracted using “ghani” (a long cylindrical contraption made of stone or wood rotated by bulls). This oil extraction did not involve heat as the wooden mill does not heat and this ensured that the nutrients in the oil remained intact. Nowadays, extraction machines have replaced ghanis that use excessive heat further generating high quantities of oil; however, the quality may suffer.


Cold pressed oils are way healthier than refined oils. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and oleic acid. Also, they are free from chemicals added to oils during refining process. They are also more aromatic and hence add more taste to the dishes.


How to Use Cold Pressed Oils

Olive, sesame, sunflower, canola and coconut oil can all be used for cooking, however these cold pressed oils shouldn't be exposed to a lot of heat."

While it is generally recommended to cook with cold pressed oils as they not only give a rich flavour to the food but are also healthy; however, cooking with these oils may be slightly tricky. These kinds of oils don't really mix well with heat, which is the sole reason why they are not extracted through heating techniques. If you use these oils for deep frying, the unsaturated fats may break down making them unsafe for consumption.


Oils like sesame oil and olive work best when sprinkled over the cooked food.

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