The Oil Story

Types of cooking oil and their health benefits

Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist

In a diverse country like ours, food has always been a very integral part of our rich heritage. When it comes cooking oils, each one is unique. Some are good for deep frying while others turn rancid when heated. Cooking oils have been part of many debates, as deciding on the best and healthiest cooking oil can be quite a dilemma. It is only obvious to harbour confusion with so many options available.

Our daily meals, starting from breakfast to snacks, to lunches and dinners, are incomplete without the goodness of cooking oils. Choosing the healthiest option for yourself is important and proper information will aid in making the smart choice. Let us spill the truth about the nutrient benefits of various cooking oils together and choose our oil wisely.

Types Of Cooking Oil- What to eat? What not to eat? Is the question


Almond Oil

Almond oil has since centuries been recommended for it’s healthy benefits. A lot of people are unaware of the fact that almond oil can be used for cooking as well. Almond oil is good for heart health as well.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 14 grams of almond oil contains 123 calories.

Health benefits – Almond oil is powerhouse to various nutrients like Vitamin E, potassium, zinc, proteins and a generous amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. It aids digestion, improves memory, reduces wrinkles and sagging of the skin, prevents diabetes, regulates cholesterol.


Avocado Oil

Avocado is an amazing fruit which is not just rich in taste but in nutrient value as well. Recently, avocado has been basking in the limelight because of healthy benefits that it offers. A really prized choice for health conscious people, avocado undoubtedly is a superfood.

Quantity – 1 tbsp or 14 gram of avocado oil contains 120 calories.

Health benefits- Full of buttery and creamy goodness, avocado oil is really good for health. It contains betasterol and Vitamin A, B, D, E and protein. It also boosts the absorption of carotenoids (powerful antioxidant) and lowers the blood pressure.



Butter is a milk product formed by the churning of milk and a must for every dining table. Inspite of the fame, butter has recently suffered bad name because of lack of proper knowledge among people. Butter is full of healthy goodness and must be incorporated in our meals.

Quantity – 1 tbsp or 15 gram of butter contains 108 calories.

Health benefits– A source of arachidonic acid which aids in infant development. An amazing immunity booster it helps the body defend against cancer and promotes apoptosis (programmed cell deaths) within tumors. It also useful in tackling gastrointestinal issues.



Since, childhood we have all been advised to eat ghee daily. Cooking and pouring generous amount of ghee over  curries and chapattis is a common spectacle in Indian homes. Ghee is an abode to abundance of healthy goodness. A lot of religious sentiments are also attached with ghee because of the healthy benefits it offers.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 9 gram of ghee contains 85 calories

Health benefits– It contains butyrate, an essential short chain fatty acids which acts as a detoxifier and is really helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A must for every Indian home, it is also helpful in dealing with casein and lactose sensitivities. Proper levels of Vit K2 helps protect against tooth decay and proper development of bones and calcification of the arteries.


Groundnut Oil

Also known as peanut oil, it offers amazing aroma, flavour and healthy benefits. Peanut oil comes in refined and non- refined form as well. It is recommended for healthy skin, controls cholesterol levels, improves the functioning of nervous system and heart etc.

Quantity -1 tbsp or 14 gram of groundnut oil contains 120 calories.

Health benefits– Peanut oil has a very high smoke point and neutral taste which makes it a good choice for frying and deep-frying. Peanut oil has an even proportion of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. A great source of Vitamin E, the oil contains resveratrol. It helps protect against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral infections.

Understanding the importance of cooking oil

Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is an inseparable part of our kitchens. It is not just used to make a variety of delicacies but is also used various uses. Mustard oil has high medicinal content is  part of household remedies to cure seasonal cold, massaging babies, nourishment for the skin etc.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 14 gram of mustard oil contains 124 calories

Health benefits – It contains 60% MUFA (Monounsaturated fatty acids), 21% PUFA (Polyunsaturated fatty acids), 12% saturated fats. These fatty acids are good fats and do not get deposited on the arterial walls. It also contains glucosinolates that has anti- microbial properties. Mustard oil also helps fight cancer, improve digestion and appetite by stimulating digestive juices and bile in the liver and spleen.


Olive Oil

Olive oil is a really good choice and extra virgin olive oil is a must healthier version of olive oil. The healthy oil helps in weight loss, improves digestion, metabolism process, arthritis, heart problems, diabetes and the list goes on. Olive oil is used for a lot of culinary preparations.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 14 gram of olive oil contains 133 calories.

Health benefits– The MUFA (Monounsaturated fatty acids) present in the oil increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels. The oleic acid in olive oil has a satiating effect which helps in weight loss, healthy gallbladder, protects against type 2 diabetes and helps fight wrinkles.


Rice bran Oil

A fast increasing choice today because of the better health benefits rice bran oil offers over other vegetable oils. It is a good choice for stir frying and deep frying.

Quantity–  1 tbsp or 13 gram of rice bran oil contains 120 calories.

Health benefits– Rice bran oil contains oryzanol which helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels and blood clotting. It also contains tocopherols and tocotrienols which have cancer resistant qualities and improves skin tone. A rich source of Vit E it helps in the functioning of the endocrine system by balancing the release of hormones in the body.


 Soybean Oil

One of the most widely used vegetable oil, soybean oil offers a series of health benefits. The oil is available in refined and blended form in the market. It contains a variety of healthy fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 13 gram of soybean contains 122 calories.

Health benefits– It is rich in PUFA (Polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6, proteins and amino acid linoleic acid. Also rich in Vitamin K, soybean oils helps in bone formation and strengthening. It also reduce the triglycerides levels in the body and is considered useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


Sunflower Oil

Sunflower, a beautiful yellow flower that can easily light up the dullest of days. Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the flower and is mainly used for cooking and cosmetic purposes.

Quantity– 1 tbsp or 14 gram of sunflower contains 124 calories.

Health benefits – The main component of sunflower oil is linoleic acid and it also contains lecithin, carotenoids, tocopherols and good amount of Vit A, D and E. The perfect balance of MUFA (Monounsaturated fatty acids) and PUFA (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) it helps in reduction of bad cholesterol levels. It also helps in prevention of rheumatoid arthritis, uterine, lung and skin cancers. It also reduces the risk of infection in pre-term infants having low birth weight and aids in the production of neurotransmitter (a chemical substance which effects the transfer of impulse to another nerve, muscle or some other structure) and serotonin (compound present in platelets that acts as neurotransmitter).

It is recommended to switch between cooking oils every two months to get the maximum benefits. It helps in better absorption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are really good for heart health. Also, keep 2-3 varieties of cooking oil in your kitchen to gain healthy goodness.

Choose your oil wisely and let your meals be full of oily goodness.

Know Your Health Better

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