What are Cold Pressed Oils?

The oils you use for everyday cooking are extracted from seeds, fruits, vegetables and nuts. From groundnut oil to sesame oil, the way that oil is extracted has a direct effect on how the oil tastes in your food and the amount of nutrients it has to offer. Using heat to extract the oil produces the oil in greater quantity, but can degrade the oil’s flavour and nutritional quality (for example, refined oils). On the other hand, using low-heat methods produces higher quality oil, though in lesser quantities (For example, cold pressed oils)

 

The Cold-Press Process

Extracting oil through cold-pressing involves crushing the seed or nut and forcing out the oil. In olden times, a long cylindrical contraption known as ‘ghani’ was used to extract oil from oilseeds. This was the simplest method for cold pressing oils out of a seed as it didn’t involve the generation of too much heat. Similarly, today there are specialised presses that come for the exact same purpose in different shapes and sizes, from home use to huge sized commercial use presses.

 

The Problem with Refined Oils

As explained above, refined oils are developed at very high temperatures (almost 240 degree-250 degree celsius) as this helps in extracting a greater amount of oil from a certain amount of seeds. The process also involves usage of various chemicals and preservatives, and  hence turns out to be an excellent deal for manufacturers in 3 ways:
1. Less cost involved in manufacturing

2. Low quality seeds can also be utilised as no flavour or aroma is present in the final oil

3. Longer shelf life due to usage of preservatives

 

However, for the consumer, this turns out to be a rather horrific deal. Not only does refining degrade the overall flavour and nutritional quality of the oil, the amount of pro-inflammatory fatty acids increases to a very high level. Therefore, making this oil almost poisonous for daily consumption as it can lead to a multitude of diseases (heart blockages, increased triglycerides and LDL, diabetes etc to name just a few)

 

Cold-Pressed Oils and Health

A study conducted at London’s Imperial College School of Medicine in 2004 concluded that cold pressed oils have a greater amount of nutritional value, higher Omega 3 (anti – inflammatory) fatty acids, and more antioxidants!
Therefore, to verify this, we conducted a very simple test personally:

1. Replace refined oils with cold pressed oils for a month
2. Switching back to Refined Oils after a month

Through this experiment, the following were our observations:

Scenario 1: HDL Levels increased, LDL and Triglycerides decreased

Scenario 2: HDL decreased, LDL and Triglycerides increased

Which Oils to use?

For usage in India, we recommend 4 specific oils. While all 4 of these are healthy, you can choose which oil to use for your home:

  1. Groundnut Oil: Western and some parts of Southern India
  2. Sesame Oil: Southern India
  3. Coconut Oil: Coastal areas of India
  4. Mustard Oil: North and Eastern India

Subsequently, based on your geographical heritage and palette, you can opt for any of these oils. All 4 oils have an extremely good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, making them excellent to use for inflammations, Cholesterol and Heart issues.

Cold Pressed Oil vs Refined Oils

In summary, we can make a small table to understand some basic differences between cold pressed oils and refined oils:

Cold Pressed Oils Refined Oils
Extracted at Low Temperatures Extracted at very High Temperatures
Retains flavour and aroma of seeds used No flavour or aroma
Has Vitmains, Minerals and nutrients of seeds intact No nutrients retained from seeds
Anti Inflammatory, has ideal omega 3 to omega 6 to omega 9 fatty acid ratio Pro inflammatory, has skewed omega 3 to omega 6 ratio
Amount of Oil extracted is lesser than from refining process Amount of Oil extracted is greater than cold pressing
Shelf Life is low as no preservatives are used Shelf life is much longer as high number of chemical preservatives are used
Seeds used for extraction are of the best quality Seeds used for extraction are of a mixed quality, may even be low grade
Price is comparatively higher as less amount of oil is extracted Price is much cheaper because of more oil extracted and longer shelf life

Confused? Have any questions? Ask them in the comments below!

Note: We supply cold pressed Oils in Hyderabad. To place an order, call/whatsapp us at 9963002021 or fill in our ordering form at https://goo.gl/forms/82RzVds9Zee0tG9N2

 

About the Author

Rajan Mahendra

Mr Rajan Mahendra has worked for more than 25 years across almost 40 business verticals as a business consultant. Due to his hectic and irregular schedule, he had a health scare at the young age of 34, suffering a mini stroke. After taking medicines for almost 10 years, he started developing more complications as side effects of the medicines. After co-founding a pharmacy chain across the city and scaling it up successfully, he realized medicines were doing more harm than good and set up 'Aarogyahaar' to spread information about the power of food and healthy lifestyles!

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