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)
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.
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)
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
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:
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.
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