Did you know choosing the right cooking oil can help improve your skin?

The market is crowded with all kinds of cooking oils, but not everything is great for your health! Here’s how you can choose the right variety for better health and skin.
best cooking oil
Choosing the right kind of cooking oil can improve your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Mugdha Pradhan Published: 31 Mar 2021, 17:16 pm IST
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It is a well-established fact that Indians love to eat foods that are drenched in oil. With so many different types of cooking oils available today, it can become confusing for consumers to settle for a particular type or brand. There are so many factors to assess and compare. After all, the quality of cooking oil is imperative to ensure good health and fortitude. 

We all remember our grandmothers starkly stating the superiority of ghee over all other cooking oils. Ghee for good health, ghee for good skin, ghee for good hair; according to grandma, the benefits of clarified butter towered over everything else. And it turns out, she was correct all along. 

As often it turns out, traditional wisdom proves more accurate than modern gimmicks. Besides a number of health benefits, ghee is also great for improving the quality and texture of your skin

Why are commercial oils so bad?

The entire gamut of commercial vegetable seed oils are purified oils that are created using highly intensive mechanical and chemical processes. These are generated from seeds and vegetable hulls. Cold-pressed oils might not be processed as much, nonetheless they are processed from seeds. Using these oils for cooking in the long run can be rather problematic, as it can result in various health complications. Seed oils are notoriously high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), such as linoleic acid.

Several studies indicate that refined vegetable oils such as canola oil, groundnut, soybean, safflower, mustard, sesame, cottonseed, palm oil, corn oil, and etc lead to pro-inflammatory conditions, when consumed. These factors can increase the inflammation in the body, due to the increased amount of PUFA present in them. 

In fact, it has been medically shown that consuming excess PUFAs can cause insulin resistance in the body. Linoleic acid is primarily responsible for insulin resistance and is the central cause of type 2 diabetes. 

best cooking oil
Healthy cooking oil can help you with your skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
The case for animal saturated fats

It turns out that saturated fat made from animal sources is ideal, because it is both healthy and packed with flavour. Ghee, butter, and coconut oil all have fortifying qualities and are high in nutrition. They are safe to use, as they are devoid of inflammatory components. These good fats help in preserving the essential cellular integrity, which helps the skin glow, makes it more supple, younger, and taut. 

A diet enriched with saturated fats also impedes hormonal imbalances, as a number of hormones depend on cholesterol as their base molecule. Saturated fats like stearic acid, which is found in animals induce a cardioprotective effect that helps increase the body’s intrinsic metabolism. A diet that features a high amount of stearic acid indicates that you are eating a diet abundant in nutrients. Also, this helps to keep a check on the accumulation of additional calories in the body. 

It is further suggested that you utilise options like ghee or coconut oil for cooking, as they exhibit high smoking points and are quite heat stable. This means that they do not undergo oxidative breakdown during the cooking process. Vegetable oils, when heated, disintegrate forming free radicals, which can cause a wide range of medical disorders like unnatural aging or even cancer.     

Consuming the right kind of cooking oils is necessary for maintaining optimum skin and overall health. It is better to consume saturated fats like ghee, butter, and coconut oil for cooking, as they have zero PUFAS. As they say, trust your grandmother’s wisdom to know better.

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About the Author

A functional nutritionist and a TedX speaker, Mugdha Pradhan is the founder of iThrive. Despite having a Master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition, her own health took a nosedive in 2019. That's when she discovered Functional Medicine. Using modern principles of functional medicine along with ancient wisdom about food, she delved into the root cause of her health issues and recovered from a multitude of health problems. ...Read More

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