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Cold-Pressed Oils, their Benefits and Differences

In the name of cooking oils, there are numerous oil options. At Go Rustic we have Cold-pressed oils made of 6 kinds of nuts/seeds that can be used for cooking and other purposes too. If you are confused about which one works for you, this article helps you understand the differences. 

What are Refined oils?

Seeds such as soybean, corn, sunflower, etc are chemically treated and processed to get their oil. As these oils are chemically obtained they have to be refined. The refining process strips the oil of its natural properties and benefits. They are unhealthy and not natural.

Refined oils are popular as their extraction gives a higher yield of oil because the oils are heated at very high temperatures making them expand and increase in quantity. Low-quality seeds can be used for the process as additives make the oil neutral when it comes to taste, color, and odor. They also have a longer shelf life. All of which makes it widely available to the market at an affordable price.

How is cold-pressed oil different from Refined Oil?

Cold pressing is a method where the seeds/nuts are crushed until the oil is obtained. It is purely a mechanical process and does not involve chemical intervention. Heat is not intentionally introduced during the process so it retains the quality and the nutritional benefits of the oil. The only low-temperature heat produced is caused by friction from the crushing of seeds/nuts. The extraction process is completely natural. 

The process for extraction is the same for all cold-pressed oils. Groundnuts are dried and then crushed between a wooden press called Ghani or Wooden Chekku. Coconuts are split open, dried, and then pressed. Sunflower seeds are dehulled and then any foreign objects that are present, are removed before oil is extracted. In the case of safflower oil, seeds are taken from the plant when it is quite dry. The seeds are first peeled, flaked, and then pressed.

With so many varieties of cold-pressed oils out there, choosing one out of the many can be quite stressful. We’re here to demystify and differentiate the cold-pressed oils that we offer at Go Rustic. 

Cold-Pressed Groundnut Oil

Uses

  • Groundnut oil is perfect for cooking methods, like stir-fries, that involve high heat. It can be used to make french fries or in dishes that need a nutty flavor. This is attributed to its high smoke point
  • Rich in Vitamin E, it is also great for the skin. Vitamin E is known to promote skin health and keeps it looking young and healthy.
  • Widely used in South and Central India, groundnut oil is one of the most popular cooking oils on the market.

Benefits

  • Mainly composed of unsaturated fats (both poly and mono), cold-pressed groundnut oil is said to be a good source of healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats are said to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart ailments. 
  • With zero cholesterol present, it is great for heart health. It can be used if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol levels. 
  • High in natural antioxidants and phytochemicals, it is said to keep diseases at bay and reduce inflammation. It protects the heart, the circulatory system, and nervous system diseases.
  • Rich in plant sterols, it helps to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

Uses
  • Rich in fatty acids, it is great for the skin and can be used as a body moisturizer and can be applied on the face as well. It is also said to help heal wounds faster and remove scars. 
  • It has been used for centuries to promote good hair health. Be it a hot oil treatment or a hair mask, it will work wonders for your hair.
  • The concentration of beneficial fats and antimicrobial properties can help digestive ailments. Its antibacterial properties also allow it to be used as a mouthwash (oil pulling). Who doesn’t love the scent of coconut?
  • Coconut oil is versatile when it comes to cooking too. It can be used to make cakes but can also be used to make rice recipes or as a dressing in salads. Nearly every Kerala household cooks with coconut oil!
Benefits
  • Cold-pressed coconut oil has natural antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • The presence of medium-chain fatty acids (MFCAs) is known to increase the body’s metabolic rate and is a great source of energy. It also helps to mend brain function in people with Alzheimer's.
  • It has also been found that when coconut oil is added to a person’s everyday diet, it can lead to fewer Vitamin B deficiencies. 
  • Insulin resistance issues, which often leads to type two diabetes,  can be battled by the consumption of coconut oil. 
  • High in saturated fats, it helps to boost good cholesterol and can keep heart disease at bay. It also helps to turn bad cholesterol into good cholesterol.
  • The benefits don’t stop there. It even aids in liver health and can help to cure urinary tract infections.

Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil

Uses 
  • Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, it promotes skin health. They act as antioxidants and regenerate damaged skin cells. As it is not greasy, it is absorbed by the skin without clogging any pores. A natural moisturizer, it can treat dry and sensitive skin. 
  • It can also act as a conditioner and can soften dry and frizzy hair. Rich in gamma alpha-linolenic acid (GLA) which prevents hair loss, this oil is great for the hair.
  • Cold-pressed sunflower oil is best used in vinaigrettes and recipes that do not involve high heat.
Benefits
  • Loaded with Omega 6 fats and Vitamin E, sunflower oil is a healthy choice when it comes to oil.
  • More than 80% of the oil is made up of monounsaturated fats, which is good for your heart. It helps to control cholesterol levels as it does not contain any saturated fats.
  • The presence of antioxidants helps to prevent diseases and strengthens cell membrane barriers. Sunflower oil also contains protein, which helps in repairing tissues. 
  • As sunflower oil is light and easy to digest, it is absorbed easily. It also has mild laxative properties and is good for your digestion.

Cold-Pressed Safflower Oil

Uses
  • Safflower oil can be used to hydrate the skin and is great for rough and unevenly toned skin. It can also be used on the body as a conditioner.
  • For your hair, it can help to reduce hair loss and promote growth. 
  • Its high smoking point makes it an excellent oil for cooking, baking, and deep-frying.
Benefits
  • A rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats safflower oil is healthy cooking oil. These fats are necessary for our bodies to function. It has a lower saturated fat content than most oils. Saturated fats are considered to be bad fats.
  • It can also relax blood vessels and can reduce blood pressure.

Cold-Pressed Sesame Oil

Uses
  • The aroma of sesame oil is unmistakable. It is widely used in Asian cooking. From dips to being the base for recipes, sesame oil can be used in many ways. Be it sauteed veggies or adding depth of flavor to noodles.
  • Sesame oil is a must-have ingredient in homes in Tamil Nadu. 
  • Ayurveda uses it to ease stress-related symptoms. It is also used in massages. Sesame oil’s antibacterial properties make it great for oral hygiene! This is often referred to as oil pulling.
  • Just as it's great for your skin, it's good for your hair as well. It can help nourish your hair and scalp.

Benefits:

  • The presence of Vitamin E makes it great for your hair and skin. Nutrients such as Zinc, Copper, Magnesium and Calcium attribute to many benefits. Zinc helps to improve bone health while Copper gives relief to arthritis. 
  • There is a high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids which helps to reduce blood pressure. Lignan, a natural preservative present in the oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure. 
  • A high concentration of Omega-6 fatty acids makes it great as a moisturizer and as a massage oil. A perfect de-stressor after a long day!

Cold-Pressed Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is extracted from black mustard seeds. The oil is reddish-brown in color.

Uses 

  • Its strong taste can take some getting used to, but it is wonderful to cook with. It can be used to fry fish, or just to flavor a dish. As a pickling oil or as a dressing, it is great in any form.
  • Widely used in Andhra Pradesh, it can be used while making pickles and gojjus.
  • High In Vitamin E. Its presence also means that it can be used on the skin and the hair. The oil can help to ward off dandruff and maintain a healthy scalp.

Benefits

  • Full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), it is good for the heart. 
  • It can even prevent premature greying! Including this in your diet can keep you looking younger for longer.
  • MUFA lowers bad cholesterol and keeps blood fat levels in check. It is associated with lowering IHD risk (Ischemic Heart Disease) because of the presence of alpha-linolenic acid.
  • Its stimulant property aids in improving circulation and boosting metabolism.  

Conclusion 

Cold-pressed oils all have their own benefits. Each one is suited for a specific purpose, health benefits and it's important to choose the right one based on the recipe. Though their tastes and their aromas might differ, the common factor for all of them is the fact that they are all rich in natural properties. So, whichever cold-pressed oil you decide to go for, know that you’re getting chemical-free, all-natural oil loaded with the goodness of the seed/nut.

 

-Curated by Aishwarya Muralidhar

 


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