If you’ve been curious about incorporating cold-pressed oils into your diet or simply want to understand the science behind their popularity, join us on this journey as we unveil the truth behind these liquid wonders and discover whether they truly live up to the hype.
In the world of healthy eating and wellness, there is a buzz surrounding cold-pressed oils, touting their numerous health benefits and superior quality.
Thanks to amazing marketing strategies, cold-pressed oils have gained significant popularity among health-conscious individuals and have become a staple in every modern kitchen.
But what are cold-pressed oils, and are they worth the hype? Let’s look at another trending issue, ‘cold-pressed oil,’ to better comprehend the situation.
What are Cold-Pressed Oils?
Cold-pressed oils are natural oils extracted from nuts, seeds, or fruits through a gentle, low-temperature mechanical process.
These are different from the traditional extraction methods that involved chemical solvents and high temperatures for oil extraction.
The result is a pure form of oil that is unrefined and has a distinct and robust taste.
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Cold-pressed oil embodies the essence of its source, as no preservatives or additives are used.
With a focus on maintaining the nutritional integrity of the raw materials, cold-pressing ensures these oils retain essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. As a result, they offer a range of health benefits that have captured the attention of health enthusiasts and nutrition experts worldwide.
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Why are Cold-Pressed Oils Trending?
The emergence of multiple diseases in the last few decades has made people more cautious about their lifestyle and eating habits to prevent the onset of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.
The popularity of cold-pressed oils has contributed to an increase in awareness about the importance of nutrient-dense and organic food in promoting overall health and well-being, with cold-pressed oils becoming a part of the healthy food list.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Oils
Cold-pressed oils are treated at a lower temperature, which does not affect the oil’s qualities. As a result, they have a higher phenolic content, taste, fragrance, and nutritional value.
Tocopherols, sterols, carotenoids, and phospholipids with oxidising capabilities are nutritionally significant bioactive components of cold-pressed pols, but they are eliminated or destroyed during industrial refining in the case of refined oils.
Cold-pressed oil does not contain trans fatty acids; it has great importance for cooking and skin care requirements.
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Because of the inclusion of bioactive compounds, cold-pressed oils are considered functional foods. Essential fatty acids, sterols, and tocopherols may prevent or delay lifestyle disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity, as well as have anti-ageing properties.
The chemical composition of cold-pressed oils determines their health-promoting potential and their application.
The ingestion of cold-pressed oils should be appropriate to balance the intake of omega-6 and -3 PUFAs.
As a result, these oils have gained popularity as a healthy supplement to a variety of diets.
Different Types of Cold-Pressed Oils Available in India
- Mustard oil
- Groundnut oil
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Walnut oil
- Flax seed oil
- Sesame oil
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|Type of Cold-Pressed Oils||Health Benefits||Characteristics||Safe Temperature of Cooking|
|Mustard oil||Rich in omega-3 fatty acids|
|Distinct flavour for cooking and pickling||Medium heat (up to 375°F)|
|Groundnut oil||High smoke point|
Rich in vitamin E
|Suitable for Asian & African cuisines||High heat (up to 450°F)|
|Coconut oil||High in lauric acid|
Supports heart health
|High smoke point|
Good for frying
|Low to medium heat (up to 350°F)|
|Almond oil||Great source of vitamin E & monounsaturated fats||Adds flavour to salads and dishes||Low heat (up to 300°F)|
|Safflower oil||High in linoleic acid|
Supports skin health
|Used in cooking and skincare products||Medium heat (up to 450°F)|
|Sunflower oil||Rich in vitamin E|
Promotes healthy skin
|Versatile oil for various cooking methods||Medium heat (up to 450°F)|
|Walnut oil||High in omega-3 fatty acids|
Supports brain health
|Nutty flavour for salads and dressings||Low heat (up to 320°F)|
|Flax seed oil||Rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)|
|Nutritional supplement, not for cooking||Low heat (up to 225°F)|
|Sesame oil||Contains antioxidants|
Supports bone health
|Rich, nutty flavour for Asian dishes||Medium heat (up to 350°F)|
The cooking temperature of oils varies based on brand and purity. It’s best to avoid heating above the indicated temperatures to maintain the integrity and nutritional content.
Cold-pressed oils have the potential to offer health benefits in salad dressings and other low-heat culinary applications.
Are Cold-Pressed Oils Worth the Hype?
To understand this better, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cold-pressed oil.
- Retains natural flavours and has a unique sensory property.
- High nutritional value in terms of antioxidants.
- Promotes heart health as rich in essential fatty acids.
- Chemical-Free Processing.
- Lower environmental impact as produced sustainably, reducing carbon footprint.
- Expensive due to the specialized production process.
- Limited availability.
- Doubt about quality as not readily accessible everywhere.
- Low smoke point.
Shorter shelf life as natural extraction process used without preservatives.
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What is the usual price for cold-pressed oil?
The market price of cold-pressed oil can vary based on the type, quality, and region of production. It is usually higher than refined oils unless you find some promotional discounts.
Is it affordable?
It depends on the spending power of the buyer, as the rate varies for different kinds of cold-pressed oils, ranging from 100 rupees per litre to up to 1000 rupees per litre.
While cold-pressed oils offer excellent nutritional benefits, their higher cost might make them less affordable for some consumers.
Can Cold-Pressed Oils Replace Refined Oil?
Undoubtedly, cold-pressed oils are a healthier alternative to refined oils in some culinary applications.
Their lower smoke points, however, may limit their use in high-heat cooking.
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Replacing refined oil with cold-pressed oils is not the right choice. The choice of oil should be made carefully, based on the intended application, and must be used in conjunction.
The ultimate decision to choose the right kind of oil depends on the buyer, keeping in mind their individual needs and preferences.
Remember to consume every kind of oil sparingly, as oils are high in energy; excessive use might have a negative influence on health that outweighs the favourable benefit.
1. A review on the effects of cold-pressed oils on human health by Priyadarshini, S., Gopalan, R., & Chandrasekaran, S. (2018). Nutrients, 10(1), 125.
2. The smoke point of common cooking oils by Van Gerpen, J. L., McDonald, G. A., & Van Gerpen, S. L. (2016). Journal of Food Science, 81(1), R1–R10.
3. Cold-pressed oils: A review of their nutritional composition, health benefits, and safety by Chen, Y., Liu, Q., & Zhang, Q. (2017). Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(17), 3273–3286.
4. Functional and nutritional health benefit of cold-pressed oils: a review by S Chandra, M Kumar, P Dwivedi & LP Shinde. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology (2020) 9: 21-29. http://doi.org/10.53911/JAE.2020.9102
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