There are two ways in which I can write this article. One – say all the bad things about refined cooking oils and two – say all the good things about cold-pressed (also called filtered) cooking oils. I think it would be easier for me to scare you with some gruesome facts about refined oils. But you know what, I think I will save the refined oil bashing for another article.
Related: Why I Stopped Using Refined Cooking Oil
So What Is A Cold Pressed Cooking Oil?
Let me start with an example that you would have heard of – Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO). If you read the label on a bottle of EVOO, somewhere, it would be printed – “First Cold Press.” The use of the word “cold” is crucial here. Cold-pressed oil is the one that has not been intentionally heated during the extraction or the filtering process.
The process of production of cold-pressed oil is simple. Oilseeds are ground and pressed together so that their natural oil gets separated. The extracted oil is filtered to remove any unwanted solids and then bottled for sale.
Is It Not Heated At All?
If you noticed, I earlier said that the oil is not intentionally heated. Because the fact is, during the extraction of oil from the seeds, even cold-pressed oil will get heated to an extent due to the friction caused by the grinding. This is where the regulations kick in. For producers to claim their oil to be “cold-pressed,” they have to keep the heat generated during the extraction process within legal limits.
How Cold-Pressed Oil Is Good For Health
Cold-pressed oil retains its natural properties, such as its vitamin content, antioxidants, and its natural healthy mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also, because no harmful chemicals are used during the extraction of cold-pressed oil, we need not worry about the possible side effects of those chemicals.
Some cold-pressed oils, such as EVOO, can be consumed raw. Unheated EVOO is believed to an excellent source of beneficial polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 & omega-6) and monounsaturated fats (oleic acid). It fights bad cholesterol, has large amounts of antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Even when heated, EVOO shows the least amount of degradation among cooking oils. Hence, EVOO is suitable for cooking at high heat.
You don’t need to use only EVOO. Other options for cold-pressed cooking oil are sunflower oil, peanut oil, and mustard oil. Just be careful to buy a brand of cold-pressed oil you can trust.
One Last Thing
Use any cooking oil just as a medium of cooking. Please do not use too much of it, thinking it will be good for you. Do not exceed your RDA of fat. There are other foods that you can eat for your health. Let it not be just fat.