Oiling it Righthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/oiling-it-right/

Oiling it Right

Nutritionists root for rice bran oil as a healthy medium of cooking

Nutritionists root for rice bran oil as a healthy medium of cooking

What makes for a healthy body? Flexing muscles or having a balanced diet? Drinking lots of water or calculating carbohydrates,protein and vitamins in every meal? Health experts say that while all these components are important and must be considered,one aspect remains ignored — the quality and quantity of cooking oil. Over the years,people have learned about the health effects of cooking oil but,unfortunately,not about the quantity of oil to be used. A layperson often thinks that as long as they use less oil,they are safe and healthy.

Marking World Health Day on April 7,food and nutrition experts in the city spoke about the importance of watching what kind of oil is consumed every day. “In the last decade,there have been many studies showing that Indians are particularly susceptible to heart disease. This is because we are genetically prone to hyperlipidemia which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Due to this,attention should be paid to the quality as well as quantity of oil in the diet,” says Anjali Mukerjee,a dietician.

She gives tips on searching for the right cooking oil — “The American Heart association (AHA) recommends using oils that have an almost equal proportion of saturated,monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,” says Mukerjee.


The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends a near equal ratio of SFA (27-33 per cent),MUFA( 33-40 per cent ),and PUFA(27-33 per cent) in a healthy oil. The oil that comes closest to this ratio is rice bran oil. It has a balanced fatty acid profile,some amount of Omega 3 fats and good amount of natural antioxidants such as oryzanol,tocotrienol,tocopherol and squalene.

Keeping these health benefits in mind,the government also presented a research paper at the Codex Committee on Fats and Oil titled “The Need to Include Rice Bran Oil in the Standards for Named Vegetable Oils”. “Rice bran oil offers health benefits for each and every member in the family,” says Mukerjee.

Vouching for rice bran oil,celebrity chef Pranav Joshi says it is not only healthy but also adds great flavour to food. “Food cooked with rice bran oil tastes good. It is versatile and delicious and can be used to fry,sauté,or as salad dressings. It can also be used to bake. Unlike most oils,rice bran oil is compatible with both low heat as well as high heat cooking,” he says.