Why should you switch to cold pressed oils

The ever-increasing incidence of heart disease across population may be linked to the modern methods of obtaining and using cooking oils, especially refining. More and more youngsters are detected with an erratic lipid profile involving high LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and low HDL.

Use of cold-pressed or kachi ghani or virgin oils can protect us from the increasing risks of hormonal, metabolic and inflammatory diseases.As the name suggest, these oils are extracted naturally by simply pressing the seeds without applying heat eg. Cold pressed sesame oil. This type of oil was widely available before refining process was introduced.

Ghani is the long cylindrical contraption that was used traditionally to in which oilseeds were placed and then a pestle was used to crush them till oils oozed out.  This process did not involve application or generation of heat. Also, the oilseed residue can be used as a nutritious fodder for cattle. Traditionally the chekku oils were supplemented with palm sugar or jaggery to enhance its flavour and nutritional value.

Benefits of cold -pressed oil

  1. Cold pressed oil retains the antioxidants that would otherwise be destroyed by heat during refining process. The antioxidants are like your armour against infections and tumours
  2. Vitamin E is naturally present in seeds and can be available in abundance if oil is not heated. Vitamin E is beneficial for skin, hair, heart, brain and also is a powerful antioxidant.
  3. Fatty acid composition of cold pressed oils is more balanced and suited to our constitution
  4. Cold pressed coconut oil contains lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides. Due to presence of these, coconut oil does not cause weight gain and protects from heart diseases.
  5. These oils are free from artificial ingredients such as solvents or preservatives that are not meant for human consumption

Drawbacks of cold- pressed oil

Because of its natural extraction process and being free of chemicals and preservatives, cold pressed oils have a short shelf life. However, if stored in clay containers then these oils can last for almost a year.  If not possible, then buy small quantities and store them away from light, heat and in airtight containers.

One also needs to be cautious of the source of the oil seed/grain itself. It is preferable to gain access to oil seeds that are grown without chemicals and preservatives (organic) in order to gain maximum benefits out of the oil

Going back to our roots and adapting traditional methods remains our route to survival in this ever evolving environment !




Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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