Home Wellbeing Healthiest Cooking Oils: Evidence-Based Review & Recommendation

Healthiest Cooking Oils: Evidence-Based Review & Recommendation

by Pooja Saini
Cooking Oils

The market is full of several cooking oils and fats. It becomes too difficult to select which is the best and what are its health impacts. Is it healthy or does it contain bad fat? Which oils are best for deep frying? Which is high heat cooking oil? In this article, we will cover all aspects of the healthiest cooking oils that you can use on daily basis and help to keep your family healthy. Further, we will discuss which oils can be mixed for maximum health benefits.

The healthiest cooking oil should be suitable for deep frying. Deep frying means submerging a food in very hot oil. Deep frying is very common traditional cooking method. Deep frying requires careful selection of cooking oils. Otherwise, your cooking may become unhealthy for your family. It solely depends on which oil are you using for cooking your food.

The temperature of oil used for deep frying is around 175-190°C (350–375°F). So, healthy cooking oil should tolerate this temperature and its smoke point must be higher than this. The oil must be stable at high heat and must not oxidize easily. The oils that go rancid at higher temperature are not suitable for cooking. The oxidized and rancidified oil contains harmful compounds that produce free radicals in the body when consumed and may lead to the following health problems:

  1. Brain cell damage
  2. Inflammation
  3. Diabetes
  4. Heart diseases

Therefore, it is very important that cooking oil should have resistance to rancidification and oxidation at all cooking temperatures.

According to the type of fats, saturated fats are more stable, highly resistant to heat and have a very high smoke point. These fats can tolerate high temperature, so these are the best fats suitable for deep frying. Monounsaturated fats are resistant to heat and high smoke point and stable for everyday cooking. Polyunsaturated fats are less stable, highly sensitive to heat and have a low smoke point. Therefore, cooking with polyunsaturated fats is unhealthy.


For several years, you are hearing “saturated fats are unhealthy”.

Fact: It is not true. Not all saturated fats are unhealthy. New research studies reveal the ancient truth again that these oils are totally healthy and harmless. The ancient science especially ‘ayurveda’ already has been recommending the use of coconut oil and ghee in everyday cooking. These oils also have several health benefits.

Let’s start a discussion on healthy cooking oils:

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains:

Saturated fatty acids92%
Monounsaturated fatty acids6%
Polyunsaturated fatty acids1.6%

Characteristics of Coconut oil

  1. Coconut oil is highly resistant to heat. Because it contains 90% saturated fatty acids and very low polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  2. At room temperature, it is semi-solid. Its shelf life is very long. If stored with a proper care i.e. keeping it in dark, dry and cold place, it can last for several years without any rancidification.
  3. The smoke point of coconut oil is 177°C (350°F), which is best for the most of foods required deep frying.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is considered a superfood in the modern era due to its amazing health benefits. The very important thing in this oil is ‘Lauric Acid’, that improves cardiovascular health, prevents bacterial as well as viral infections. The summary of its health benefits is below:

  1. Lowers cholesterol.
  2. Reduces free radicals in the body due to its potent antioxidant action.
  3. Kills bacteria and viruses, so it helps to lower incidences of infections.
  4. It boosts metabolism, so it is good for digestion.
  5. It provides a feeling of fullness than other oils. So, it is the best cooking oil that can help you while your weight loss program.

Tip: Choose organic and virgin coconut oil for cooking. It provides a good taste to food. Virgin oil also preserves all the benefits that you can get from it.

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Ghee (Clarified Butter)Ghee (Clarified Butter) contains:

Saturated fatty acids61.9%
Monounsaturated fatty acids28.7%
Polyunsaturated fatty acids3.7%

Characteristics of Cow’s Ghee

  1. Ghee is also highly resistant to heat like coconut oil. Because it contains around 62% saturated fatty acids and 28.7% monounsaturated fatty acids. This composition of ghee makes it highly stable and prevents its oxidation and rancidification at a higher
  2. It is solid fat at room temperature. Its shelf life is very long. It can last for years without any problem.
  3. The smoke point of Ghee (clarified butter) is 252°C (485°F), so it is also suitable for cooking food. If we consider its high smoke point, it is better than coconut oil for deep frying. It can be used for baking, roasting and sautéing without destroying its important nutrients.

Benefits of Ghee

Ghee (clarified butter) contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), butyrate (butyric acid) and vitamin K. All these things make it healthiest oil for heart, bones, digestion and gut health. If the source of butter is milk obtained from the grass-fed cows and ghee is prepared from that butter, then it contains the highest amount of CLA.

  1. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in Ghee is the healthiest fatty acid in the world. The average American diet does not contain it. It is best to control fat accumulation in the body. It lowers the risk of cancer, inflammatory diseases, high blood pressure, etc.
  2. Butyric acid in Ghee is also beneficial for improving gut health. It aids in improving digestion. It improves utilization of insulin in the body. Ghee also reduces inflammation and strengthens the intestine. It is beneficial for preventing, treating and alleviating symptoms of bowel inflammatory diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, butyrate is also important in providing energy to the colon cells. In our body, it is also made by gut flora and very important for preventing the most of digestive diseases. You can get all these benefits by consuming 10 grams ghee every day.
  3. Ghee improves the functions of heart and brain. It improves memory and cognitive functions. It also strengthens the bones.
  4. It is also a good remedy for patients suffering from constipation. Butyric acid in ghee improves peristalsis and reduces pain during bowel movement.
  5. Ghee has potent anti-inflammatory action, which helps in the prevention and management of arthritis. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and

Tip: Choose grass-fed cow’s milk as a source of butter and making ghee. Homemade ghee has better reliability to get all its health benefits.

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil & Sesame Seeds

Sesame Oil & Sesame Seeds

Sesame oil has a controversy in modern science. It requires further research studies to evaluate its health benefits. However, it is the best cooking oil, according to Ayurveda especially for people suffering from neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Moreover, it is the best oil during winters or for people living in coldest places of the world.

Saturated fatty acids61.9%
Monounsaturated fatty acids28.7%
Polyunsaturated fatty acids3.7%

Characteristics of Sesame Oil

  1. The smoke point of unrefined sesame oil is 177°C (350°F). The semi-refined sesame oil has higher smoke point i.e. 232°C (450°F). However, we recommend using unrefined and virgin sesame oil for cooking purposes. It is also suitable for cooking, roasting, baking and sautéing.
  2. It is liquid at room temperature and most stable for a long duration. Its shelf life is also very long.

History of its Use in Cooking

Sesame oil has been used in Indian cooking for more than 5000 years. Ayurveda strongly recommends its use as a cooking oil due to its health benefits. It is also used for preparing ayurvedic medicines.

However, its use as cooking oil is currently declining due to the emergence of other cooking oils and mustard oil. Now, mustard oil becomes more common in Indian cooking than sesame oil.

Benefits of Sesame Oil

Ayurvedic science recommends its use as cooking oil. It is highly beneficial for preventing and treating diseases related to brain, nerves, muscles, joints and other structures related to nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

  1. It improves digestive health by reducing constipation.
  2. It increases intelligence, enhances memory and improves cognitive functions.
  3. Oil pulling with sesame oil reduces mouth ulcer due to its anti-ulcer and wound healing properties.
  4. It preserves the color of hair and promotes hair growth. For this purpose, it can be used internally as well as externally.
  5. It is highly beneficial for reducing constipation that occurs with hard stool and painful defecation.
  6. Sesame oil aids in preventing infections due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  7. It lowers the risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.
  8. It is an effective remedy for preventing and treating multiple sclerosis (MS) and autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
  9. It also stops the damage to brain cells due to its neuroprotective properties. A study found it effective in Huntington’s disease.
  10. It is also beneficial for blood vessels. It inhibits the progression of atherosclerosis lesion and reduces chances of atherosclerosis.
  11. Multiple studies found its preventive actions in cancer of lung, pancreas, breast, leukemia and multiple myeloma.

Blending Ghee & Sesame Oil

You may already know about the blended oils available in the market. For example, rice bran oil mixed with olive oil and commonly used as cooking oil nowadays in some countries. Blended oils provide extra nutrition. You are aware of these things, but here we are talking about Cow’s Ghee and Sesame Oil blending.

Both cow’s ghee and sesame oil have abundant health benefits. So, many ayurvedic practitioners recommend using both oils together.

Blending of cow’s ghee and sesame oil as given below in the table helps to prevent several diseases, according to our experience and benefits stated above for each oil. From several years, we are using this combination in our daily cooking and recommending it to our patients.

Ideal Ratio

Cow’s Ghee90%
Sesame Oil10%

Your ayurvedic doctor may also recommend different ratio to you according to your ayurvedic body type and dominance of aggravated Dosha in any disease. For healthy people, above combination is the most suitable.

Benefits of Blended Oils

Using blended ghee and sesame oil provides nutritional benefits. In addition to these, it also helps to improve the health of every organ in the body. The combination is highly useful for people prone to osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint pain, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, hypertension and cancers. People cooking food in this blend are less likely to suffer from these diseases.

Unhealthy Oils

  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil

We have listed the most common oils as unhealthy oils that are commonly used in everyday cooking in your kitchen. Because these oils are genetically modified. Furthermore, these oils are unstable. For making them stable, these oils are often partially hydrogenated.


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