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Cold pressed oil is the talk of the town. Are you ready to replace your refined oil with this healthy alternative? Find out why using cold pressed oil is a great idea!
Just to jog everyone's memory up, cold pressed oil (also known as kacchi ghani, lakdi ghani or marachekku ennai, in different parts of India) isn't something very new in the market. Cold pressed oil. in India, is one of the traditional methods of extracting oil. In fact, 50 years ago, cold pressed oils were a way of life in our country. Our ancestors bought oil from stores that prepared the commodity right in front of them. It was used for cooking and has many benefits for skin and hair.
Today, while we have several refined and processed oils in the market, cold pressed is back and gaining popularity. It is pure, chemical-free and unrefined. Does this mean our ancestors had already figured out its benefits? Probably yes!
Oil that is extracted through the process of cold pressing is called cold pressed oil. This mechanical process involves extracting oil slowly from various seeds, vegetables or nuts, by pressing and treating them to minimal or no heat (hence, the word 'cold'). Though this method yields low quantities of oil, the quality is certainly high, as most of the flavour, colour and nutritional value is retained.
Compared to this method, in the case of common refined oils, intense heat or chemicals are used in the extraction process. Such a procedure yields more oil and in a faster manner. However, there is a significant compromise on the quality of the oil, depleting it of its vital vitamins and nutrients.
Hence, cold pressed oils are more nutritious than refined oils for cooking purposes. When it comes to external application too, the nutritional content is passed on to your hair and skin.
So, now we know that cold pressed oils to retain the natural properties of the seeds, vegetables and nuts from which the oil is extracted. Another key benefit is that unlike refined oils, cold pressed ones do not come with any adverse effects caused by intense heat or chemicals, such as:
Also, cold pressed oils do not contain harmful solvent residues, as compared to refined oils treated with chemical substances. Instead, they possess high quantities of natural antioxidants that are beneficial for us. The antioxidants present in the oils help in boosting the immune system.
For example, let us take the case of coconut oil:
This oil, by nature, is anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic. And, even after the cold pressing process, these qualities are retained. And, even the nutrient quality of lauric acid, a highly healthy fatty acid, which is present in coconut oil (incidentally, it is also present in breast milk), remains intact.
Similarly, with other cold-pressed oils such as olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil or sunflower oil, their inherent nutritional properties remain intact.
Cold pressed oil can be used for cooking, provided the food is prepared on low heat. Remember, the extraction technique uses minimal heat so that the purpose of retaining the oil's beneficial properties is served. So, if you use high heat while cooking, the purpose is defied. Also, the oil contains high levels of unsaturated fat, which can break down while cooking on high heat and degrade. Therefore, cold pressed oil is best used by drizzling it over food like salad, pasta and baked dishes.
In fact, even a recent study has established that it can be used for cooking. The study titled, 'Edible Cold Pressed Oils and their Biologically Active Components', by Dimitrios Boskou, School of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, says that cold pressed oils are completely safe and can be considered as a replacement for cooking oils, provided food is cooked on minimal heat.
From coconut oil to olive oil, from sesame oil to sunflower oil, most of the oils are available in the cold pressed version in the market. So, the next time you visit the local supermarket, pick a bottle of cold-pressed oil instead. Using it in your cooking is a great way to prepare healthy food for your family.
Using cold pressed oil in cooking, ensures your child's diet is healthy. As far as external application is concerned, it can be used for your baby's body massage or applied liberally on your child's skin and hair, instead of the cosmetic oils available in the market. By doing this, the healthy nutrients of cold pressed oil get passed on to your child and nourish his skin and hair.
So, now that you are aware of how cold pressed oils differ from refined oils, go ahead and use them wisely. These oils add flavor and nutrition to your food, while also making your child's skin and hair healthier. Motivated to give them a try? Go on!
About the author:
Priya Kathpal is a Nutritionist & Fitness Expert.
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