Which Oil Is Right For You - Cold Pressed Or Cooking Oil?
We as home cooks have many options when it comes to choosing what kind of cooking oils we will use for sautéing, baking, and basting. In the market we find a large number of products; some, like olive oil and canola oil, are well known and others, like cold pressed walnut oil or coconut oil, are less familiar. But which are the best and healthiest and which are not the best option? To answer these questions, we have prepared a Guide for you.
Which oil is right for you?
That largely depends on the type of cuisine or food you are preparing. There is an effect called the smoke point of an oil , which is the point at which the oil begins to burn and smoke and is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to healthy and unhealthy oils.
The reason why it is important to know the smoke point of an oil is this: if you heat the oil beyond its smoke point, not only does it harm the flavor, but many of the nutrients in the oil are degraded, and the oil will release harmful compounds called free radicals .
How to choose the best oils for cooking?
According to Profeco , the best way to choose a cooking oil is to choose those with less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, and no partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats.
One of the options is to read the labels carefully, although it is important to take into account that not all oils are clear about their nutritional content or declare it halfway.
What should I take into account when cooking with oil?
What should be taken into account with cooking oils is that the oil should never be overheated (what we explained about the smoke point of the oil ), because if smoke begins to be generated, it is a sign of its decomposition process.
In summary, heating oils to a very high temperature for cooking causes serious damage to health , and it is very important that you know that not all oils are good for heating, but yes, for example, to dress a salad (such as flaxseed ).
Aceso Cold-pressed oils , on the other hand, have an intense aroma reminiscent of the plants from which they were extracted and are often intensely yellow or green in color. If you want to give your dish a characteristic aroma, cold-pressed oils are ideal.
Whether an oil is only suitable for the preparation of cold dishes or also for roasting, frying and baking depends on the fatty acids it contains and its smoke point.
The higher the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids , the less it tolerates heat. For example, linseed oil is not suitable for roasting, deep-frying or baking. You should only use safflower and sunflower oil for hot dishes if it is a special frying oil made from specially cultivated types rich in oleic acid. These highly heatable frying oils are cold-pressed and then steamed.
The lower the smoke point , the more likely it is that the oil will smoke during roasting and frying. Aceso Cold-pressed cooking oils have a lower smoke point than refined oils from the same plant species because they contain more free fatty acids. For example, the smoke points for cold-pressed rapeseed oil are between 160 and 180 °C and for refined rapeseed oil over 210 °C.
Cold-pressed or refined oil?
There are two processes for the production of fats and oils:
- the cold press
- the refining
With cold pressing , the oil is pressed purely mechanically from oil seeds or oil fruits without heat being supplied. This is very gentle and the typical taste and smell of the variety are retained. Solid components are then separated during cold pressing by filtering, allowing them to settle or using a centrifuge.
By the way: If the raw material is roasted before pressing or the oil is treated with hot steam after pressing, this must be marked. "Native" oils are natural, cold-pressed oils, which means that they have not been roasted or steamed beforehand.
During refining , oil is first pressed out of the oil seed under heat. The pressing residue then still contains oil, which can be extracted (dissolved out) with the help of solvents. However, the crude oil obtained in this way is inedible and must therefore be cleaned in several process steps - this is also referred to as refined. Undesirable substances are then removed, for example substances from the manufacturing process, but also pesticides and natural ingredients that would shorten the shelf life of the oil. In addition to the undesirable substances, however, valuable compounds such as vitamin E , plant sterols and color and aroma components are also removed.
Refined oils are generally largely odorless and tasteless , have a longer shelf life and are also cheaper than cold-pressed oils. Compared to cold pressing, refining achieves a significantly higher oil yield. In addition, the quality requirements for the raw material are lower because the many treatment steps remove off-flavors and pollutants, for example.
Note: If a cooking oil isn't specifically labeled as cold-pressed or virgin, you can assume it's refined.
It is better to use pure oil for cooking which can provide important nutrients and ensures that fat-soluble vitamins can be better absorbed. Cold-pressed oils are considered as an enrichment for every kitchen. It means that seeds, kernels or fruits are pressed purely mechanically. They are also referred to as native - left in their natural state. The good thing about cold pressing is that the vitamins and other ingredients are preserved. The cold-pressed oils are very aromatic and particularly recommended for cold dishes or for dressing salads.Because natural aromas and fragrances are retained, each Aceso cold-pressed oil such as coconut oil, black seed oil, almond oil, ratanjot oil, etc has its own distinctive taste.