Edible oils or fats are a quintessential part of the kitchen in every corner of the world. They can either be refined or unrefined depending on the extraction, filtration, and refinement process. Refined oils often get a bad name, but they have been rated entirely safe for human consumption by the Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Refining is required to remove impurities from the oil extracted from seeds or vegetables. These impurities can adversely affect the safety, taste, aroma, and colour of the oil. Research states that a diet that includes a combination of unrefined and refined oils is most desirable. Read more to learn about the best refined oils from brands like Saffola, Fortune, and Borges and how to choose them. This article has been reviewed by nutritionist Ruchi Wadhwa, read more as she elaborates on points like types of oils, smoke point, fats in oil, and more.
Ruchi Wadhwa is a certified Nutritionist with a keen interest in Ayurvedic science. She has a wholesome, holistic, and sustainable approach to nutrition.
mybest editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in India in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
Choosing the right refined oil for you and your family depends on several factors. Doctors, nutritionists, and scientists often use medical and scientific terms, making it hard for us to understand what to look for when buying oils. In this buying guide, we have explained what good and bad fats are, what certifications to look for, and which oils better suit particular cooking methods. Read more to learn how to buy suitable refined oils.
Edible oils have two types of fatty acids: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids contain animal fats and plant oils. It has high stability and is suitable for cooking food at a high temperature, such as fried snacks. Palm oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee are some examples of saturated fatty acids. They contain trans-fatty acids, which raise your bad cholesterol and have a stable fatty acid structure, solidifying the oils at room or cold temperatures.
Unsaturated fatty acids are further divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) present in olive oil, avocado oil, and nut oils help lower your bad LDL cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are rich in fats like omega-3 and omega-6, which the body cannot produce naturally. Oils like sunflower oil, rice bran oil, canola oil are good sources. These oils don't solidify and remain liquid even in colder temperatures.
Many studies have revealed that excessive intake of saturated fats and trans fatty acids raises blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk factors like inflammation. Other studies have also reported that replacing saturated fat in your diet with polyunsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. So go for refined oils like sunflower, rice bran, soybean if you are concerned about cholesterol levels.
The unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double bond, which makes them liquid at room temperature. These liquid fats are good for your heart, as they are known to improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. They can be derived from olives, walnuts, flaxseeds, fish, etc., and should be a part of a routine diet.
If you look at the product label of the oil can or bottle in your kitchen, you are sure to see the phrase 'free from argemone oil'. What is argemone oil? It is a common adulterant or additive in oils used to increase the quantity of the final product.
Consumption of oils mixed with argemone oil can lead to epidemic dropsy which is extreme swelling due to fluid retention, particularly of the legs. Other symptoms include skin rash, abnormal bowel movements, breathing difficulties, and vision issues. Always check that the contents of the refined oil do not have argemone oil before making your purchase.
Mustard seeds (or oil) are often adulterated with argemone seeds (or oil) due to their similar appearance. This mixing is toxic, even in small amounts, causes oxidative stress and cell deaths. So, make sure you buy argemone-free oil from a well-known, reputed brand.
There are many refined oils to choose from on the market. It can be challenging to figure out which ones are best to use for shallow frying, baking or deep frying. While neutral oils are flexible and usable in most food preparations, oils with a high smoking point are better for deep frying. Let us help you understand what oils you can use depending on your menu and diet.
Soybean oil is a perfect choice for vegans. It is a multi-purpose oil and high in MUFA and PUFA. In addition, it contains omega-3 unsaturated fats, which help lower the risk for heart disease. Groundnut or peanut oil adds a nutty flavour to the dish that may not be to everyone's taste.
On the other hand, soybean oil has a relatively neutral flavour that doesn't compete with seasoning. So if you tend to deep fry a lot, then go for oils made from groundnuts or soybeans. If you don't care for the taste of groundnut oil, then soybean oil is a better choice for deep frying.
Deep-frying is a method that prepares food by submerging it with fat or oil. This type of cooking requires very high temperatures, which may rise to 375 degrees in some cases. Groundnut and soybean oils meet the said criteria thereby, making them an ideal choice.
Canola oil, extracted from a type of rapeseed low in erucic acid, is a neutral flavoured refined oil with a medium smoking point ideal for roasting, frying, baking, and sautéing. Canola oil has helpful MUFA, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is rich in vitamins and has numerous health benefits, such as regulating blood pressure, protecting your heart, and managing cholesterol.
With a smoking point of 230°C, Sunflower oil an excellent choice for high-heat cooking like frying and sautéing. It is abundant in vitamin E and one of the most popular cooking oils in India. It has PUFA, which help in lowering cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Refined or light olive oil is more delicate in taste and colour than extra virgin olive oil. It has a higher smoke point of 218-241°C, making it ideal for high-heat cooking, sautéing, and roasting. It is rich in antioxidants that are known to reduce joint pains and support good heart health. Go for oils with a moderate to high smoking point to avoid a burnt taste in your sautéed dishes.
Unlike Deep-frying, Other high-heat cooking methods like roasting, shallow-frying, and sautéing require a temperature to a maximum of 241- 250 degrees. So, oils with a medium smoke point like refined canola, sunflower, and olive are apt for these processes.
We don't always have unsalted butter in the fridge, and sometimes going to the supermarket isn't always an option. If you bake often and are concerned about your butter intake, try using oil instead.
Neutral flavoured oils like canola, soybean, refined olive oil and blended vegetable oils make for a simple, vegan-friendly substitute for butter or shortening, depending on the recipe. As we've already seen, canola and soybean oils are rich in MUFA and omega fatty acids. They have neutral flavours that don't interfere with the primary flavours of the dish.
Unlike extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), refined olive oil has no taste. However, it contains the same calories and health benefits as EVOO, making it a healthy alternative. So, try baking with one of the healthy oils for guilt-free snacking.
The process of refining or purification results in the removal of unwanted taste, odor, and flavor. Thus, making it appropriate for baked delicacies like a brownie, cake, etc. Moreover, all oils are derived from plants, which makes them a vegan-friendly alternative to animal fats.
As per FSSAI regulations, blended oils in India can contain a mix of two vegetable oils with at least 20% of one oil variety. Blended oils are more stable and nutritious when compared with single types. Some standard blends are rice bran oil and olive oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil, etc.
They have a higher smoking point than individual oils and delay the breakdown of the fats, making blended oils a healthier choice for all kinds of frying. This process also improves the oils' colour and taste and adds to the longer shelf life by slowing rancidity.
Combining oils makes it possible to get a better ratio of fatty acids. This magnifies the health benefits such as reducing heart disease risk by lowering bad cholesterol. It also helps in increasing good HDL cholesterol. Whether you need to watch your weight, control your cholesterol levels, and maintain heart health, many blends are available for different diets.
Blended oil is made by mixing two edible oils. The blended product is better in all aspects, from nutrition to shelf-life to smoking point. In fact, the combination of the right oils (like soybean and sunflower) improves the ratio of essential fatty acids to the ideal one, i.e., Omega-6: Omega-3 = 4:1. This has numerous health benefits like improved blood cholesterol, increased antioxidant effect, etc.
There are many certifications for food products in Indian. However, the most essential and mandatory certification is the FSSAI license given only to businesses following and maintaining the required hygienic and safety guidelines.
The FSSAI, or the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, is an organisation that monitors and governs the food business and Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Read more about FSSAI on the official website. On the other hand, an AGMARK certification is given to a particular product and not the business itself.
It is a mark that reflects the purity and the extremely high quality of a product. While you may not always see the AGMARK symbol on the product label, only buy products that bear the FSSAI mark to ensure good health and hygiene. Read more about AGMARK here.
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Pro Healthy Lifestyle Cooking Oil
Up to 33% Less Oil Absorption in Fried Food With LOSORB Technology
Reduce Bad Cholesterol Levels and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Extra Light Olive Oil
All-in-One Cooking Oil With All the Goodness of Olives
Affordable and High-Quality Blend Enriched With Oryzanol
Refined Groundnut Oil
Low in Saturated Fats and Perfect for Deep Frying
Refined Olive Oil
Sourced From Spain and Refined in India
Refined Sunflower Oil
High Amount of Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) and Essential Fatty Acids
Pro Weight Watchers Edible Oil
Reduce Inflammation, Body Fat, and the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Lowers Blood Pressure & Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels
Rice Bran Health Oil
Improve Insulin Resistance With Rice Bran Oil
Saffola is a well-known and trusted name among Indian households. This Saffola Gold rice bran oil and sunflower oil blend helps keep your cholesterol levels in control and ensures that your family stays heart-healthy. It has a good balance of MUFA and PUFA, and its dual seed technology brings you the goodness of two oils in one.
The Pro healthy lifestyle blend comes with LOSORB technology which claims up to 35% lesser oil absorption in fried food than other commonly consumed cooking oils. Enriched with oryzanol, it, according to studies, helps reduce inflammation and manage cholesterol. The oil is boosted with natural antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin D, which boost immunity help prevent vision and bone weakness-related issues.
It has a high smoking point of 230°C, ideal for all types of cooking. Not only is it FSSAI approved, but it also has an AGMARK symbol which signifies its extremely high quality. It comes in a handy 1L pouch as well as 5-litre and 15-litre cans to suit larger families. Choose Saffola Gold to keep your cholesterol in check and maintain the health of your entire family.
With a history going back more than 100 years, Borges is a trusted name in the seed oil industry. Its products are manufactured in Spain and imported to India and, as such, meets global and export standards related to food safety and quality. Borges canola oil is extracted from a variety of rapeseed low in erucic acid and reduces skin problems.
Canola Oil is a good source of MUFA, which helps reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. This oil from Borges is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. It contains 7 grams of saturated fats per 100 grams, only a third of other refined oils. It has a neutral flavour and is suitable for all kinds of Indian and international recipes. Go with canola oil for healthy cooking.
The health benefits of virgin olive oil are well-recognised; however, we can't use it in food preparations that require high heat. This situation is where the Disano extra light olive oil is helpful. It is extracted from high-quality olives and has a light taste and aroma ideal for all Indian cooking. Disano's olive oil is manufactured exclusively in Spain before being exported to India.
This oil has a high smoking point of 240°C and is an excellent option for deep frying, roasting, sautéing, and grilling. As it does not have the pungent aroma of virgin olive oil, we can also use it for baking cakes. It is low in saturated fats and contains no trans fats making it cholesterol-free. With a maximum shelf life of 24 months, Disano extra light olive oil is a worthy investment for your health.
Sundrop Heart, launched in 2003, is a scientific blend of physically refined rice bran oil and refined sunflower oil. Tested on Indian subjects, it claims to be the only blended edible vegetable oil scientifically proven to help reduce cholesterol in 30 days. It is rich in a bio-active component, oryzanol, that also helps keep cholesterol levels in check.
This blended oil has less saturated fat than 100% refined rice bran oil and is rich in vitamins A and D2. Include this affordable, AGMARK certified, oryzanol rich oil blend as part of a healthy diet to make tasty food and supplement your healthy lifestyle.
A refined version might seem unhealthy for those who grew up eating foods made in or from pure groundnut oil. However, studies have shown that refining only slightly affects the physical and chemical characteristics of groundnut oil. Therefore, it retains all the nutrients and benefits.
It is an excellent source of vitamin E, which protects the skin from acne or scars. Used in many Asian recipes, groundnut or peanut oil has a high smoking point making it the perfect choice for deep frying your favourite foods.
Saffola Aura refined olive oil is made from olives sourced from Spain. It is also the first-ever Olive oil blend with Flaxseed oil. These two oils combined provide the benefits of powerful antioxidants and omega-3 in one single oil. This blended oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and only contains 15 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams of oil.
Although refined olive oil is said to have a higher smoking point than virgin olive oil, this blend from Saffola Aura is not ideal for deep frying. It is better suited for everyday cooking like stir-frying, sautéing, roasting, grilling, and baking. Use this light oil for drizzling over salads as well as cooking.
Who doesn't remember the iconic Dhara "jalebi" ad from the early '90s? Launched under the Mother Dairy brand umbrella, Dhara has produced a broad assortment of oil varieties in India since 1988. It is also relatively more affordable than other brands. Dhara Nourish refined sunflower oil is rich in vitamin A and added vitamin D2.
It contains a good amount of PUFA and high amounts of linoleic acid (omega 6), and essential fatty acids that the body cannot naturally produce. However, over-consumption of omega-6 can increase blood pressure levels and lead to blood clots. Go for Dhara Nourish if you prefer oils low in saturated fats and with a high smoking point.
Saffola Active Pro Weight Watchers is another AGMARK certified high-quality edible oil with an unusual blend of refined rice bran oil and soybean oil. Like the Saffola Gold variant, this blend also comes with LOSORB technology. It claims up to 27% lesser oil absorption in fried food, about 5% higher absorption than the Gold blend.
According to studies, oryzanol in the oil helps reduce inflammation and manage cholesterol. The oil is packed with vitamins A and D, which help against night blindness and maintains strong bones. Saffola Active is high in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), which adds to the preservation of healthy blood cholesterol levels. Support your efforts to stay fit and reduce body fat by choosing Saffola Active!
Hudson canola oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins help keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Rich in omega-3 and omega-6, this canola oil is low in saturated fat, which helps control and maintain cholesterol levels.
It is also high in MUFA and helps control blood glucose, making it a healthy choice for people with type 2 diabetes. This oil can be used for all kinds of Indian cooking and is also suitable for western cooking and baking thanks to its neutral flavour.
Hudson canola oil promises low absorption and claims to be certified by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). However, the IMA legal certificate on the official website appears to be missing. It has excellent reviews online about its good taste and low oil absorption, and you can easily purchase it in quantities suitable for your family. So, if you're interested in trying a healthy and famous brand of canola oil, go for this product from Hudson.
Fortune is one of the most prevalent refined oil brands in India. This 100% physically refined rice bran oil from Fortune is rich in gamma-oryzanol. As mentioned earlier, oryzanol helps decrease harmful LDL cholesterol. It raises good HDL cholesterol levels, making it beneficial for your heart health.
It is boosted with added vitamins A, D and E, and contains natural antioxidants which promote immunity. While it has a good balance of MUFA and PUFA, it contains the highest amount of undesirable saturated fats per 100 grams compared to the other refined oils on our list. It is ideal for Indian cuisine as it has a high smoke point.
Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by transporting sugar from your blood into your cells. Though, if you become insulin resistant, more sugar stays in your blood. If maintaining your blood sugar levels is difficult, try rice bran oil. It is known to improve insulin resistance and is suitable for managing type-2 diabetes.
Are you interested in buying unrefined or cold-pressed oils? Check out our other helpful posts on different types of oils. We have made very detailed buying guides for these topics as well, we're sure you'll learn a lot of things that you might not have heard otherwise.
Not all fats are bad for you! Your diet should include adequate amounts of fat, particularly to meet your body's energy needs. Remember that a combination of unrefined and refined oils is advisable for healthy functioning. We hope our detailed buying guide helped you understand all the essential factors to consider before purchasing refined oils online.
No. 1: Saffola Gold｜Pro Healthy Lifestyle Cooking Oil
No. 2: Borges｜Canola Oil
No. 3: DiSano｜Extra Light Olive Oil
No. 4: Sundrop Heart｜Blended Oil
No. 5: RRO Primio｜Refined Groundnut Oil
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