Frequently Asked Questions
Whether use of edible oils is essential?
Yes. The use of edible oils is essential to absorb fat soluble vitamins, to produce hormones and maintain healthy skin. But one has to be particular about its quantity and quality.
What quantity of oil should a person consume daily?
According to latest guidelines issued in July, 2005, by the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad (a premier Nutrition, Research Institute of ICMR, Government of India) every person should consume at least 20 to 30 grams of edible oil/fat per day. It can go upto 50 grams per day depending upon physical activity and physiological status.
Which edible oil should be used?
Edible oils containing high levels of Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) such as Safflower Oil (Kardi Oil), are no longer advised to be used as a sole cooking medium. Sole and prolonged use of these oils has been found to adversely affect the levels of “good cholesterols” besides causing many other health complications such as rheumatoid arthritis. National and International dietary advisory bodes now suggest use of two or more than two oil blend which should ensure almost balanced intake of all the three types of fats with moderate levels of Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA), Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) & higher level of Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA).
Is there any edible oil, which matches the latest recommendations even as a sole cooking medium?
No. There is not even single edible oil which perfectly matches the latest recommendations as a sole cooking medium. However a few are closer to the new recommendations. These are Groundnut Oil, Sesame Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, and Rice Bran Oil. But these days Rice Bran Oil is considered as a better alternative to all these oils.
Why Rice Bran Oil is considered better than other edible oils?
Both Olive Oil and Canola Oil are not good for frying due to very low smoke point of Olive Oil and very high content of instable alpha linolenic acid in Canola Oil. Hence, these oils are not suitable in Indian context as we mainly use edible oils for frying and not for salad dressings. Rice Bran Oil besides having much better frying stability than Groundnut Oil & Sesame Oil, contains some unique micro-nutrients (Oryzanol & Tecotrienols) because of which it is known to reduce cholesterols better than any other edible oil.
Do we need to use any other edible oil along with Rice Bran Oil to perfectly match the new recommendations and if so, in how much quantity?
Every person should consume about 500 grams of Rice Bran Oil per month along with 5 grams (one tea spoon) of desi ghee (Butter Oil) daily. However in case of persons having high cholesterol levels, consumption of desi ghee should be avoided till the time cholesterol comes in the normal range. It is also advisable to use about 5 grams (one tea spoon) of grinded flaxseeds (Alsi ke beej) daily to meet requirements of Omega3 intake. It can be used with a cup of milk / tea. Alternatively one can use about 75 grams of Mustard Oil (preferably Canola Oil) per month by blending in Rice Bran Oil.
Whether Rice Bran Oil can be used by diabetic patients?
Yes. Rice Bran Oil is useful for diabetic patients as it is known to improve insulin sensitivity. Moreover, diabetic persons are more prone to coronary heart disease and maintaining the right balance of the cholesterols is more important for them. Rice Bran Oil, with its better cholesterol lowering properties than other edible oils, is definitely the best choice for them.
Some persons are known to have excess gas formation / bloating by consuming Rice. Whether such persons can use Rice Bran Oil?
Carbohydrates present in rice may cause problem of excess gas formation / bloating in some persons. But Rice Bran Oil does not contain any carbohydrates. Rather “Oryzanol” which is a unique micro-nutrient present in this oil is known to be helpful in guarding against such problem.
Some edible oils tend to become viscous (Thick) during acute winter. Is it something to do with its quality?
Edible Oils which do not contain desired levels of saturated fat (solid fat) as per the latest recommendations do not become viscous/thick during acute winters, but edible oils containing desired levels of saturated fat such as Rice Bran Oil are bound to become viscous during acute winters, which is a proof of its having ideally balanced fat composition.
Is there any link between colour & quality of edible oil?
Most of the edible oils found in the market are refined through the conventional process of chemical refining. Alkali (caustic) and Acids used in this process, no doubt makes the color of the oil much lighter, but it also destroys some health beneficial nutrients. So always prefer Rice Bran Oil refined through the latest process of Physical Refining without using Acid or Alkali (Caustic), having golden yellow colour. It is rich in natural anti-oxidants & unique micro-nutrients which are known to maintain healthy cholesterol levels besides promoting overall health.