If we look at the fat composition of various edible oils commonly used in India & abroad, we shall find that there are very few edible oils which have balanced fat composition closer to the latest recommendations (see chart below).
Latest Recommendations by: National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad –
a premier Nutrition Research Institute of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India
» Butter Fat (Desi Ghee), Hydrogenated Fat (Vanaspati Ghee) and Palm Oil have high levels of saturated fats than the recommended levels. Hydrogenated Fats also contain undesirable Trans-fatty acids (also known as trans-fats). Hydrogenated fats are considered worse than even saturated fats as recent scientific studies have shown that hydrogenated fats not only raise bad cholesterols but also reduce good cholesterols. U.S.A. has introduced new rules from January, 2006, for discouraging the use of hydrogenated fats. The recent guidelines for ideal Fat Intake issued in Jully, 2006 by the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad (India), also suggest avoiding hydrogenated fats as cooking fat source.
» Safflower Oil (Kardi Oil), Sunflower Oil, Soyabean Oil, Corn Oil and Cottonseed Oil contain very high levels of the Poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA) than the recommended levels.
» Mustard Oil no doubt has a near ideal fat composition but unfortunately most of the varieties of Mustard Oil/Rapeseed Oil found in India have very high levels of erucic acid ranging from 35 to 48%. Recent studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi (India) have found that high levels of erucic acid present in the Mustard Oil could hamper the conduction of electrical impulses in the heart. The study has attributed high incidence of pace-maker implant in the eastern India to the consumption of Mustard Oil as a sole-cooking medium. In view of these findings ICMR now recommend not to use mustard oil as a sole cooking oil rather to use it in combination with some other oil so that the total intake of erucic acid is reduced. Regulations in U.K. also prohibit sale and use of fat with more than 5% erucic acid. Canola Oil is a low erucic acid (>2%) variety of Rapeseed Oil which is manily found in Canada. Although it has an ideal fat composition closer to the latest recommendations but it is adviseable to use this oil for salad dressing or in pickles but not as a frying medium as it has very high levels (10%) Linolenic Acid (Omega-3). Regulations in France, Belgium and Chile limit the linolenic acid content of oils to be used for frying to 2%.
» Olive Oil is another edible oil which has near ideal fat composition. But Olive Oil is also not suitable for frying application as it has very low smoke point (180ºC). It is normally used in European Countries for salad dressing and is a very expensive also. So both Canola Oil and Olive Oil although have near ideal fat composition but these oils cannot be recommended under Indian conditions where the oils are mainly used for frying.
» Another edible oil which has near ideal fat composition is Groundnut Oil (Peanut Oil). But Groundnut Oil like Canola Oil and Olive Oil lacks some antioxidants and nutracenticals (Oryzanol & Tocotrienols) which are unique to Rice Bran Oil because of which Rice Bran Oil have shown to provide better protection against coronary heart disease than any other edible oil by helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Now with this we can establish this that the Rice Bran oil is the only edible oil which reaches the nearest to the given recommendations.