In a study published in the Indian Heart Journal, the official journal of the Cardiological Society of India, eminent cardiologist Dr S. C. Manchanda and Dr Santosh Jain Passi, a Public Health Nutrition consultant, analysed the properties of various types of edible oils from a health perspective and found that for Indian cooking and dietary patterns, Mustard Oil was an ideal cooking medium.
In particular, two parameters offer some interesting insights. An ideal cooking medium, especially one that is good for the heart, should be low on “bad fats” like Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA) and should be rich in “good fats” like Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA).
The data from the study indicates that cold-pressed Mustard Oil has the lowest level of SFA in comparison with other edible oils commonly used in India. It also has significantly high levels of MUFA in the same comparison set.
Mustard Oil contains no Short Chain SFA, no Medium Chain SFA and only 8 grams per 100 grams of Long Chain SFA. Compare this with Ghee which has high levels of SFA: 10 grams (per 100 grams) of Short Chain SFA; 15 grams of Medium Chain SFA; and 40 grams of Long Chain SFA. Refined Soybean Oil contains 15 grams (per 100 grams) of Long Chain SFA. Rice Brand Oil contains 22 grams of Long Chain SFA. Palm Oil is the worst – it contains 44 grams of Long Chain SFA.
When it comes to a good fat like MUFA, Mustard Oil contains 70 grams (per 100 grams) of MUFA. In comparison, Ghee contains just 32 grams; refined soybean oil contains 27 grams (very low levels); rice bran oil contains 41 grams; and palm oil contains 44 grams. Mustard Oil wins – hands down.
The findings of the study speak for themselves. For Indian cooking and Indian diets, cold-pressed Mustard Oil is decisively the best choice.