Earlier generations of Indians had always taken their cooking oils for granted. Depending on which part of India they lived in, they used traditional oils like Mustard Oil, Ghee, Til Oil and Coconut Oil in their virgin, cold-pressed forms – and they remained perfectly healthy.
In the last three decades or so, with the advent of hydrogenated fats and various kinds of refined oils the alarm bells have been ringing on the health front. People turned to their doctors for the answer to the question: What is a healthy cooking oil? Doctors in turn sought answers from scientists and researchers.
Scientists tell us that the attributes of a good cooking oil are as follows:
It should be low in Saturated Fatty Acids
It should be rich in Unsaturated Fatty Acids – in particular, MUFA and PUFA
It should have an ideal Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio
It should have a high smoking point
It should be stable at high temperatures
It should be rich in nutrients
It should have a favourable effect on blood lipids
Mustard Oil is everything that scientists tell us a good cooking oil should be. It has the lowest levels of Saturated Fatty Acids among all cooking oils; it is rich in MUFA and PUFA; it is one of the largest vegetable sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids; it has an ideal Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, nearest to the WHO-recommended standards; it is packed with nutrients like Vitamin E and natural antioxidants; it retains all its nutrients even when it reaches its smoking point; and it is proven to raise good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL).
It certainly looks like Mother Nature was using a Healthy Nutrition Checklist when she created Mustard and Mustard Oil!