Getting Smart About Cooking Oil – Hyderabadis Know What are Good and Bad Oils

People in Hyderabad today are health conscious than ever. Many of us are avoiding oily foods in our daily diet. It’s good! Oil needs to be reduced. But there is more than that. Our body cannot prepare fatty acids like mono and poly unsaturated fats which are essential to maintain good cholesterol levels in the body. As these fats are available in good oils, including required amount of oil in food is highly essential. Moreover, consuming foods cooked in oil gives us a feeling of satiation (fullness) without which we tend to consume more food that leads to weight gain and other health complications.

There are two types of oils – good and bad oil. While good fats help the body to build good cholesterol, bad fats do the reverse. Choosing good oil is not that complex; you just need to know few things about oils. The goodness of the oil depends on different factors like the amount of good and bad fats. In addition, rancidity and smoke point of the oil affect the practical choices of using one type of oil over the other.

  Good Fats
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) MUFA lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol)
Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) PUFA also lowers LDL and increases HDL Omega 3 fatty acid belongs to this group

  Bad Fats
Saturated fats acids (SFA) Saturated fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the body
Trans-fats acids (TFS) Trans-fats also raise LDL in the body

Smoke point: Smoke point indicates the cooking temperature where oil gives smoke. Smoke indicates breakdown of components and loss of quality in the oil. Smoke point value for given oil helps you choose the one that is best for deep-frying and light cooking. Higher the smoke point of the oil, the better it is for deep-frying or for cooking at higher temperature.

Rancidity: Rancidity means development of undesirable smell and formation of toxic substances in cooking oils. This usually happens when the oil is exposed to heat and light. That is, if the oil is not stored properly or when it is used repeatedly it starts degrading. Rancidity varies for different oils. The lower the rancidity, the higher the usable life. You can control the rancidity by storing it in air tight containers and in cold and dark places.

Below are the commonly used oils and their characteristics to help you choose good cooking oil.

  Good Oils


% of fatty acids Smoke point (oC) Rancidity

(Low/ Medium/ High)

Description Best for Cost

(/ Liter)

Rice bran oil (తవుడు నునె) 42 34 24 254℃ Low It has cholesterol lowering, antioxidants properties and inhibits acid secretion in stomach Cooking, frying, deep-frying 85
Groundnut oil (వేరుశనగ నునె) 45 33 22 231℃ Medium

(Prone to rancidity, keep it air tight tins to reduce the effect)

Better to buy refined oil, unrefined oil is prone to adulteration For frying and cooking 124
Sunflower oil (పొద్దుతిరుగుడు నునె) 19 69 12 246℃ Low It has essential fatty acids omage-3 and linolinic acid which helps in replacing bad cholesterol Frying and cooking 98 – 120
Safflower oil (కుసుమ్భ నునె) 13 78 9 265℃ Medium It has an essential fatty acid omega 3, this provide good cholesterol to body Cooking 176
Mustard oil (ఆవ నునె) 68 29 3 254℃ Low Helps in removing bad cholesterol Cooking, frying, deep frying 139 – 145
Sesame oil (నువ్వుల నునె) 19 55 13 177℃ Medium Has anti-oxidant properties – good for health care Cooking 310

  Good Oils (continued)


% of fatty acids Smoke point (oC)

(Low/ Medium/

Description Best for Cost

(/ Liter)

Olive oil Extra virgin(జీత నునె) 73 11 16 190℃ Low Extra virgin oil is obtained in the first cold press step and refined to make extra pure;

It has extremely low acidity (0.8%)

Uncooked dishes 825
Olive oil – Virgin 73 11 16 215℃ Low Virgin oil is made by single step cold press; It is usually thick and this make oil to remain stable at high cooking temperature;

It has 1.5% acidity

Cooking, salad dressing, Frying 495
Olive oil – Pomace 73 11 16 235℃ Low This oil is made from the fruit extracts after collecting extra virgin and virgin oils from them.

Acidity level is 0.3 to 1.5%

Cooking, Deep-frying 410

  Bad Oils


% of fatty acids Smoke point



(Low/ Medium/ High)

Description Used for Cost

(/ Liter)

Butter and Ghee (వెన్న;నెయ్యి) 30 3 67 190-250℃ High Contains high proportions saturated fats that increase LDL (bad cholesterol) Cooking and flavoring 367 – 400
Coconut oil (కోబ్బర నునె) 6 0 92 177℃ High Avoid use of coconut since it has more SFA Sweets and cookies 212
Palm oil (పామ్ఆయిల్) 40 10 50 230℃ High Avoid use of Palm oil, it has tendency to increase bad cholesterol Cooking 82
Vanaspathi (డాల్డా) – Worst oil 40 0 60 210-226℃ High It has 50-60% Trans-fatty acids. Leads to heart problems, diabetes, etc. Better to avoid it completely. Sweets, cakes, biscuits, samosa, puffs, etc. 93

Source: National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)

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