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Oils, especially those rich in saturated fats have a lot of bad rap when it comes to cardiovascular health. Healthier alternatives like olive oil, safflower oil and peanut oil are recommended for intake instead, but often times during the process of extraction of oil from seeds, fruits, vegetables and nuts, high temperatures are used which cause them to lose a lot of their nutritional value. Cold pressed oils, however, have their nutritional content intact, and are thus considered a more healthy cooking oil compared to other commercially produced oils.
What Are Cold Pressed Oils
The process of cold-pressing comprises of crushing and grinding the seeds, fruits, nuts or veggies to extract oil from them, using heavy granite millstones or steel presses. Even though pressing can generate heat due to friction, it generally doesn't rise beyond 120Â°F (49Â°C). Cold pressing results in oils that are rich in nutritional value, aroma and flavor. Some of the common oils that can be cold pressed include olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and sunflower oil.
Cold Pressed Oil Benefits
The health benefits of cold pressed oil are as follows:
1. They Aid Weight Loss:
Cold pressed oils such as coconut oil contain medium-chain triglycerides, unlike most other vegetable oils that contain long-chain triglycerides. While MCTs are better utilized by the body as an energy, LCTs are more susceptible to be stored by the body as fat. MCTs even contribute to weight loss by enhancing your metabolic function.
2. They Lower the Incidence of Cardiovascular Diseases:
A study published in Wiley Nutrition Reviews reported that cold-pressed low-erucic acid rapeseed oil resulted in 16% lower LDL-C oxidization compared to butter. This was attributed to the enhanced antioxidant activity caused by cold pressing the oil.
3. They Have Antimicrobial Properties:
Cold pressing coconut oil helps maintain its high lauric acid content. After entering the body, lauric acid gets converted to monolaurin, a compound that offers antimicrobial action against flu, herpes, AIDS and many other viral conditions. It also fights numerous other pathogens like fungi and bacteria.
4. They Are Antioxidant Powerhouses:
As per a study conducted at Londonâ€™s Imperial College School of Medicine, commercially produced oils contained beneficial antioxidants in only trace amounts, however cold-pressed oils had higher quantities of antioxidants like vitamin E and Lecithin.
5. They Are Free of Solvents and Preservatives:
Another reason why cold pressed oils win the cold pressed vs refined oils argument is due to the fact that they are free of solvents and preservatives. In commercially produced oils, solvents are added to enhance extraction but they are extremely hazardous and can lead to conditions like dermatitis and depression. Additionally, the preservatives contained in such oils also contain toxic compounds that are harmful for health. This is one of the key health benefits of cold pressed oil.
6. They Are Immunity Boosters
Cold pressed oils also enhance immunity function. They contain immunity boosters like vitamin E and oleic acid. Oleic acid strengthens the TH1 cells of the immune system, thereby preventing the incidence of allergies and autoimmune disorders caused due to TH2 dominance. Heat processing can destroy these essential immunity boosters.
7. They Improve Oral Health:
Cold pressed oils can also be used to enhance oral health. Oil pulling (swishing your mouth) with cold pressed oils, particularly sesame oil, for 10-15 minutes daily, can help clean the oral cavity and free your mouth of toxins, thus creating a clean and pathogen-free oral environment that prevents cavities and oral diseases.
While there are numerous such cold pressed oils benefits, there are also certain shortcomings. Cold pressed oils when used for cooking that requires high heat loses their value. They are thus best used to sprinkle over foods. Since they are free of preservatives, cold pressed oils also have a shorter shelf life compared to other commercially produced oils. When buying cold pressed oils, make sure you do proper research and read the labels thoroughly to ensure that youâ€™re buying them from a trusted brand or store.
To know more about the benefits of cold pressed oils and their ideal dosage to prevent cardiovascular diseases, you can reach out to the best cardiologists in Chennai on Sehat