a. The importance of cooking oil
Oil plays a key role in cooking, as it not only improves the taste of food but also works as a catalyst to a healthy lifestyle. From keeping your heart healthy to boosting the immunity, it has many roles to play and that’s the reason it is suggested to choose the cooking oil wisely. While mustard oil and desi ghee top the list, the recent addition to the list of healthy oil is ‘Rice Bran Oil’. But the question is- Is it really healthy as it is being claimed? Let us find the answer.
b. What is rice bran oil?
It refers to the oil extracted from the extreme outer layer of rice called chaff. In recent times, it is being claimed as one of the healthiest cooking oils, because of its high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F) and extreme mild flavour. These qualities make it apt for stir-frying and even deep-frying. Considered as a popular cooking oil in Asian countries, it has also been recommended by The American Heart Association and The World Health Organization (WHO), as a effective choice to keep cholesterol under control. Read below to know more about the health benefits of this nutritious oil.
c. Contains good fat
Rice bran oil has balanced fatty acid composition which includes saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. This oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and is also free from trans-fats.
d. Rich in Vitamin E
Experts have found that rice bran oil is rich in Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and has antimutagenic properties that reduce the risk of cancer. It also works as an immunity-boosting agent.
e. How is the oil extracted?
Rice bran has nearly 15 percent oil. The making of rice bran oil involves removal of husk of the rice grain that results in a brown rice grain. The brown bran layer and rice germ are then removed leaving behind a white rice grain. According to experts, the oil is first extracted from the bran and germ. Then the oil is refined and separated into a clear liquid. This clear liquid is extra cold filtered for maximum purity. And the left hard fraction is filtered and is used to make final rice bran oil.
f. Is it good for heart?
According to various researches, it is considered as heart-friendly oil and the credits go to its capacity to lower cholesterol because of the right amount of oryzanol found in it, which is an antioxidant.
g. The arsenic scare
As per some studies rice bran oil contains 10 times more arsenic than water. In the opinion of experts, when rice is grown in flooded fields, it absorbs about ten times as much arsenic as normal. And it has been mentioned by the researchers, that most of the arsenic concentrate is found in the bran.
h. Other side effects of rice bran
It has been proven that excessive intake of this oil can cause unpredictable bowel movements, intestinal gas, and stomach discomfort too. Food experts warn that it should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding days as it can affect the health of foetus and newly-born as well. It also narrows and even blocks the digestive tract because of the rich fibre content.
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