There are so many options out there when it comes to cooking oils.
Some of these are olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and of course, the ever popular and multi-purpose coconut oil.
All of these oils have their own unique properties that lend to different smoke points, varied content of fat, and nutritional benefit.
So which oil should you choose?
Allow us to do guess work for you and recommend the mildest, most versatile, and most nutritionally beneficial oil for all of your cooking needs.
Here are good reasons why rice bran oil is the best cooking oil.
1. Rice Bran Oil Has a High Smoke Point
Olive oil seems to be the go-to oil for cooking in many countries in North America and Europe.
The truth is:
This oil is best used for cold application such as salad dressing, dips, finishing dips, and so on.
The main point to bring up here is the smoke point, which is the temperature limit to which oil can be heated.
You may not have any idea but cooking your dishes the wrong way can put you at risk of cancer and other serious ailments.
Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 320F, whereas rice bran oil has a smoke point of 490F, and that is definitely a big difference!
A study measuring emissions of volatile organic compounds such as aldehydes, which are usually formed during the heating of cooking oils, concluded that oils with a low smoke point (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil) produce more toxic volatile chemicals than oils with high smoke points (canola oil, rice bran oil) .
Another study published in the Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences determined rice bran oil to be the most stable oil for deep frying when combined in a ratio of 80:20 with other conventional oils .
It was shown that rice bran oil can withstand three repeated deep frying tests while keeping the integrity of its physiochemical properties intact .
Consider what temperature and oil you are using to cook your food and what effect it has on the food itself and even the air around you.
Rice bran oil is the best choice for high heat cooking, as its fatty acids and nutrients will not get destroyed when heated.
Rice bran oil has a high smoke point of 490F which means it is ideal for cooking at high heat while keeping the integrity of its nutrients intact.
2. Rice Bran Oil Lowers Cholesterol
Cholesterol refers to the waxy substance that can be found in the lipids in the bloodstream.
This is actually needed by the body to build cells.
However, high levels of cholesterol can result in accumulation of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which in turn, increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Needless to say, it’s a must to maintain proper levels of cholesterol.
One way to do that is to make use of cooking oil that can help you achieve this.
One of rice bran oil’s best qualities is its ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Research has shown that rice bran oil can lower cholesterol even more effectively than fiber.
In a 10-week crossover feeding study, participants were asked to consume rice bran oil before switching to a different oil with similar fatty acid composition .
Findings reveal that cholesterol levels were significantly lower in those consuming the rice bran oil .
The reason for rice bran oil’s cholesterol lowering ability has yet to be confirmed, but most experts are suggesting that this may be due to the presence of unsaponifiable compounds found in this oil .
It is also thought that these compounds decrease cholesterol absorption while increasing cholesterol elimination, contributing to a healthy metabolism .
Rice bran oil helps lower cholesterol, which according to some experts is because of its unsaponifiable compounds.
3. Rice Bran Oil has a Full Spectrum of Nutrition
Rice bran oil has been popularized in several Asian countries including Japan, China and India.
It is considered a highly nutritious and beneficial oil and has even replaced olive oil in some of these countries.
Here are the most prevalent nutrients present in ice bran oil, per one tablespoon of oil:
- Vitamin E (tocopherols): 3.06 mg
- Vitamin K: 4.32 ug
Rice bran oil is very high in Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient and antioxidant, excellent in fighting off free radicals making it especially good for the skin and hair.
Vitamin K is another important nutrient usually found in leafy green vegetables.
It supports blood coagulation, helps build strong bones, and plays a vital role in the prevention of heart disease.
Let’s also take a look at the fatty acid profile of rice bran oil:
- Saturated Fatty Acids: 2.26 g
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: 4.78 g
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: 3.99 g
- Omega 3 Polyunsaturated: 0.14 g
- Omega 6 Polyunsaturated: 3.85 g
- Oleic Acid: 4680 mg
- Linoleic Acid: 3840 mg
- Alpha Linoleic Acid: 144 mg
As you can see, rice bran oil is fairly low in saturated fats, but higher in healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Rice bran oil is high in vitamin E, vitamin K, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. It is low in saturated fat.
4. Rice Bran Oil Lowers Blood Pressure
As the name implies, blood pressure refers to the force or pressure that transports blood all over the circulatory system.
Without this force, blood will not be transported to the tissues and organs, which will result in organ failure.
Blood pressure also supplies the antibodies necessary for immunity as well as hormones responsible for various bodily processes.
Rice bran oil is great at supporting the cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels.
The American Heart Association released a study showing a blend of rice bran oil and sesame oil to be almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as the medication commonly prescribed for hypertension .
Participants supplementing with the oil blend along with medication experienced more than twice the drop in blood pressure than those using the medication or oil blend alone .
Take note however that you should not discontinue blood pressure medication without consulting your doctor.
Rice bran oil has been proven to lower blood pressure almost as well as common blood pressure medication.
5. Rice Bran Oil is High in Antioxidants
Here’s another thing to love about rice bran oil:
It is loaded with highly beneficial antioxidants.
These antioxidants come in the form of vitamin E, or tocopherols and tocotrienols.
With its high antioxidant content and its balanced fatty acid profile, rice bran oil is deeply moisturizing to both the skin and hair.
In fact, many skin products, moisturizers, and conditioners contain this oil for this very reason.
Rice bran oil’s high amount of antioxidants also plays a crucial role in cancer prevention.
Since rice bran oil is high in antioxidants, it is great for treating skin and hair problems, as well as for preventing serious ailments caused by free radical damage.
6. Rice Bran Oil Reduces Symptoms of Menopause
Menopausal symptoms can range from hot flashes, irregular periods to mood changes, weight gain, and thinning hair.
Rice bran oil has been proven to reduce menopausal symptoms and make life a little more comfortable for those experiencing this particular stage of life .
In a Japanese study, 100g of oryzanol was given to women three times daily for 38 days .
According to the results, menopausal symptoms were reduced in half in more than 67 percent of the women .
Oryzanol, an active compound in rice bran oil, is a potent antioxidant used to treat menopausal symptoms.
7. Rice Bran Oil Prevents Cancer
As mentioned previously, rice bran has powerful anti-cancer activities.
Cancer, which is a condition that causes abnormal growth and spread of cells, is potentially fatal.
The good news is, it can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle centering on regular exercise and proper diet.
In a study featured in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin Journal, it was reported that rice bran oil contains active compounds such as 24-methylcholesterol ferulate, sitosterol ferulate, 24-methylenecycloartanol ferulate, and cycloartenol ferulate that helps combat cancer .
It works by inhibiting TPA-induced inflammation, which is a known precursor to the formation of cancerous tumors .
Rice bran oil has active components that work in reducing inflammation caused by TPA, which is known to promote the formation of cancerous tumors.
8. Rice Bran Oil Aids in Weight Loss
Struggling to lose weight?
Why don’t you try including rice bran oil in your daily diet?
Despite being high in calories, rice bran oil’s viscosity allows only 20 percent of the oil to be absorbed by the food.
With lesser oil absorbed, flavor is still retained but the caloric intake is much lower.
This will help you achieve the ideal weight and figure that you have always wanted.
Remember that maintaining proper weight is not only for cosmetic purposes but more importantly, for health reasons.
Key Takeaway: Even though it contains many calories, rice bran oil still aids in weight loss as it is not easily absorbed by food.
9. Rice Bran Oil Keeps Skin Young and Fresh
Stress can show on your face with fine lines and wrinkles making you look older than you really are.
Take advantage of rice bran oil’s anti-aging properties to make yourself look young and fresh once more.
As discussed earlier, rice bran oil contains many antioxidants that neutralize the free radical damage that causes aging signs.
Since it’s rich in essential nutrients that are good for the skin health, rice bran oil also helps promote regeneration of skin cells and tissues.
Rice bran oil is packed with antioxidants that minimize the cellular damage caused by free radicals. This damage is evident in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other aging signs.
Rice bran oil is considered to be safe if consumed in moderate amounts but always take precaution when introducing any new supplement to your health regimen, and if in doubt consult a doctor.
Do not use this oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the safety of rice bran oil has not yet been determined for those in this life stage.
Nevertheless, there are many benefits that are linked to this oil that are definitely worth exploring.