Om Integrative Medicine


Oils you should be cooking in

My strong recommendation is to use sesame oil for all your cooking. Walnut oil is another good oil to cook with. Some oils that are healthy at room temperature can become hydrogenated and extremely unhealthy when heated above certain temperatures. Sesame oil is superior to other oils for a variety of reasons addressed in this article.

There are many variations in the color of sesame oil: cold-pressed sesame oil is almost colorless, while Indian sesame oil (gingelly or til oil) is golden and Chinese sesame oil (toasted kind) is commonly a dark brown color. Untoasted or cold pressed sesame oil has less flavor than the toasted oil, since it is produced directly from raw, rather than toasted seeds.

Light sesame oil has a high smoke point, and is suitable for frying while heavy (dark) sesame oil (from roasted sesame seeds) has a low smoke point, and is unsuitable for frying. In spite of the fact that, sesame oil contains high proportion (41%) of polyunsaturated (PUFA- Omega-6 fatty acids) it is least prone, among cooking oils – with high smoke points , to turn rancid (when kept in the open). This is due to the natural antioxidants present in the oil. Because of this, it carries a premium relative to other cooking oils. Sesame oil, is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which makes it an ideal medium for cooking. Furthermore, sesame oil is unique in that it contains antioxidant constituents, namely Sesamolin, Sesaminol and sesamolinol,which are activated at moderately high temperatures and therefore ideal for cooking. These antioxidant constituents protects fats from being oxidized.

I don’t think I know of any other oils, which have antioxidant properties at high temperature. Additionally, most other oils and fats contribute to the formation of Advanced Glycated Endproducts (AGE related products) when cooked at high temperatures.Sesaminol maintains LDL in an unutilized state, which prevents arteriosclerosis. Sesamolin is another potent antioxidant. Sesamin maintains good cholesterol and inhibits triglyceride production in the liver and helps keep Blood pressure in check. It inhibits a set of regulating compounds, which cause inflammation, clotting and other immune imbalances that contribute to disorders such as heart disease and autoimmune joint disorders.Sesame seed oil lignin protects the liver from environmental toxins, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Sesame seed oil also improves the body’s immune system balance.

The extraction of sesame oil from the sesame seed is not a completely automated process. In the fairy tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” the sesame fruit serves as a symbol for wealth. When the fruit capsule opens, it releases a real treasure – the sesame seeds. However, a great deal of manual work is necessary before this point is reached.

Other uses for sesame oils:

  • Antioxidant role in ischemia of brain
  • Massage: The linoleic acid in sesame seed has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the oil massage decreases the bacteria on the skin
  • See my previous posts on the benefits of massages. Sesame oil massage decreases stress hormone and strengthens the immune system, reduces anxiety, depression and pain.
  • It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The oil has been used in the treatment of several chronic diseases processes, including hepatitis, diabetes and migraines.
  • Rinsing mouth with sesame oil reduces the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
  • Used as nose drops, sesame seed oil is known to cure chronic sinusitis.
  • As a throat gargle it is helpful in eliminating strep and other common cold bacteria.
  • Strengthens teeth, cheek muscles and improves quality, tone and youthfulness of one’s voice.
  • It helps those afflicted with psoriasis and dry skin ailments.
  • It has been successful in eliminating lice infestations in children.
  • It is also a natural UV protector.
  • Sesame seed oil helps joints retain their flexibility. It keeps the skin supple and soft. It heals and protects areas of mild scrapes, cuts and abrasions. It helps tighten facial skin, particularly around the nose, controlling enlargement of pores as the skin ages.