Mustard oil has been a part of Indian cooking for centuries. Is mustard oil good for weight loss? How does it compare to other cooking oils? Keep reading to find out!
Mustard oil has been widely used in India for centuries. Our ancestors credited it with several health benefits like improved digestion, metabolism, and blood circulation. Mustard oil has regained popularity recently for its health benefits for diabetics. However, is mustard oil good for weight loss? Find out how mustard oil can help you lose weight, how much to use, and its various other health benefits.
Mustard Oil: Nutritional Profile
Mustard oil is extracted from the seeds of black (Brassica nigra), brown (Brassica juncea), or red mustard (Brassica hirta) plants. This is known as pure mustard oil. It is known as sarson ka tel or kadwa tel in India and is commonly used for cooking. Essential mustard oil is made by distilling a mixture of water and ground mustard seeds. Refined mustard oil is a variety that is produced commercially.
Mustard oil is made up of 100% fats. But the good thing about mustard oil fat content is that it is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), which are good for your health. It has a lower concentration of saturated or “unhealthy” fats. Mustard oil is also rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. It has a healthy ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (1:1, the preferred ratio is between 1:1 to 4:1), which makes it ideal for heart health.
The following is the table containing the nutritional profile for 100 of the most commonly used cooking oils like mustard oil, rice bran oil, canola oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Rice Bran Oil
|Total Lipid (Fat)
As seen in the table, mustard oil along with rice bran oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil, has a good balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats while being low in saturated fats. This is ideal for weight loss and for heart health.
Most experts and nutritionists recommend switching your cooking oil every couple of months so you can derive most of their health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Mustard Oil for Weight Loss?
Pure mustard oil is rich in erucic acid (a type of omega-9 fatty acid), monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can lower insulin resistance in your body. Insulin resistance is a condition that occurs when your cells are unable to utilise the insulin produced by your pancreas. The cells cannot take up the glucose (sugar) present in your blood to use as fuel. This results in high blood sugar levels, which can lead to your pancreas producing more insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is crucial for the metabolism of glucose in your body. Insulin converts the excess glucose in your body to fat, which is stored in your adipose (fat) cells for later use. Thus, insulin resistance and high insulin levels can contribute to weight gain. Using mustard oil for regular cooking may help improve insulin sensitivity in your cells, thus aiding weight loss. A few studies suggest that erucic acid, which is present in high amounts in mustard oil, can have a negative effect on heart health. Research is being conducted to test the validity of these claims. Essential mustard oil has low levels of erucic acid. Hence, as a precaution, you can rotate the use of your cooking oil (between mustard, rice bran, peanut, canola, and sunflow
How Much Mustard Oil can You Consume in a Day to Lose Weight?
You should limit your mustard oil usage to 500 ml per month per person, which is around 15 to 16 ml (3 teaspoons) per day. If you are trying to lose weight, limit your oil consumption to 2 teaspoons (10 ml) or lower.
What is the Best Time to Consume Mustard Oil for Weight Loss?
There is no ideal time to consume food prepared with mustard oil. However, it is best to limit your consumption of oily foods or foods prepared with oil for lunch or as snacks. Eating food made with oil for breakfast or at dinner may strain your digestive system.
How Can You Use Mustard Oil for Weight Loss?
You can use mustard oil in your daily cooking. Since mustard oil has a high smoking point (the temperature at which the compounds in the oil start breaking down and producing smoke) of 250°C, it is ideal for Indian cooking that includes frying, roasting, grilling, etc.
The high smoke point of mustard oil prevents the breakdown of healthy MUFAs. However, it is best to avoid deep-fried foods if you are trying to lose weight. Instead, you can use mustard oil for sautéing or stir-frying vegetables and roasting meat.
Mustard essential oil, also known as volatile oil of mustard, has a pungent taste and can be used as a dressing in salads. Mustard essential oil has a lower erucic acid content when compared to pure mustard oil.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Mustard Oil for Weight Loss?
Mustard oil, like any fat, can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. Also, as mustard oil is high in erucic acid, consuming it in excess can increase your risk of developing heart diseases. Hence, it is recommended to limit your use of mustard oil, and switch your cooking oils frequently to make the most of the health benefits they offer.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Mustard Oil?
- The high concentrations of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in mustard oil can help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol levels and boost HDL (high-density lipoprotein or “good”) cholesterol levels in your body.
- Several studies have found that mustard oil has anti-microbial properties that are effective against several strains of bacteria, fungi, and mould.
- The erucic acid in mustard oil can lower insulin resistance in your cells, which makes it very beneficial if you have Type 2 Diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- The vitamin E present in mustard oil can promote healthy hair growth and also improve skin health when applied topically.
- Some studies have found that mustard oil can lower inflammation and alleviate pain.
- The antioxidants present in mustard oil can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. This can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 Diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Mustard oil is extracted by grinding black, brown, or red mustard seeds.
- Mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with vitamin E. It has a low concentration of saturated fats and is composed entirely of fat or lipids.
- Mustard oil contains a fatty acid called erucic acid, which, along with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, can lower insulin resistance in your cells, and thus contribute to weight loss.
- Limit your consumption of mustard oil to 500 ml per month or 15 ml per day.
- You can substitute your normal cooking oil with mustard oil, which is ideal for Indian cooking due to its high smoke point. You can also use essential mustard oil as a dressing for salads.
- Overconsumption of mustard oil, like any other fat, can lead to weight gain. The high erucic acid content in mustard oil may lead to an increased risk of heart disease if consumed in excess.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable.
Friendly Asked Questions
The following are the best oils for Indian cooking, to help with weight loss:
-Rice bran oil
Like any other fat, mustard oil can cause you to gain weight if consumed in excess. Hence, limit your consumption of mustard oil to 15 to 16 ml a day (or lower), if you are trying to lose weight.
No, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that topical massages with mustard oil (or any oil) can help reduce belly fat. However, mustard oil massages are good for lowering inflammation, improving blood circulation, and improving skin health.
Oils that are rich in unsaturated fats and have a good ratio of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids while being low in saturated fatty acids are good for weight loss. Hence, cooking oils like sunflower oil, rice bran oil, canola oil, mustard oil, etc. are good for weight loss. Olive oil can also be used for low-temperature cooking and on salads.