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Does Your Favorite Indian Pickle Use Good Oils?

Pickling is a preservation method effectively prevents spoilage by forming a hydrophobic layer on the pickles, which inhibits the growth of bacteria that thrive in moist conditions. Have you ever wondered about the cleanliness of the ingredients in your favorite store-bought Indian pickle? It's quite amusing that some pickles even contain preservatives! Interestingly, the very essence of "pickling" inherently involves a form of food preservation.

However, we now find ourselves in a new era where brands strive to occupy maximum shelf space by offering a wide range of flavors, including unconventional ones that may not traditionally be associated with pickling. Additionally, some companies may attempt to reduce costs by compromising on the quality of oil used or by skipping the fermentation process to expedite manufacturing.

As a consumer, you still hold the power to choose quality products by simply flipping the bottle and examining its ingredients.


Olive Oil Vs. Cottonseed Oil

Cottonseed Oil:
  • Because cotton is not classified as a food crop, it’s often grown with high levels of pesticides. 
  • Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil made from the seeds of the cotton plant. As it’s really an inflammatory “vegetable” oil that’s processed and can easily oxidize when exposed to high heat, light and air. Like many vegetable oils, cottonseed oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. A diet high in these fats, and low in omega-3s, can lead to inflammation.
  • Cottonseed oil is refined in order to remove gossypol, a naturally occurring toxin in the seed’s oil that works to protect the plant from insects. If consumed, this natural pesticide may be toxic, so it’s always removed from the seeds that are used to make cooking oil or flour. 
  • Unrefined cottonseed oil contains a toxin called gossypol. Gossypol has been found to have several negative side effects, including: infertility and reduced sperm counts and motility, pregnancy problems, including early embryo development.

Olive Oil:
  • Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects and is a healthy choice. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful biological effects. Apart from its beneficial fatty acids, it contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K.
  • It’s packed with polyphenols.
  • It strongly promotes cardiovascular health.
  • It may reduce risk of certain cancers.
  • It supports healthy memory + brain function.
  • It supports healthy mental outlook + mood.
  • It combats pain + inflammation. 
  • It may boost bone health + strength. 
  • It supports a healthy gut microbiome.
  • It balances blood sugar and may help prevent diabetes.
  • It supports a healthy immune system.

Choose pickles with the type of oil that you are comfortable with – for your health and the health of your family.


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