Hemp oil for cooking is one of our greatest allies in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
As long as we take it cold -it loses its properties with heat-, hemp oil contains high-quality good or polyunsaturated fats, proteins, minerals, Omega-3, and Omega-6.
Together with extra virgin olive oil, it is one of the best vegetable oils, although it is also a great unknown for most of the population.
Only a small minority of privileged people (yes, you are already one of them) know about the existence of this oil and have started to use it in their gastronomic preparations.
Sportsmen and nutritionists have been the first to discover the great benefits of hemp oil for cooking, but as happened with other seed oils such as linseed oil, it is only a matter of time before it becomes one of the most popular.
Uses of hemp oil
Curiously, hemp oil for cooking was not the first use of hemp oil. As was the case with hemp itself, which was initially used more for making rope, textiles, or paper than for food, its first applications were not culinary.
In the case of oil, its use has been linked to cosmetics and natural remedies. Hemp oil is perfect for dry skin and topical problems such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, or dandruff.
Also, its anti-inflammatory power is not only achieved with its consumption but also with its topical use. It even serves as a mild filter to ultraviolet rays, although it should never be an alternative to sunscreen for prolonged exposure.
Hemp oil is a natural moisturizer, which prevents skin aging and keeps it healthy.
In this regard, it should be noted that it is not suitable for oily skin. It is dry skins that can benefit from its cosmetic use, but for oily skins, it could worsen their situation.
The other major use of hemp oil is in cooking. Although the benefits of hemp seeds in food have been known for millennia, the use of oil is somewhat later. To find out more information about the possible benefits of Hemp oil, check out their official statement for further info.
It also originated in China and, likewise, was used primarily as part of traditional Chinese medicine. Later, it began to be used in cold soups, dressings, and garnishes, which remains today as its main gastronomic use.
How is hemp oil obtained?
To obtain hemp oil for cooking, a cold pressing process of the seeds must be carried out. It is very important that the processing is cold and unrefined since with the use of heat it loses its nutrients and its taste becomes unpleasant.
It is its greatest benefit, the high content of polyunsaturated fats -up to 80%- which also becomes its main disadvantage. It cannot be used for frying, grilling, or any other preparation that requires heat.
At high temperatures, hemp oil becomes unstable, decomposes, and forms free radicals, aldehydes, and lipid peroxides.
Free radicals are harmful substances for the organism that oxidize cells and cause premature aging. They can also contribute to the formation of various diseases such as cancer.
Other high-quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil can also generate free radicals at 170ºC and above. For this reason, they are not recommended for frying.