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Sesame-o-Fact
Sesame oil is not a neutral oil. Its aroma doesn't sync well with other ingredients in many dishes, and can alter the taste badly.
Sesame oil is extracted from the seeds of Sesamum indicum DC, belonging to the family Pedaliaceae. It finds its use in cooking and also as a component in the cosmetic industry. It has a prominence in medicine making. Its use has been made from over thousands of years in many diverse ways, and in multiple locations, including the Mediterranean regions, Asia, and has now spread across the globe. Owing to this popularity, sesame seeds are put to extensive use, and this has also brought some difference between its supply and demand. Though it cannot be said that sesame seeds are going to be totally scarce, the possibility of its diminishing numbers cannot be nullified either. In this light, it becomes necessary to find its alternatives. Apart from this, there also exist other factors like the allergy that it causes in some people, and its calories being on the higher side of the graph.
Replacements for Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil
Peanut Oil
The benefits of peanut consumption are so many, that you would be tempted to substitute it for sesame oil. It is good as a reducing agent of cholesterol level, keeps the heart safe from heart-related diseases, acts as a shield for cancer, lowers blood pressure, and is also known to provide the much coveted sheen on the skin!
It lends a nutty flavor to food, which complements many dishes, including Asian ones. But, please ensure that you are not allergic to peanut, as an allergy shoot up can pose severe health issues.
Perilla Oil
Perilla oil
The Koreans use this oil frequently in cooking. The 'USP' of this oil is that it smells and tastes very similar to sesame oil, thus making it an apt substitute. In fact, it is also used in Chinese dishes. It is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. It is known to ward off symptoms of breast cancer, obesity, asthma, and also blood clotting. It enhances memory and is also used to correct mental disorders. However, it is not recommended for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Walnut Oil
Walnut oil
The Greeks and Persians are credited to be the first to have cultivated and used walnut. It gradually got introduced to Europe, and the world at large, after being in constant use by the Mediterranean countries in many respects. In many parts of the world, it is also revered to be a 'holy' oil. This nutty oil is the next best alternative you would easily substitute sesame seed oil with.
A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, it protects the heart. Like sesame, this oil imparts a nutty flavor to food, and hence, it's best used in salads, pastas, sauces, drizzled over grilled fish, or meat. It is not ideal at all for elaborate cooking on high heat.
Olive Oil
Olive oil
This variety of plant oil finds its roots in the Mediterranean, dating back to thousands of years ago. It is excellent for general health, and also for the hair and skin. It is obtained in many varieties ranging from virgin to extra virgin. It is the safest to use the extra-virgin version though. It is perfect for dressing your salad, or using it in food items where it can be drizzled over instead of sesame oil. However, it should never be used while deep-frying or roasting.
Avocado Oil
Avocado oil
One reason for which you should always use this oil is that it is ideal for cooking, where it calls for deep-frying. You can easily use this, and not risk the harmful effects caused by cooking on high temperature. It is so rich in monounsaturated fats that it protects one from heart diseases. In many respects, this oil is very similar to olive oil, and therefore, one should feel encouraged to incorporate it in daily cooking.
Canola Oil
Canola oil
Canola oil is a healthy plant-based oil, and can be used as an easy substitute for sesame seed oil. It is a genetically modified version of rapeseed oil, which was introduced in order to substitute rapeseed oil, which could be toxic for human consumption. It is a storehouse of unsaturated fats; therefore, the health hazards are greatly reduced.
It can be a great choice for those who are into heavy frying or deep-frying, as the smoking point of this particular oil is considered suitable for the purpose. An interesting feature of this oil is its affordability. But, let's not forget that this oil is highly reactive with heat, and therefore, can cause some heart-related issues and obesity. Therefore, consumption in moderation is advised.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil
One of the other alternatives for sesame oil is grape seed oil, which may not be the most appropriate one, but can be used for its similar flavor to sesame oil. It is also good for making stir-fries, and of course, there's a long list of its health benefits.
It is known to be beneficial in conditions such as diabetes and acute heart problems. It is known to reduce pain, and is also believed to control the signs of aging. It has a moderate smoking point. But it involves a risk as it is very rich in omega-6 fatty acids; therefore, it is desirable to consume it sparingly, and not regularly.
A Word of Caution!
At the end of it all, it is important to state that any type of oil is a source of fat. Therefore, consuming them in regulation is the key to remain healthy and still enjoy the goodness obtained from these oils.