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However, while in India, we always lived by coconut and sesame seed oil. During the late 90's people had started changing their traditional ways. There was more refined oil available than others. I think coconut was more focused as an oil meant for beautifying and maintaining one's hair and skin.But for cooking the focus was on refined oils. In Kerala, most stuck to coconut oil. However, having lived in the neighboring states, I was always asked, how could we use the same oil we applied on our hair. It was very weird for most of my friends. I remember reading a lot of books (children's magazines) that carried nice ads for sunflower oil. Yes, I was attracted to it too, especially with the television commercial that showed a fantasy land of a young boy with food. Such was the power of advertising. They focused on how the refined oils changed our health for better results and how the 'fat' from coconut and sesame seed were not good for healthy living.
In fact, I remember the old ads and newspaper articles on how Hema Malini, the dream girl and popular yesteryear actress in Bollywood maintained her beautiful skin and looks by using Olive oil. So, they kind of pushed both coconut and sesame seed oil's benefit off the boundary and made it sound like less important. Now, in the US, I see a sudden rage to have these 'other' oils instead of refined oils. The US MNC's were the ones who pushed the idea of refined oils for this long and now, coconut or anything with coconut is considered healthy (should I say healthier?). The potato chips are sold at a slightly higher price when it is made using coconut oil. Hello! We have been always making delicious chips and curries using coconut oil.
Now, when the western world is giving the rest of the world an advice that 'extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil' is the best for your health, I think a lot of us in India will follow suit. Sad and scary, right?
I for one, haven't changed at all. I think the nature's best oil form is either coconut and sesame oil. Not denying the use of mustard or olive. But the refined ones are surely not the best in the long run.