Every grocery shopper knows that a stroll down the oil aisle can be an overwhelming experience. Dozens of options line the shelves—each with its own quality, taste, smoke point, fragility, and nutritional benefits. At Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, our health-conscious guests will be happy to know that rice bran oil is the one we consistently choose.
The bran is the mineral-rich exterior of a rice kernel. Its naturally non-GMO oil is extracted for use in cooking, and it has many health and taste benefits that make it an excellent choice for both the Mikuni kitchen and at home. Just take a look at how its advantages stack up.
HIGH SMOKE POINT
Many oils can become rancid when exposed to high heat that breaks down their fatty acids, making them inflammatory to the body and even carcinogenic when they begin to smoke. To maintain the integrity of your oils, make sure you know their smoke points and how best to use them. For example, olive oil is ideal for medium heat, while flax oil is very sensitive to heat and should only be used raw.
Explains David Hoffsten of Adams Vegetables Oils, Inc., in Sacramento, “Rice bran oil boasts a smoke point of about 490 degrees, which makes it optimum for high-temperature cooking methods, such as stir-frying and deep-frying.”
LIGHT AND NEUTRAL
Hoffsten goes on to say, “Thanks to its relatively neutral taste, rice bran oil can be used for just about anything—from frying to sautéing to dressing salads—and it’s an excellent choice for virtually any type of cuisine. Even cakes and cookies can benefit from its slightly nutty flavor.” What’s more, rice bran oil is not as heavy as many other cooking oils, so it keeps food light and non-greasy.
RICH IN NUTRIENTS
Of course, we’ve done our own research, and what we found is impressive. Rice bran oil contains tocopherol and tocotrienol, forms of vitamin E that are nourishing antioxidants for the heart, brain tissue, and skin. Vitamin E also helps regulate and regenerate other antioxidants, which can potentially protect against cancer-causing free radicals. Rice bran oil is a vital nutrient for the endocrine system, which regulates hormones. In fact, the antioxidant oryzanol, which is present in rice bran oil, has been found to relieve hot flashes in menopausal women. How’s that for guest services?
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, rice bran oil can help keep LDL—the bad cholesterol—at a lower level. The American Heart Association also recommends it as a heart-healthy choice.
CONTAINS HEALTHY FATS
Brains and nerves are made up of fat, so consuming fat helps nourish these very important systems. Rice bran oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which are vital to health but cannot be manufactured in the body. What’s more, rice bran oil comes from a natural source and contains zero trans fats.
Home cooks who put rice bran oil on their grocery lists can feel confident that they’re purchasing a high-quality, versatile oil that comes with plenty of health benefits and perks for the kitchen. And our guests at Mikuni can rest assured that they’re getting a delicious meal cooked with nutritious ingredients.