From stir-fries to salad dressings, sesame oil brings nutty depth and antioxidant power to dishes. But with its rich consistency and flavor, some are hesitant to drizzle it with abandon. This article will analyze sesame oil calories and nutrition profile and discuss how to incorporate it into a healthy diet.
Getting to Know Sesame Oil
Sesame oil comes from pressing whole sesame seeds, prized for their nuts, oils, and flavors. Key facts:
It has a rich, aromatic flavor perfect for Asian cuisines.
Unrefined sesame oil offers more nutrients but has a lower smoke point.
Refined sesame oil has a higher smoke point better for stir-frying or deep frying.
Oil pressed from raw seeds is light in color while roasted seeds produce a dark amber oil.
Antioxidants like sesamin and sesamolin give sesame oil various health benefits.
Now that we understand the basics, let’s analyze the calorie and fat content.
Calories in Sesame Oil
One tablespoon or 15ml of sesame oil contains approximately:
14 grams fat
12 grams of saturated fat
120 mg of omega-6 fatty acids
This shows sesame oil is highly concentrated in calories and fat compared to many other cooking oils. But don’t let the numbers turn you off completely. Focus instead on how its nutritional properties can complement your diet in moderation.
Nutritional Benefits of Sesame Oil
Despite the high calories and fat, sesame oil delivers advantages:
It contains polyunsaturated fats including omega-6 fatty acids that reduce inflammation when balanced in the diet.
Sesame oil is rich in antioxidant compounds like sesamin, sesamolin, and tocopherols that fight free radicals.
It provides vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.
The antioxidants in sesame oil help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Studies show sesame oil may support bone health and protect against asthma symptoms.
So while sesame oil is high in calories and fat, its nutritional profile makes it a healthy choice when used in moderation.
Comparing Sesame Oil to Other Oils
How do sesame oil’s 130 calories and 14 grams of fat stack up to other common cooking oils? Here’s a comparison per tablespoon:
Extra virgin olive oil: 119 calories, 13 grams of fat
Peanut oil: 119 calories, 13 grams of fat
Grapeseed oil: 120 calories, 14 grams of fat
Coconut oil: 116 calories, 13 grams of fat
Vegetable oil: 124 calories, 14 grams of fat
You can see sesame oil fits right in with other healthy oil options. It provides slightly more fat and calories than most, but still less than butter or shortening.
Maximizing the Benefits of Sesame Oil
Want to enjoy sesame oil without going overboard on calories? Follow these tips:
Use sesame oil to top salads, grains, and noodles. A little goes a long way.
Mix just a drizzle into stir-fries and sautés at the end for flavor.
Combine a few drops of sesame oil into marinades, dressings, and dips.
Opt for recipes that use a blend of oils. Pair it with heart-healthy olive or avocado oil.
Practice portion control. Stick to 1 teaspoon for flavor rather than 1 tablespoon.
Balance higher calorie dishes by eating non-starchy veggies and lean protein.
With sensible portions, sesame oil can be included as part of an overall balanced diet. Don’t fear the calories – just focus on the benefits in moderation.
The Skinny on Sesame Oil Calories
While sesame oil appears high in calories and fat at first glance, its nutritional properties make it a worthy addition. In sensible amounts, sesame oil provides antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids, and important vitamins and minerals. For the health-conscious cook, sesame oil adds wonderful flavor and nutrition. Just drizzle sparingly and balance with lighter choices for the rest of your diet. Sesame oil delivers evidence-based benefits, so embrace it as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.