Many healthy eaters have never heard of rice bran oil. But this nutty-flavored oil is becoming more popular because it is easy to cook with and provides heart-healthy benefits.
|Rice Bran Oil Nutrition Facts|
|Serving Size 1 tablespoon|
|Per Serving||% Daily Value*|
|Calories from Fat 120|
|Total Fat 14g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 2.7g||13%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 4.8g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5g|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%|
|Calcium 0% · Iron 0%|
|*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet|
Carbs in Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil is extracted from the bran or outer layer of rice. Rice (both white rice, brown rice, and other varieties of rice) are significant sources of carbohydrate. But rice bran oil provides zero grams of carbohydrate.
Fats in Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil provides three different types of fat.
Most of the fat in this oil (five grams) is monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats—also called MUFAs—are generally considered good fats because they can help boost your HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. Experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that you choose foods with monounsaturated fat instead of saturated fat when possible.
Rice bran oil also contains almost five grams (4.8 grams) of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats—also called PUFAs—are also considered healthy fats. Polyunsaturated fat can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. For that reason, health experts recommend that you get 3-10 percent of your daily calories from PUFAs.
You’ll get 2.7 grams of saturated fat when you consume a single tablespoon of the oil. Saturated fat may increase your risk for heart disease, but experts are re-evaluating the role of saturated fat in a heart-healthy diet.
Protein in Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil provides zero grams of protein.
Micronutrients in Rice Bran Oil
You won’t benefit from any minerals in rice bran oil, but there are some important vitamins in the product.
If you consume one tablespoon of rice bran oil, you’ll benefit from 4.4 mg or 22 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E if you consume a 2000 calorie per day diet. Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body and helps to prevent cells against oxidative damage and boosts immune health.
One tablespoon of rice bran oil also provides 3.3 micrograms of vitamin K, another fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin K that is necessary for blood clotting. There is also some evidence that vitamin K may help improve bone health and prevent atherosclerosis, although more research is needed to confirm those benefits.
Lastly, you’ll get 161 mg of phytosterols from one tablespoon of rice bran oil. Phytosterols may help lower blood cholesterol.
As rice bran oil has become more popular, scientists have begun to study the product’s health benefits. There is some evidence that it may improve your health. In addition to what nutrition experts already know about the benefits of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, they are learning that rice bran oil may provide additional advantages to boost wellness.
At the 2012 American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions researchers reported that people who cooked with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils saw a significant drop in blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels. Research scientist Devarajan Sankar, MD, Ph.D. talked about rice bran oil in an interview.
“Rice bran oil, like sesame oil, is low in saturated fat and appears to improve a patient’s cholesterol profile. Additionally, it may reduce heart disease risk in other ways, including being a substitute for less healthy oils and fats in the diet.”
Replacing less healthy oils, like saturated fat (butter or animal fats), with a healthier oil like rice bran oil can help to boost heart health.
How is rice bran oil extracted?
According to a published report, the extraction process for rice bran oil involves several different techniques, but solvent extraction using hexane is the most popular. Oil is extracted from the rice bran, which is a by-product of rice milling—the process that turns brown rice to white rice.
According to study authors, “the use of hexane in the conventional methods has some drawbacks due to its flammability, toxicity, and the high temperature involved in the process resulting in some undesirable components in the oil as a result of oxidative deterioration and developments of rancid and off-flavor.”
However, further research has suggested that use of commercial solvent (d‐limonene ) as an alternative to hexane could potentially eliminate the safety, environmental, and health issues.
Is rice bran oil gluten-free?
While there are some reports of gluten-free eaters having problems with rice bran-based foods, many varieties of commercially sold rice bran oil state that their product is gluten-free.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “if a product claims to be gluten-free on the package, then it is most likely safe to eat as the FDA only allows packaged foods with less than 20ppm of gluten to be labeled “gluten-free.” The source still recommends that you check the ingredients list on any food that you buy to make sure that it is truly gluten-free.
Can I use rice bran oil for skin or hair?
Some beauty sources report that rice bran oil can help boost hair growth, although there is no strong evidence to support this use. Some sources also report that applying vitamin-E or vitamin-E oil sources to the skin can help reduce the appearance of scars or improve the skin. However, evidence to support this benefit is mixed and using vitamin E topically can irritate the skin.
Which oil is healthier: rice bran oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil?
Each of these oils provides heart-healthy benefits. The best oil for you may depend on the way that you plan to use the oil.
Olive oil provides a flavor that many find most appealing of the three oils but it has a lower smoke point and shouldn’t be used for high heat cooking (see below). Sunflower oil and rice bran oil have higher smoke points but some people don’t like the flavor of those oils—especially rice bran oil (as a result of the extraction process).
Rice bran oil is often used by cooks when they are stir-frying or deep frying. It has a high flash point (also called a smoke point) of 254 °C compared to other oils. For example, canola oil has a smoking point of 200°C and extra virgin olive oil has a smoking point of 160°C. Avocado oil has a slightly higher smoke point of 271°C.
The flash point of your cooking oil is important to know because it is the temperature at which the oil starts to create smoke and harmful fumes. If you want to use cooking techniques that require a higher temperature, it’s essential to use an oil with a high flash point. Rice bran oil has become one of the more popular high-temperature cooking oils because of its nutty taste.
Store rice bran oil in a cool dry place. If stored properly, the oil can last up to one to two years.
Allergies and Interactions
Rice bran and rice bran oil are generally safe when used by most people. However, some people may develop a rash if they apply rice bran oil to the skin because of the (rare) presence of (or exposure to) a straw mite in rice bran, rice bran oil, or rice bran oil supplements.