Healthy bones are a foundation of a healthy life. Having strong and healthy bones is important at every stage of life. However, an increase in the consumption of unhealthy processed foods along with a sedentary lifestyle, has led to an increase in bone-related problems. A healthy lifestyle and physical activity are very important in maintaining bone health at every stage of life.

The best oils for the bones, the joints and muscles are those that are minimally processed, low in saturated fats but high in omega-3 fatty acids. Cold pressed virgin oils are minimally processed oils that contain nutrients and bioactive agents in amounts not available in processed oils.

Few oils that are considered good for bone health are:

1. Olive oil

2. Soybean oil

3. Coconut oil

4. Sunflower oil

5. Sesame oil

6. Canola oil

1. Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Cold-pressed, organic, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

a. Research shows components of EVOO, oleocanthal , oleuropein, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol along with omega-3 fatty acids (oleic acid), can help reduce bone pain and inflammation.

b. Cold pressed extra virgin and virgin olive oil are part of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered to have a beneficial effect on bone health.

c. Many studies revealed that daily consumption of olive oil could prevent the decline in bone mineral density (BMD) and improve bone mass.

d. Olive oil and its polyphenols are potential dietary interventions to prevent osteoporosis among the elderly.

To preserve EVOO’s nutritional and medicinal value, use this golden liquid as a salad dressing or drizzle it over vegetables in place of butter. Heat can compromise olive oil’s properties. 

2. Cold Pressed Soybean Oil

Soybean oil is packed with vitamin K, which is known to regulate bone metabolism.

a. According to a study published in the Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, vitamin K is required for the synthesis of a protein called osteocalcin which is vital for maintaining bone mass.

b. Soy isoflavones promote bone health by improving bone mineral density.

Repeated heating of soy oil destroys the tocopherols causing raised osteocalcin levels, leading to increased dissolution of bone minerals leading to osteoporosis in the long term. Cold pressed soybean oil can be used in cuisines like Italian, Chinese for sautéing and in salad dressing.

3. Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil effectively improves bone structure and prevents bone loss in osteoporosis especially in postmenopausal women.

a. The beneficial effects of VCO on bone microarchitecture may be due to the high polyphenols which exert antioxidant property.

b. VCO prevents bone loss and accelerates bone formation, reduces inflammation and increase bone strength.

Cold-pressed coconut oil is best for medium-heat cooking and excellent for baking. Unrefined coconut oil is excellent if you’re adding coconut oil to your diet for its antioxidants and anti-microbial benefits.

4. Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil contains two main nutrients beneficial for bone health: selenium and magnesium.

a. Sunflower oil provides selenium which is helpful in reducing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, which means selenium deficiency causes hypothyroidism, Hypothyroidism in turn causes deficiency of both vitamin D and calcium. Both these are most important nutrients for bone health.

b. Along with this sunflower oil is also a rich source of the mineral magnesium,, which is important for bone mineralization and bone strength.

As cold pressed sunflower oil is non-volatile oil and is usually apt for shallow frying, sautéing and other cooking needs making this oil apt for various Indian cooking needs.

5. Cold Pressed Sesame Oil

Sesame seed oil from raw, cold pressed sesame seed oils have medicinal and culinary uses.

a. Cold pressed sesame seed oil is a rich source of copper, magnesium, calcium, healthy omega-3 fats and certain antioxidants. All these minerals along with omega3 fatty acids are beneficial bone health.

b. Omega-3 fatty acids along with antioxidants, sesamol and sesaminol, present in sesame oil have anti-inflammatory effect. These are therefore beneficial in reducing inflammation of the joints and lessen bone pain.

c. Both local application and addition to food have proven to give positive health results. Sesame oil has also been shown to improve symptoms of arthiritis.

Sesame oil can be used in the preparation of stir-fries, marinades for meat or fish and in sauces or dips.

6. Cold Pressed Canola Oil

Canola oil also known as rapeseed oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which make it the healthiest cooking oil.

a. Canola oil also helps reduce inflammation and joint stiffness.

b. From studies it was shown that regular consumption of canola oil increases bone mineralization and bone strength.

c. Regular consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in canola oil have been shown to reduce the risk of bone fractures.

As Canola oil has a high smoking point (204 degree C), it can be used for regular Indian cooking. It can be used for baking, sautéing and even frying.

Oils are one of the main components of our daily diets and are sources of dietary fats which play an important role in the body. It is wise to choose oils that are good for bone health, apart from performing their roles in our diets. Important functions of fats are that they satisfy nutritional needs, are essential for growth and development and necessary for the proper functioning of brain, nervous system and the skeletal system.

Apart from being rich sources of energy and fatty acids, oils also contain good amount of many micronutrients (vitamins and mineral) and bioactive agents (compounds that promote health), such as carotenoids, flavanoids and polyphenols. Oils are rich sources of fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the body and in the bones. It helps make the bone strong and healthy.

WORD OF ADVICE: It is good to change oils often and use a combination of oils at any one given time. This ensures availability of various beneficial nutrients over a period of time. Avoid margarines and any other trans-fats, such as found in baked products and fried foods for good health.

Ms Sunita Roy Chowdhury, Senior Nutritionist, Dietician and Nutrition Educator 
Healthynudgez and Guiding Stars Open Learning Academy,
Under the banner of SS Guiding Stars Pvt. Ltd.


At Multano we are passionate about helping people make their lives healthier and happier. All information provided in this article is researched and authenticated by qualified experts. We are dedicated to providing reliable and accurate information to our readers.   However, please use the information provided here with discretion. Any changes in medication/diet must be done with the approval of your treating medical practitioner/Dietician only.