Is Dalda Good For Health? Dalda Saturated Or Unsaturated Fat?

Dalda reigned over the Indian markets for about forty years courtesy to lower prices and exact same taste as pure cow ghee, but is Dalda good for health?

Dalda is synonymous with hydrogenated vegetable oils in the South-Asian region. Here, we are gonna focus on everything related to it and more.

Pure cow milk ghee and refined cooking oils have always belonged to the top tier of the price distribution. They are expensive and generally out of reach for the people of lower economic background.

In the 1930s, hydrogenated vegetable oils were imported by the Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacture Co. Later, they started manufacture in the country itself and named it DALDA.

What Is Dalda?

Dalda is hydrogenated vegetable oil. Due to its popularity, the term has become synonymous with vegetable oil. It is a cheaper substitute to the traditional ghee. 

It was the first product ever to mimic the traditional desi ghee. Due to this, it received another tag, that of Vanaspati. Vanaspati literally means vegetable origin.

How Is Dalda Made?

Dalda was first made of palm oil. The technology was borrowed from the Netherlands. Later, Indians started using peanut oil for making it.

We have read above that dalda is hydrogenated oil but what is hydrogenation? Hydrogenation is the process of converting liquid unsaturated fats to solids fats using a catalyst. 

Dalda was made using a catalyst known as ‘supported nickel catalyst’ in reactors using low-medium pressure of 3-10 bar. This is why dalda is high in trans fats.

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Vegetable Ghee Nutrition Facts

The nutritional facts per 100grams of vegetable ghee are as follows:

Vegetable ghee or what we call dalda is nothing but pure fat. This is what is called trans-fats. It helps improve the taste and texture of the food but in turn, serves you with hundreds of calories that are harmful to us.

Difference Between Vegetable Ghee & Vegetable Oil

Do you know that vegetable oil and vegetable ghee are two different things? You might ask if they both are unhealthy?

Vegetable oils have been in our kitchens for decades. They are extracted from seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Some examples would be:

  1. Coconut oil
  2. Soybean oil
  3. Rice bran oil
  4. Mustard oil
  5. Palm oil
  6. Peanut oil

and more.

vegetable oil
Image credits: Mike Mozart – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

They have been used to enhance the taste of our curries since we can recall. But if we ask our parents and grandparents, we will realize it was not always so.

Vegetable ghee or dalda had taken the commercial market by surprise when it was launched. Every medium and lower class household in South-Asia started using it as a cheaper substitute to ghee.

Vegetable ghee is hydrogenated vegetable oil and not pure vegetable oil. It is harmful to our bodies and heart. It is purely fat and calories and zero nutrients.

Side Effects Of Dalda/Hydrogenated Oils

  1. Impairs blood sugar control

We have already seen how vegetable ghee is packed with trans fats. According to medical research, it is claimed that people who consumed more trans-fats developed insulin resistance.

This is a condition in which the body refuses to use the secreted insulin.

  1. Can Cause Type 2 diabetes

The loss of control of blood sugar is what leads to diabetes. When the body develops a resistance to insulin, the blood sugar levels increase unchecked and is very harmful to our body.

  1. May Increase Inflammation

Acute inflammation is acceptable as it is the body’s defense mechanism against infections and illnesses, chronic inflammation is dangerous.

Consuming hydrogenated oils pose a magnified risk of suffering from chronic inflammation which will then lead to other serious health issues.

  1. Causes Obesity

Vegetable ghee is packed with trans fats. Trans fats increase cholesterol levels in our body. Increased cholesterol directly translated to obesity.

No wonder why most of the teens today are suffering from this problem. Junk food is nothing but a source of trans fats for our body. Click here to know more! 

  1. Can Harm Heart Health

The high cholesterol levels in the body due to the consumption of vegetable ghee is believed to lead to heart problems. The arteries of the heart get blocked due to the accumulation of fatty acids.

If not checked on time, this may lead to cardiac arrest ultimately. We need to work out enough to burn the tremendous amounts of calories that we induce in our bodies by choosing vegetable ghee.

  1. Causes Hypertension

Traditional milk ghee is full of nutritive qualities. But the commercial food industry chooses vegetable ghee over traditional ghee. 

This, when consumed, increases the level of bad cholesterol and decreases the level of high-density lipids that is good cholesterol. Hypertension is a consequence of this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is dalda made of animal fat?

Dalda is made by the hydrogenation of vegetable oil and not by any kind of animal fats. It is purely vegetarian.

Is dalda banned in India?

No, dalda is not banned by the Government of India. However, it has lost its importance and people have moved on from it.

Can I use dalda instead of butter?

It is up to you if you want to use dalda instead of butter but there is a considerable amount of difference in both of their’s nutritional value. 
Butter is healthier than dalda.

Is vegetable ghee bad for health?

Trans fats are very harmful to our health and vegetable ghee is packed with trans fats. It is better to avoid vegetable ghee.

What are hydrogenated oils?

Hydrogenation is the process by which liquid unsaturated fats are converted to solid fats using hydrogen. Food manufacturers use vegetable oils to extend the shelf life of their products.

Is vanaspati and dalda same?

Yes, dalda was the name of the product. Vanaspati was the name of the company that manufactured it, Hindustan Vanaspati Limited Co.
Either way, vanaspati means from vegetables. So, it is apt for a synonym for dalda.


Vegetable oils have been in the market for a long time. They are consumed by one and all. But they are often confused by vegetable ghee. 

Traditional ghee and Vegetable ghee might seem to have blurred boundaries but it is not so. One is purely heavenly and the other is deadly.

If this article helped you make the wiser choice then do spread the love. Share it with your friends and family.

*featured image credits: Suzanne Long – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)