Sunday, 29 September 2013

Healthy cooking oil

 Healthy Cooking Oil

        You can see more no of adds on TV, News daily, magazines about the good oil ranging from the good old ground nut oil to the recent rice brand oil, claiming their worth everyday, but to what extent these claims are true?
        Confusing! Buying the right oil  for health has become a Himalayan task.

        Basically, every cooking oil is pure fat obtained from plants or animals.  One gram of cooking oil whether its from plants or animals provides nine calories, and the researchers recommend  a maximum of 20grm or 4 teaspoon of oil is enough for an adult, are we on this table? with only 4 teaspoon of oil!!

        So obviously, the type of oil we use in our food determines the health, like heart diseases, obesity, acidity,etc.. All cooking oil is made up of a combination of fatty acids, either its is from plants or animals, in way of saturated, mono-saturated or poly unsaturated.  The combination of their proportions classify the oil as saturated, mono unsaturated, or poly unsaturated.

       Saturated fats the no 1 health deteriorater, found in animals fats, like ghee, butter, lard(a fat that's found in meat) , and coconut oil, and palm oil from plants also are very high in saturated fat,  a fat that is a definite big  NO NO for your heart health, the best fact about this fat is they not only raise the LDL (the bad cholesterol) in blood but also they reduce HDL( the good cholesterol) in blood, they always work more for their money, nice!!

       Those oils which has the  mono unsaturated fatty acids and poly unsaturated fatty acids are recommended good for health in view for their quality of bringing down the LDL cholesterol. But again in this also the oil which we use should have the combination of both than using one them continuously, and omega 3 fatty acids are extremely good for the heart, selecting an oil rich in omega 3 fats is also becoming a vital issue on selecting the oil. So which oil to choose?

       Mustard oil, canola oil, olive oil, groundnut oil, and gingelly oil have the best combination of good and bad fatty acids, out of these oils gingelly oil is an excellent option. Though soybean, corn, sunflower and safflower oils have low saturated  fatty acid content, the MUFA content is lower than the PUFA content, which is not a good factor.  Mustard oil is been found to have reducing the chances of heart disease almost by 70%, and moreover the nutritional content in mustard oil is found almost equal to the much praised olive oil. So cooking in mustard oil seems to be the best option when compared in terms of its cost effect with olive oil. This could be the wisest health investment one could make.

Best Oil for Frying

       Now we will see which is the best oil for frying? when we talk about cooking you can ask why separate frying, because frying occupies almost 75% of our cooking all over the world and especially, the east. The high heat during frying decomposes or breaks down the oil producing cancerous substances.  So the choice should be naturally for the oil that can withstand the high temperature without foaming and smoking, with this in mind we can go only for groundnut oil and gigellly oil, which has the quality to withstand the excess temperature of frying.

       All said and done, the best bet is to use a variety of oils judiciously, by making a combination of all the oils  which will ensure a healthy intake of the oil factor. So that you can also need not worry of less or more fatty acids intake, by using one oil alone.  Use mustard, sesame, canola and olive oil for cooking, and groundnut and gingelly oil for frying, and olive oil for salads, and your pasta.  Most importantly what ever oil you use the main point to be remembered is use it LESS.

Trans Fats

        Try to avoid the more speaking fats one can't  ignore the latest demon on the health scene the trans fats or vegetable oils.  These oils are partially hydrogenated. These hydrogenated oils help to improve the texture, flavor, taste and spread ability of food manufactured with them.  This is more used by the processed food industry all over the world.  You can find this oil in biscuits, crackers, cookies, rusks, breads and buns and breakfast cereals, bread spreads and salad dressings cakes, and cake mixes, microwave popcorn, pizza, burgers and French fries, heat and eat curries, artificial creamers, chocolates, and candy and ice creams.

       You can ask if trans fats make food so tasty, why are they are called bad?  Because trans fat foul up the body's entire machinery. They cause weight gain and excess abdominal fat both risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. They increase LDL cholesterol which is the main ingredient for clogging up arteries and lower HDL cholesterol. The trans fats interfere with metabolism of fats and elevate blood triglyceride levels, if one continues to eat trans fat rich foods, it sets the stage for a heart attack.

       Like other oils , we can say a safe limit for trans fats.  Though some amount of trans fats are found in whole milk and meats it is so harmful since it comes naturally when  compared with the artificially hydrogenated trans fats that's available in the market.


    As a general measure, cook wholesome meals at home with healthy oil

    When shopping, avoid foods that mention shortening, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient.

    Since it is now mandatory to put trans fats content on the label, choose foods with no transfats.

    Avoid eating at roadside fast foods.

    Restrict eating out, avoid gravies, creamy sauces and salad dressings.

    Opt for stir fried over fried and grilled over curried.

                                             LESS IS ALWAYS MORE HERE.