Saturday, January 22, 2011

And the healthiest cooking oils are...

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Hello Wellness on Jan 20, 2011

Fat is actually a valuable part of your diet. It helps absorb certain nutrients (including vitamins) that the body needs. The healthiest oil to cook that contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids that lower risk of heart disease by reducing the total and bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Oils containing a high degree of saturated fats are considered the least healthy by nutritionists.

Heating makes it different
Oils that are healthy at room temperature can become unhealthy when heated above certain temperatures. Soya, canola, sunflower and corn oils become toxic when heated. Prolonged consumption of burnt oils can lead to atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, and birth defects.

How healthy is your oil?
Olive oil: Packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is the healthiest cooking oil, especially if you suffer from ulcers, gastritis, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Olive oil should be used to prepare salad dressings, as a seasoning for soups, for sautéing vegetables or for grilling.

Sesame Oil: It contains vitamins, minerals, poly and monounsaturated fats and is known to lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease. This oil is mainly used in stir-fries because of its short shelf life and low smoke temperature.

Groundnut oil/ peanut oil: Containing heart-friendly monounsaturated fats, the oil is suitable for frying, grilling and seasoning. Although the filtered oils are nutritionally superior, they often contain toxic compounds or adulterants. Buy refined groundnut oils of reputed brands.

Mustard oil: Characterised by its pungent flavour, mustard oil is a rich source of mono and polyunsaturated fats and is suitable for all types of cooking including frying. However, it should be used along with other oils to reduce the content of the harmful erucic acid it contains.

Sunflower oil: It is rich in polyunsaturated fats, particularly linoleic acid that lowers the levels of both good and bad cholesterol. Hence, sunflower oil cannot be used as the only cooking oil.

In order to derive maximum benefits from oil, consume a mix of oils to maintain a balance between the fatty acids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello eisha

i stumbled upon your page during my search for some information about a healthy cooking oil to use. we've been using sunflower oil for years now but i'm slowly beginning to understand that its not the health tonic its made out to be .. and besides the cook liberally uses it so any kind of monitoring of usage and cooking temperature etc is pretty pointless and impossible. so i gather from your article that contrary to popular belief canola oil may not be the right way to go and instead olive oil (virgin, extra virgin) may be right for our kind of cooking? meaning dal, sabzi, roti type - basic boring stuff? cheers