Choosing the right cooking oilSince any oil is high in fat content, choosing the correct cooking oil becomes crucial.It not only helps seal in the aroma and flavors, but locks in the nutrients as well. Not just this, it saves you from a great deal of health and heart diseases that come associated with using the wrong oils high in saturated and trans fatty content.
Indian cooking is of high density where any oil with a low smoke point loses its nutritional value.*The smoke point is the temperature at which any fat starts to smoke. A high smoke point is particularly important for deep frying which is a high temperature operation*.
Ghee:Lets bust the myth here. Ghee, in controlled quantity, is healthy. It is not only the tastiest but is also known to help weight loss when accompanied with regular exercise and an active lifestyle. It is known to aid digestion, improve memory, build up bone strength and energy levels.
Sunflower Oil:Sunflower oil is probably the most commonly used oil for coking in India. It is a good option as it is a rich source of vitamin E and has the essential nutrients required to keep the body functioning healthily. It contains MUFA and PUFA that maintain healthy levels of good cholesterol. It also fights free radicals and reduces the risk of many cardiovascular diseases.Rice bran Oil:Rice bran oil is a mild tasting oil that is known for its cholesterol-lowering properties. Rich in MUFA, it aids healthy heart health and eases joint movements. It has high oryzanol, which basically lower cholesterol level in the body.Peanut Oil:Popular for its rich taste, peanut oil is not only tasty but also healthy. It is extremely rich in MUFA and PUFA and low in bad saturated fats. This helps in lowering the bad cholesterol in the body. It is also a good source of vitamin E, a good antioxidant. Hence, protecting the skin from acne or scars.
Mustard Oil:Another very popular and rich tasting oil, Mustard oil, is commonly used in many household as it helps digestion and circulation. It has anti-bacterial properties that protect skin. It is known to not only keep skin problems at bay, but also fight germs and virus to prevent common cold and cough.
Sesame Oil:The darker coloured sesame oil is usually preferred for Indian cooking. It is not only healthy but also good for diabetics. It is high in PUFA and contains vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. It also keeps a check on atherosclerosis and keeps the heart healthy.Coconut Oil:Coconut oil is very popular for cooking in South India. Though high in saturated fats, it has its own benefits when consumed in limited quantity. Primarily, it increases the good cholesterol or HDL in the body. It aids in blood circulation. With medium fatty acids, that are easily digestible, it is good for people with liver problems and it also helps in getting quick energy.Olive oil:Olive oil benefits are well known. It has a good amount of antioxidants that reduces pain in the joints as well as lowers the risk of Parkinsons and Alzheimers. It is said to have properties that assist in battling heart illnesses, for example, heart assault and heart stroke. One thing to note, there are three types of olive oils to be taken into considerationExtra Virgin Olive Oil Can be used for Stir-frying, Saut-ing, Baking, etc.
Pure Olive Oil Can be used for most of the preparation methods. Deep frying to be avoided.Olive Pomace Oil A more popular version, this can be used for all purpose cooking and deep frying.Flaxseed Oil:Another new entrant is the Flaxseed oil. Flaxseeds have anyway caught up in the league of healthy diet foods. The same is for the oil extracted from them. Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, this oil is extremely beneficial for heart health. Not just that, it also helps prevent colitis and keeps the gut healthy.Canola Oil:With low saturated fat content, it is known to be a very healthy oil. It is also rich in Omega 3, vitamins E and K, and plant sterols and low in saturated fat. It is also cholesterol-free, which helps in protecting your heart health. Canola oil can also reduce blood pressure and inflammation.Heres hoping that this list of healthy oil option helps you in choosing the right oil. As it goes without saying, changing your oil every once in a while is a healthy practice too. If there are any question, please post them in the comments and I will be happy to help you with them.019
Is long-demonized lard actually a healthy fat while supposedly healthy oils like canola and safflower are actually unhealthy for you -- inflammation-promoting?
Back in the 1950's, a study in Australia tested the replacement of other fats with safflower oil. It resulted in reduction of total plasma cholesterol. Those who are against animal fats still tout that result. The original Australian data was retrieved in 2015 and reviewed. Those who consumed the safflower oil showed MORE signs of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. They were projected to have MORE heart attacks and strokes and SHORTER lifespan. By contrast, modern rapeseed oil (called canola in Canada) is very similar to olive oil in composition but with a neutral flavor that allows it to be used in more dishes. When compared with the cardiovascular protection shown by olive oil, studies found NO difference.All unsaturated and poly-unsaturated oils reduce plasma cholesterol but there are many components that are called cholesterol. Only the small dense LDL particles have been shown to be consistently harmful AND longevity appears to peak at a plasma cholesterol between 200 and 210 mg per deciliter.Attempts to lower total cholesterol below that level that do not also greatly reduce LDL are likely to REDUCE longevity.Some oils, mostly monounsaturated oils, have been shown to increase HDL. Interventions that raise HDL (including niacin) have not shown any consistent benefit. High HDL may be the result of other factors that reduce cardiovascular risk rather than their cause.Coconut oil has been touted BUT it has many components. The medium chain triglyseride components HAVE been shown to be beneficial BUT they comprise only 15% of the raw oil. Longer fatty acids, most notably lauric acid can comprise 50% of coconut oil. Those who tout coconut oil claim that lauric acid is medium chain and list 65% of MCT. That is false. Lauric acid does NOT offer cardiovascular protection.The MCT component boils off when coconut oil is used for cooking AND the minor unsaturated fractions can be damaged by heat as well. Refined coconut oil has the unsaturated fraction removed or hydrogenated and MAY lower the MCT. It is actually better for cooking and has less obvious coconut flavor.Contrary to vegan claims, animal fats from dairy and eggs provide cardiovascular protection. That has NOT been shown for animal body fats such as lard. Lard is certainly better than hydrogenated vegetable fats that may contain traces of trans fats. Lard MAY be better than oils high in omega 6 fats, especially for cooking. Lard or any other fat is certainly safer than an equal number of calories from sugar. For those at risk of type II diabetes, lard may even be safer than equal calories from simple starches such as bread.Is long-demonized lard actually a healthy fat while supposedly healthy oils like canola and safflower are actually unhealthy for you -- inflammation-promoting?