Amazing Facts

Cooking Oil




No Oil Can Be Termed 'Healthiest'

Firstly, there is no particular oil which could be termed as 'the
healthiest oil'. Each oil has its own merits and demerits. Oils can
be classified under four categories as per their fat content:
saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Unsaturated oils are more beneficial and healthier.





Saturated Oils Also Have Benefits

Saturated fat contains triglycerides (the component that affects
your cholesterol levels) that could clog your arteries. Saturated
oils however, are not your enemies. Coconut oil contains saturated
fats, but is good for your hair and skin. Ghee also contains
saturated fats but is beneficial if taken within limits. Other oils
that contain saturated fats are palm oil and kernel oil.





Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are heart friendly as
they contain good cholesterol or HDL (high density lipoprotein). Of
the vegetable oils, monounsaturated oils work the best on
cholesterol levels. Olive oil, peanut oil and mustard oils are
monounsaturated oils.



The third type of fat is the polyunsaturated fat. These contain
omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Whole sources of polyunsaturated fats are
the best. Sources of these are flax seeds, walnuts and oily fish.



Here are some facts about commonly used oils in Indian cooking:





Groundnut Oil

Groundnut oil has a near-perfect ratio of saturated, monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated fats. Diets that include groundnut oil are
effective in protecting against heart disease, as compared to most
oils.



Groundnut oil contains natural antioxidants that prevent formation
of free radicals and protect us from various cancers. It also helps
reduce cholesterol levels. It lowers the bad cholesterol in our body
without lowering the good cholesterol. Good cholesterol is HDL (high
density lipoprotein) that transports cholesterol back to the liver
and prevents blockages. Bad cholesterol is LDL (low density
lipoprotein) that transports cholesterol to tissues and arteries
causing blockages.





Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil is of two kinds - refined and unrefined. Organic,
unrefined sesame oil adds an amazing flavour to food.



Sesame oil is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sesame
oil contains fat soluble antioxidants that prevent formation of free
radicals. It has cholesterol lowering properties too. Sesame oil
helps people with anxiety, nerve and bone disorders. It also
improves circulation, improves immunity and helps ease digestive
problems like flatulence, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
If used regularly, sesame oil helps combat stress, tension, nurtures
the nervous system, relieves fatigue, cures insomnia and improves
vitality.



Sesame oil will also protect you from cancer. Since it is a rich
source of calcium, it helps those with arthritis and joint pain.





Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is high in the essential vitamin E and low in
saturated fat. Sunflower oil, refined or unrefined is heart
friendly. It lowers cholesterol levels as it contains the right
amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.





Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. It has properties
which help in reducing weight. In addition, they help in the
strengthening of the cell membranes, thus preventing the entry of
toxins. This aids in boosting immunity. Safflower oil reduces
cholesterol levels too, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular
diseases.



Safflower oil is also recommended to diabetic patients as it reduces
blood sugar levels. This oil also helps ease premenstrual symptoms.





Choose The Right Oil

Always remember that oils are better cold pressed and organic rather
than refined. Refining them reduces their health properties. There
is no one 'best cooking oil'; each has their own benefits and
drawbacks. Simply choose the one that works best for you. Avoid
trans fats. Hydrogenated vegetable oil contain trans fats. These
elevate cholesterol levels, putting your heart at risk.

   
Related Tags: Oil  Health  Fat  
 
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