Friday, February 19, 2016

Healthy cooking oils - How to avoid bad fat and choose good fat

Which is the best oil to cook? to bake? to use for salad dressings?
Well we all want to know what is best for our body, there are different kinds of oil and butter which are used for cooking and baking. But how to know which is best for us? When I started searching on net for which oil should I eat every day, I got thousand of articles and came across the words like 'monounsaturated fats', 'polyunsaturated fats', 'omega 3' and many more, and also types of oils like olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil etc. I really got trapped and confused, the only oil I knew good is olive oil. Then I thought to do a little research and share with you.
     So lets talk about those few good oils in our kitchen and their goodness.  To start with lets know about what does the oil contains? From those fats which are good for health and which are not? So fat are nutrients that gives us energy which helps in absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Fats are divided into two parts
               1.Saturated fat- also known as 'solid fat', like cheese. Saturated fat is also found in tropical oil such as coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter. We find these oil kind of oils in many snacks, coffee creamers, and whipped topping. Food made with butter, shortening etc like (cakes, cookies and desserts ) have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fat can raise our cholesterol level.
               2.Unsaturated fat- is liquid at room temperature. It is mostly in the oils from plants. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. This divided into two parts-
                                                        -Monounsaturated fats
                                                        -Polyunsaturated fats
               Monounsaturated fats(MUFAs)- are the good fats, liquid at room temperature. Eating foods that are high in MUFAs may help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol. It may also keep "good" HDL cholesterol high. (but only eating unsaturated fat without cutting back  on saturated fat won't help you lower your cholesterol). Sources of MUFAs are avocado, olive oil, canola oil, nuts. So we know that the oil that contains monounsaturated fats are good.
               Polyunsaturated fats- this type of fat is mainly found in vegetables oil such as sunflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and corn oil. This is also the main fat we find in seafoods. Polyunsaturated fats also helps lower LDL "bad" cholesterol.  There two types of polyunsaturated fats
               1.Omega-3 fatty acids- found mainly in fish oils from plants like soybean oil, canola oil and walnuts, also found in fatty fish and shellfish etc. Beneficial to our heart by protecting against high blood pressure.
               2.Omega-6 fatty acids- found mostly in soybean oil and corn oil.
So from the above discussion we get a rough idea that unsaturated fats are better than the saturated fats and unsaturated fats that contains more of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better for our daily healthy diet. Now we just have to know that which oil contain how much of these fats and we are good to go.
    Lets compare few oils and see(just check the nutrition facts labeled on the bottle or check online), to start with every ones favorite-
1. Olive oil (1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 1.9 g
polyunsaturated fat- 1.4 g
monounsaturated fat- 10 g

2. Canola oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 1 g
polyunsaturated fat- 4 g
monounsaturated fat- 9 g

3. Mustard oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 1.6 g
polyunsaturated fat- 3 g
monounsaturated fat- 8 g

4. Palm oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 7 g
polyunsaturated fat- 1.3 g
monounsaturated fat- 5 g

5. Sesame oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 1.9 g
polyunsaturated fat- 6 g
monounsaturated fat-5 g

6. Corn oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 1.8 g
polyunsaturated fat- 7 g
monounsaturated fat- 3.8 g

7. Soybean oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 2 g
polyunsaturated fat- 6 g
monounsaturated fat- 1.5 g

8. Coconut oil(1 tbsp)
saturated fat- 12 g
polyunsaturated fat- 0.2 g
monounsaturated fat- 0.8 g

         In the nutrition facts label you may also find different things like calories and total fat. Well every oil of 1 tbsp have different calorie value and total fat, but we are not checking for calories and fat for now, that's another topic to discuss on for now we are just concerned about the good oil and the good things in it after which we can see for other things.
        Before I could never understand what oil to eat why some oil are good and why some are not. Found a article in which it stated that heating any oil to its smoke point can burn aways its good qualities. Well in anyways the oil cooks in high heat. I thought it was difficult to know such vast things on oil how to eat, what to eat, how to cook etc. So i decided to limit my knowledge to what's the best oil I can take for a healthy life. I personally use extra virgin oil for cooking, baking and dressing as well. Just eat healthy and stay fit.

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