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Tuesday, 29 April 2014 13:51

4 Heart Healthy Cooking Oils

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Selecting healthy cooking oil for improving heart health….

Heart disease is the key cause for higher incidence of death in industrialized countries. Health professionals always emphasize lifestyle modification as the first and the most beneficial way for reducing heart disease related risk factors. Eating a healthy diet is an integral part of such heart-healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to healthy diet, cooking oil becomes a vital ingredient in deciding a meal plan. It is not only essential stuff in all kitchens for frying and baking purpose but also important part in salad dressing. Now-a-day varieties of heart-healthy cooking oils are available in the market. But how many of them really remain healthy after cooking?

Selecting healthy cooking oil from various available brands is tough, isn’t it? However, keeping few things in mind while purchasing cooking oil, can definitely help to solve this problem.

The type of fat and smoke point of a particular oil helps to determine healthiness of cooking oil. Presence of Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) makes oil healthy by reducing bad cholesterol from blood. On the contrary, oil with high saturated and trans fat that increases bad cholesterol level are considered as unhealthy.

Second important thing deciding healthiness of cooking oil is its smoke point. Smoke point is a temperature at which oil starts to produce toxic compounds. Smoke point makes cooking oil best for specific purpose use. For frying and searing purpose it’s always better to go for oil with a higher smoke point.

Olive oil

Olive oil is an important constituent of “Mediterranean diet” that is known to boost heart health.

Health benefit of olive oil is related to presence of MUFA. MUFA aids in lowering total and low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride cholesterol from blood, which are considered bad for heart health.

Benefits of olive oil are beyond a mere reduction of cholesterol. According to International Olive Council, olive oil prevents excessive blood coagulation and avoids a formation of blood clots inside blood vessels. This property of olive oil stops the process of ‘atherosclerosis’, a process of formation of cholesterol rich deposits on the wall of blood vessels that can obstruct normal blood flow.

On the contrary, phytochemicals from olive oil help to maintain healthy blood vessels and improve a blood circulation process.

As olive oil has medium to low smoke point, it is better for salad dressing.

Canola oil :

High content of MUFA and PUFA in canola oil makes it ideal cooking oil for frying and baking purpose. According to Canola Council of Canada presence of omega-3 in canola oil helps to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol. Furthermore, canola oil is one, which is lowest in saturated fat and has zero trans fat both of which increases heart disease-related risk.

Also, it is a good source of vitamin E; an antioxidant that decreases free radicals induced damage. A high smoke point increases its cooking utility.

Rice bran oil:

This oil extracted from rice is suitable for frying purpose. Equal concentration of MUFA and PUFA make it perfect for heart health. However healthy effect of rice bran is due to presence of oryzanol, an antioxidant that inhibits plaque formation inside blood vessels.

According to study published in The Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry, oryzanol have higher effect in reducing very low and low-density lipoprotein.

High smoke point of rice bran oil makes it ideal for frying and searing purpose.

Soybean oil

A growing body of research has shown that benefits of soybean oil consumption are associated with high content of PUFA. According to National Soybean Research Laboratory, soybean oil contains 61% PUFA and 24% MUFA. It is this PUFA that helps to drop cholesterol level.

Also, soybean oil is enriched with two essential fatty acids called as linoleic and linolenic which produces hormones that regulate blood pressure. It is good oil after rice bran with high smoke point.

Never forget to read label on oil packaging that indicate amount and type of fat. Saturated fat free labeling indicates saturated fat less than 0.5 gm and trans fat no more than 0.5 gm per serving.

So toss all those unhealthy cooking oils from your kitchen and replace them with healthy one.

Let’s know more about other common cooking oil

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is considered to be high in saturated fat and studies suggest that eating food items made of coconut oil may raise risk of increasing total and LDL cholesterol.  However, Coconut oil also raises the HDL (good) cholesterol and its burning point is very high. Thus, eating coconut oil in moderate quantity is advisable.
Groundnut oil

Groundnut oil or peanut oil is mostly used in western region of India. Groundnut oil also contains fats, that are good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is low in bad saturated fats. It's good option of oil for various style of cooking.


Read 15576 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 May 2014 18:01

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