Blend Cooking Oil To Curb Heart Disease !

By Dr Jyothish Vijay

24 Jan, 2018


Your body needs some fat to function normally. However, it’s important to focus on including healthy fats or good fats that can protect your heart health while avoiding harmful fats that can increase your risk of heart disease. One way to do this is by choosing healthier oils for cooking your food.

So, how would you figure out the heart healthy cooking oil?
All cooking oils are made up of three different types of fatty acids: Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Each oil is classified based on the type of fatty acid most prominent in it. For example, olive, mustard and canola oils are predominant in monounsaturated fat, while corn and soybean oils contain mainly polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil and palm oil is prominent in saturated fatty acids.

Both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as heart-healthy fats. Including them in your diet --in moderation can improve your blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease. Oils high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include mustard oil, groundnut oil, olive, gingelly, sunflower, safflower and canola, to name a few.

The two main types of potentially harmful dietary fat include trans-fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as margarine or Vanaspati. Saturated fats, though not so harmful as trans fats, too increases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of heart disease.

In general, choose oils with less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, and no partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats at all.

How should you use healthy cooking oils?
While using cooking oils strike a balance between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, present in mustard oil, groundnut oil, olive, gingelly, sunflower, safflower canola etc.  Saturated fats should be  kept at minimal,  and trans fats are best avoided.

Use unsaturated vegetable oils instead of solid fats (including ghee, butter, shortening, lard and hard stick margarine) and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil.

However, to reap maximum health benefits you must not stick to just one oil.  A blend of  two or three types of oil can be good choice for your heart health or you can rotate types of oil for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well.
It  is also worth remembering that, even the good fats in oils are still fats and they are loaded with calories and should be used only in moderation. Therefore, even though a particular oil is claimed to be heart healthy, it does not mean that it can be taken in excess either.

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