Choosing the Perfect Cooking Oil: 5 Things to Look out For
Many factors affect our heart, including the cooking oil we use. Look out for these 5 elements in your cooking oil.
When you choose the healthiest oil for yourself that directly ensures you that you are preparing for a heart-healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal. This means, your choice in terms of purchasing cooking oil should be conscious and research-based. A key element in this are the types of fat that your diet should need at any cost. Oils that stay stable even under high temperatures are the best for cooking.
How to Choose a Healthy Cooking Oil?
But, we don’t have the apparatus to check this. So we are listing down 5 key factors that you should look out for while choosing healthy cooking oil for your family:
1. Low Saturated Fats (SAFA) content
Saturated fats mostly come from animal sources. Contrary to popular belief, not all saturated fats are bad. These fats have a highly stable structure that resists oxidation and aides digestion. Your intake of saturated fats however, should be limited.
2. High Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) content
Monounsaturated fats have a number of health benefits. They can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation. Olive oil, Avocado oil, and Nut oils are rich sources of MUFA. Palmitoleic acid and oleic acid are also good sources of MUFA.
3. Balanced Poly-unsaturated Fats (PUFA)
It’s not easy to spot foods claiming to contain high PUFA at grocery stores. The most well-known PUFAs are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Fish and other seafood, nuts and seeds, plant oils are rich in Omega-3. Vegetable and seed oils, eggs and nuts have high Omega content.
4. Ideal Omega-6 : Omega-3 Ratio
According to Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Nutrition, ideal quality fat for good health is the one which maintains a balance, Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio of between 5-10 in the total diet. For ensuring this appropriate balance of fatty acids in cereal-based diets, it is necessary to increase Omega 3 intake from the cooking oil, especially for vegetarians who can’t depend on fish and other sea foods for Omega 3 intake.
5. Presence of Vitamin A, D & E
Vitamin A repairs damage caused by lifestyle and stress, Vitamin D is vital for immunity, and for reducing heart problems and Vitamin E reduces damage to the body and protects us from getting lifestyle diseases. All of these are essential in our daily diet.
All the points mentioned above will not only help you to comprehend the importance of cooking oil in your daily diet but will also help you in making a wise choice.
You need to know your heart’s requirements and concerns, before making a choice. Often, we know that eating certain foods can increase the risk of heart problems, however it is often tough to suddenly change your lifestyle habits.
All of us look to form healthy habits which give us a long and healthy life. An active and healthy heart allows you to indulge in every day activity. You will have the freedom to balance your food and active life. You'll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With the right choice of oil, planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat your choice of food while ensuring your heart is healthy.
(Dr Priyanka Rohatgi is Head Nutritionist with Apollo Hospitals)
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