Media, especially nutrition media has time and again insisted that lesser that fat you consume lesser is your heart at risk. However, this cannot be taken outright at the face value, because, eating fat per se is not a problem, eating unhealthy fat is the what creates the problem.

Good Fat Bad Fat

This is one controversy which has become highly debated and till date it does not seem to end. Good fat is considered to lower the content of its counterpart and hence the presence of good fat is considered to enhance your health, and has shown a good increase in cancer preventing antioxidants in the body. (Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net)

On the other hand, bad fat that is highly prevalent in many cooking oils is more attractive and is responsible for innumerable health problems faced today.

So it is very important to choose the right kind of oil for your daily use not only to reduce the risk of heart disease but also to improve your body?s resistance against wide range of diseases.

Choosing the Right Cooking Oil

Here is a guide to choose a healthy oil for daily use and how to use them.

Cooking oil plays an important role in our kitchen.Using the right cooking oil is important. here is a list of basic terminologies used to determine the quality of the oil.

  1. Cholestrol is important for body functioning.If we you remove fat completely from our body you will die immediately. This cholesterol is of two types, namely bad cholesterol or the LDL good cholesterol or the HDL.
  2. Saturated fats – These are fat that raise the total blood cholesterol including LDL (bad cholesterol), thereby they promote the formation of blood clots, heart disease and even stroke. Saturated fats belong to Bad Fat and are found primarily in meat and dairy products and also in palm and coconut oil.
  3. Unsaturated Fats These are good for health, as they do not increase the levels of bad cholesterol. They can be in the form of both monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats and belong to Good Fat.


  1. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids : The healthy fatty acid which lowers the level of bad cholesterol without lowering the level of good cholesterol .They belong to Good Fat and are found in canola, nut and olive oils.
  2. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA): Unlike MUFA, they lower the level of both bad and good cholesterol. If good cholesterol level is lowered down, it will increase the risk of developing heart disease .They belong to Good Fat and are found in seafood and corn, safflower, soybean and sunflower oils.
  3. Trans fat: A type of unsaturated fat with trans isomer fatty acid. It is not required by the body and not beneficial for health. In fact, trans fat raises LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol), and therefore increases risk of coronary heart disease. Belongs toBad Fat.
  4. Unrefined Oil : Unrefined oils are “whole” oils and their flavor, color and fragrance are more pronounced than in refined oils. Like unrefined whole grain flours, unrefined oils are more nutritious and have a shorter storage life than refined.They are best used unheated in dressings or with low heat, saut?ing or baking.They belong to high nutritional quality but not suitable for high temperature cooking. (Image Freedigitalphotos.net)
  5. Refined oil: Refined oils recommended for high-heat cooking and deep-frying.They are filtered and strained than unrefined oil.They are smoke resistance and belong to lower nutritional quality but suitable for high temperature cooking.

Source of oils

  1. Plant Based oils are olive oil,peanut oil,canola oil,sunflower oil,soybean oil,flaxseed oil,avocado oil.
  2. Seed and nut based oils are almond oil,hazelnut oil,sunflower oil,grapeseed oil,peanut oil,sesame oil,walnut oil.

Criteria to for selecting cooking oil:

  1. Avoid omega 6 fat loaded oils: Our cells need a balance of 4:1 ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fats.The oils like palm oil,cotton seed oil,sesame oil,safflower oil,rice bran oil,coconut oil,corn oil have high omega 6 than omega 3 which are inflammatory.
  2. Extra virgin oil and canola oil are the best .
  3. Buy organic oils which is free from fat soluble pesticides.
  4. Do not buy oils thatis partially hydrogenated because the manufacturer adds hydrogen molecules in that oilto make it saturated this would lead to damageof cells.Margarine or dalda is an example of such product.
  5. Refined oil too has to be avaoided because they are heated and most valuable nutrients and antioxidants are removed from them especially the vitamin E present in unrefined oil is removed from them.
  6. Cold-pressed oils are oils made by first grinding nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables (depending on the oil being made) into a paste. Then an oil stone or other tool is used to press the paste which forces the oil to separate out.This type of cold pressed oil is recommended.

Healthy Oils That are Recommended

Olive oil: Extra-virgin and unrefined are best used in dishes with little to no heat, as they have a low smoke point and loose flavour and benefits when heated

Avocado oil:Similar to olive oil .It can be used for high temperature.It s monounsaturated.

Canola Oil. Low in saturated fat and high in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, canola oil has a neutral flavor that’s great for baking and has a high smoke point for sauteing or frying. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (image coutesy freedigitalphotos.net)

Sunflower oil is also heart healthy, and contains polyunsaturated fats and is low in saturated fats. It is definitely a good ?all purpose? oil.

Sesame oil has a rich, nutty aroma that gives many Chinese food dishes their distinctive flavor. sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fat (43%) and monounsaturated fat (42%)

  • In general use extra virgin oil for dressing.
  • For saut?ing use oilive oil and safflower oil.
  • For high heat cooking canola oil,peanut oil.sesame oil,sunflower oil.

 

Shelf Life Of Cooking Oil

Shelf life of cooking oil gives you and idea of how long you can store cooking oil after it has been packed so that it does not become rancid. Rancidity in oil is a cause of numerous intestinal and other related health problems

  • Oil have less shelf life. It becomes rancid quickly.Rancid fats have been associated with atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancer.
  • Shelf life for cooking oils is about 3-months to 1-year. Exposure to oxygen, heat and light diminish an oil’s shelf life.
  • It is better to store oil in refrigerator if you are buying in bulk.It gets solidified but becomes normal when kept in room temperature.
  • Otherwise buy in small lots and replace it frequently

 

We need fats, but we need good fats. The above mentioned tips thus would give you an idea of how to choose, use and also store coking oil to keep you healthy and fit.

 

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