Cooking Oil is an essential ingredient for food preparation. It is basically purified fat extracted from plant source. There is wide variety of edible oils available in the market. Selecting and purchasing the right Cooking Oil can prove a tough task.
What are different kinds of fats in Cooking Oils?
OIls are basically fats and are unsaturated unlike the saturated ones which are mostly solids at room temperature. The Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats are the better ones to include in your daily diet.
Saturated Fat: It is a type of lipid which increases bad cholesterol in the blood. It allows fat deposition on the walls of arteries, causes blood clots and increases risk of heart disease.
Monosaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA): It is a type of healthy fatty acid. It reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.Examples are Olive Oil
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA): This essential fatty acid reduces the level of both bad and good cholesterol. It increases risk of developing heart disease.Examples : Canola Oil
Unsaturated Fat: This lipid reduces the level of bad cholesterol and are good for health.
What are the Different types of Cooking Oils?
Refined oilsare clear and mild. It is free from toxins, coloring component, flavour agents, suspended particles, and bad odor. Grapeseed oil fall into this categoryas well. These oils have a neutral flavor. Almond, Sunflower, Avocado, Palm, peanut and Hazelnut oil have high smoke point. These oils are best suited for deep frying, and browning. Oils such as Flaxseed and Wheat Germ oil have a very low smoke point andare ideal for dips, salad dressings and marinades. These oils are considered "no-heat oils" .
What are the various healthy Cooking Oils?
Groundnut Oil – It is one the most used edible oils. Being rich in MUFA, it reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) without lowering the good cholesterol(HDL). This oil is highly recommended for seasoning, grilling, and deep-frying.
Soyabean Oil – Since this oil contains PUFA (linoleic acid and alpha-linoolenic acid) in right proportion, it is a good choice for healthy heart. This oil is suitable for different cooking methods except deep-frying.
Sunflower Oil – This oil is rich in PUFA(linoleic acid ). It lowers both good and bad cholesterol. It must be used with some other cooking oil which is low in linoleic acid such such as palmolein oil.
Mustard Oil- This oil has right proportion of MUFA and PUFA. It is recommended for all types of cooking. However, it contains erucic acid (a fatty acid) that has harmful effects on human health. Sometimes, mustard oil is adulterated with toxic argemone oil.
Ricebran Oil –Due to the presence of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, this oil has cholesterol-lowering properties. It is rich in oryzanol, squalene and Vitamin E, which helps to maintain healthy skin. This oil is suitable for deep-frying recipes. Studies have found that foods cooked in rice bran oil absorb 12-25 % less oil than other cooking oils.
Coconut Oil- It is intensely-flavored and rich in lauric acid (fatty acid). This oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It must be used sparingly.
Canola Oil - It is one of the most healthy Cooking Oils. It is rich in mono unsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. It is ideal for frying on medium temperatures.
Olive oil which is of four types: Extra virgin comes from the 1st pressing of the olives. It belongs to the highest quality of olive oil. Virgin oil comes from the 2nd pressing of the olives. Pure oil is made from refined extra virgin or virgin olive oil. Extra Light oil is pure olive oil undergoes extra processing to produce this oil. It has a very mild flavor. Olive Oil due to a high proportion of mono-unsaturated fats minimizes the risk of blood clot formation and reduces the risk of type II diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. This oil is ideal for salad dressing, cooking, stir-frying, and sautéing.
Which Cooking Oils should be sparingly Used?
Clarified butter (ghee), butter, and hydrogenated vegetable oils should be used sparingly, specially the hydrogenated oils. Kids can eat butter as fats are equally important for the variousmetabolic functions of the body. But when consumed in excess as we grow, these oils can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that these oils badly affect endocrine system (including thyroid), decrease metabolic rate, and cause fatigue. Besides, they can also cause obesity, type II diabetes, abdominal cancer, gout, arthritis, and several other chronic diseases. So it is a good idea to limit the use of saturated and hydrogenated oils..