The market is flooded with a variety of oils and all the companies claim to be better than the others and best for your heart. Advertisements on oils are often misleading and partial knowledge can make your choice bias.
All edible oils contain the same percentage of fat. This also means that all oils contain the same amount of calories. On an average 1 tsp of oil has 40-45 calories. Only the type of fat varies. Vegetable oils are a source of MUFA(mono unsaturated fatty acids) and PUFA ( poly unsaturated fatty acids).
HOW MUCH OIL TO CONSUME
15% of our daily calories should come from these two sources of fats present in vegetable oil in a ration of 2:1.
For eg. If you are on a 2000 calorie diet 300 calories should come from MUFA and PUFA. As a lot of our daily foods like nuts, seeds, cereals and grains have these fats hidden in them we get at least 5% of these fats through them. Finally we are left with only 10 % of calories to be consumed through vegetable oils, which comes up to 2-3 tsp in a day per person.
Various oils are available in India by different brands. Here are the Tips on how to choose your oil
.As you all must be aware that cold pressed oils are the best! they are not easily available in the market . With the inventions of various machines and chemicals the percentage of oil extracted has gone up from 80% to 95%. But in the bargain we lose most of the nutrients. Then for marketing purpose these oils are fortified with vitamins. It’s like mixing multi vitamins in your oils. I suggest it’s better to consume vegetable oils which have natural health benefits rather than fortified nutrients and have other sources of food for the nutrients that are lost during processing.
Best oil available in India which is suitable for Indian cooking. Fresh and cold pressed mustard oil is easily available in the market.
Why mustard oil is the best?
- Rich in MUFA ( 60%)which elevates the good cholesterol of our body and keeps heart diseases at bay.
- Cold pressed easily available with the tag of “khachi ghani”
- Acts as an appetizer by stimulating the gastric juices. ‘pakoras’ fried in mustard oil are not that heavy on our digestive tract and can be eaten once in a while.
- Can be used for frying as has a high smoke point 254degree Centigrade.
- Has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties.
Chemical properties are same as mustard oil with the same health benefits. If using olive oil just check the date of manufacturing as it is all imported in India. Extra virgin is the best but only to be eaten raw in salad dressings.
The biggest drawback of olive oil is that it is very expensive and sometimes stale oil is repacked in fresh containers
As peanuts are grown in abundance in India fresh peanut oil is easily available.
- This oil is rich in natural sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect our body from the damage caused by the free radical.
- Rich in vitamin E
- Has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce inflammation.
As peanuts are highly allergic foods anyone suffering from peanut allergy should avoid eating it.
- This oil has an impressive fatty acid content of Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic and Linoleic acids. These are types of Omega 6 Fatty Acids. As it is deficient in Omega 3 you need to boost your intake of Omega 3 through other sources to maintain the balance of Omega 3/6.
- Very good source of Vitamin E and antioxidants.
Some good brands in India are importing sunflower seeds and don’t mention the sources. So read the labels carefully for date of manufacturing before buying these oils.
Freely used down south, a good source of SFA (saturated fatty acids). One has to develop a taste for it.
- Food cooked in coconut oil is easily digested and absorbed.
- Very good source of Vitamin E and antioxidants
- Like mustard oil has a high smoke point and good for frying.
- A good substitute for ghee
As rich in SFA moderation is the key, as over consumption could lead to elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood. Should be used only if fresh and cold pressed is available. Oil made from fresh coconut is even healthier than the one made from dried coconut.
SOYABEAN, CANOLA , RICE BRAN, CORN OIL are the other few available in the market. With almost similar properties the ratio of Omega 6 and 3 varies from oil to oil. The only disadvantage is the process through which these oils are extracted. The smoke point of all the above oils is less than 200 degree centigrade so if used for frying once should not be reused and should be discarded. To avail the health benefits of all keep changing the oil every month.
HOW TO STORE YOUR OILS
- Don’t store them for long as once they turn rancid they become carcinogenic.
- Don’t keep oils in direct sunlight as it destroys the vitamin E
- Keep them in airtight containers to prevent oxidation.
So choose the right oil and use it in moderation as vegetable oils are one of the few sources of fat soluble vitamins especially for vegetarians.