“The healthiest way to eat is home cooking because you know exactly how it’s prepared and what is going on it”
Our diet and lifestyle play a major role in maintaining your heart health and deciding the risk of heart trouble you may face. The food choices we make have a direct impact on your heart health and a good, balanced diet is not just about eliminating unhealthy foods but also eating foods rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to fats. It is important to know that healthy fats form an important part of a balanced diet. But, what do we mean by healthy fats? Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids are known as heart-friendly fats.
As per the National Institute of Nutrition in India, about 20% or 1/5th of your diet should be devoted to fats, all three kinds -omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated & monounsaturated. When it comes to fat, the type and quantity of fat in your daily diet really matters.
According to Dr. SHIKHA SHARMA, INDIA’S LEADING NUTRITIONIST, how much oil should a person consume per day, she said that the total quantity of oil consumption should not cross 2 teaspoons per person per day. Now that’s about the quantity goes, but what about the quality? Let’s have a look at the 8 healthiest oils and why they are not created equal.
1. Peanut or Groundnut Oil: Peanut oil has a high content of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol levels. It also contains natural antioxidants that protect the cells from disease-causing free radicals. It is rich in Vitamin E, which is good for the heart. It does not contain any trans-fat, is cholesterol-free, and low in saturated fats.It’s perfect for frying because of its neutral taste & high smoking point.
2. Olive Oil: The main type of fat found in olive oil is the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).MUFAs fall under the category of healthy dietary fats. These healthy fats are known to reduce the risk of heart disease & breast cancer by keeping your cholesterol levels in check. Extra virgin olive oil is great in salads as a dressing and can even be used for light sauteing while regular olive oil has a high smoke point and can be used for frying.
3. Rice Bran Oil: The ideal balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) makes it the best cooking oil for your heart. It has a mild nutty flavor and is neutral in taste. Use it in salads, cookies, and cakes or for grilling and sauteing.
4. Sunflower Oil: This oil is extracted from sunflower seeds and has a subtle taste. It is known to contain more Vitamin E (an antioxidant good for the heart) than other oils. It contains more than 80% of monounsaturated fats which makes it heart-friendly. Due to its high smoking point, it holds onto its nutritional content at higher temperatures, which is probably why this oil is widely used in deep frying samosas, chips and vegetables.
Diabetic people should be more careful while using sunflower oil as it may lead to the possibility of increasing sugar levels.
5. Safflower Oil: Safflower oil is known to contain a very high amount of Omega-6 fatty acids (also known as linoleic acid), which balances the cholesterol in the body, prevents hardening of the arteries and thus, reduces the risk of heart disease.
6. Soyabean Oil: Soyabean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from soybeans. It contains a good variety of essential fatty acids and plant sterols that promote overall health. These help in reducing the accumulation of cholesterol in the body. It is also known to reduce the risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) and other heart conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
7.Canola oil: It is regarded as one of the healthiest cooking oils as it is very low in saturated fat content. It is made from the seeds of canola plants and is high in omega. It is cholesterol-free and is a good source of vitamins E and K, omega-3 fats which help in protecting your heart health. Canola oil is a heart-friendly oil that reduces blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol. It has a medium smoking point and works very well for frying, baking and sauteing
8.Mustard oil: In Indian cooking, which mostly involves deep frying, this age-old oil scores best than refined and other oils in overall health benefits. Rich in MUFA, PUFA, Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin E, Minerals and anti-oxidants, Mustard oil demonstrates strong Anti-Microbial property and is Anti-inflammatory. It improves heart health and reduces cancer risks. Due to its antibacterial properties, this oil also fights germs and virus, great to prevent colds, coughs and skin problems
To reap maximum health benefits one should use a variety of cooking oils and not stick to just one cooking medium as per the best nutritionist all over. In fact, some cooking oils are healthier when used in combination with others like sunflower oil and mustard oil.
A healthy oil makes a healthy You!