Cooking Oils: Knowledge and Myths by Dr. Pallavi Aga

For some of you it may be confusing what is better? But this article is to separate the myths from the facts and provide right knowledge of cooking oils.

Oil is the basic ingredient used for cooking everything. We can make home cooked healthy foods if we use the basics of cooking and the cooking medium in a correct manner.

The following oils should be totally avoided-

  1. Corn oil
  2. Soybean oil
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. Peanut oil
  5. Sunflower oil
  6. Safflower oil
  7. Cottonseed oil
  8. Grape seed oil
  9. Canola oil
  10. Margarine
  11. Shortening
  12. Fake butter

Here I will suggest you the four cooking oils that are beneficial for people in the day to day life.

1. Butter & Ghee

We have to go back to the cooking medium which was being used by our forefathers and that is white butter and ghee.

These are extremely high in Omega-6 and cause an alternation the ratio between Omega 3 and 6. This is linked to inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

Use homemadedesi ghee or white butter as the cooking medium especially ghee which is very well applicable for Indian cooking. It is a rich source of Omega- 3 essential fatty acids which is essential for cardiovascular and overall health. They are also rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals and anti-oxidants. Ghee is also lactose-free and casein-free and has high levels of vitamin K2 which helps in bone strength. Portion control is a must as it very nutrient dense and should not be taken in excess quantities than needed.

We have to be very mindful of not heating it to high heat and not deep frying as the healthy benefits are lost and ghee turns rancid with releases free radicals.

2. Coconut Oil

This is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCT) which are easy for your body to digest, not readily stored by the body as fat and small in sizeand hence are an immediate source of energy.

These fatty acids also improve brain and memory function as well as increases good cholesterol and promote heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti- inflammatory agent working very well in arthritis.

When choosing a coconut oil, I recommend extra virgin varieties, as refined or processed coconut oils can eliminate many of the health benefits.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There are many benefits are many: it is great for heart health and has high amount of antioxidants hence it protects your cells from damage. It also helps improve memory and cognitive function and works as an anti-inflammatory. I recommend only extra virgin varieties of the oil. Beware for fake oils which are marketed as "light”, “blend," it isn't virgin quality. Opt for dark bottles, as they protect the oil from oxidation.

Olive oil is not recommended for cooking at high temperatures because of its low smoke point, but it's terrific for making salad dressings or drizzling over breads or cooked foods.

4. Avocado Oil

It is a good source of monounsaturated fats, minerals, vitamins and great on salads or in dips. It also acts like sunblock. Avocado oil helps in reducing cholesterol and improves heart health. It may also reduce the symptoms of Arthritis.

Conclusion

Healthy diet with an active lifestyle will avoid most of the lifestyle diseases. One has to be careful in the choice of food and the cooking medium. Food has to be used as fuel not a source of disease in the body.

About The Author

Dr. Pallavi Aga

Dr. Pallavi Aga is an MBBS, MD (SGPGI). She is IDEEL certified and has been a professor at KGMC (LKO). She is a Lifestyle Management Consultant and Nutritionist, an Advisor at N.... Read More..

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