CHENNAI: Cooking oil is a basic ingredient in all cuisines. Oil is used for adding flavour to food and for sautéing, seasoning and baking. There is a variety of oils available but in India the oil used in kitchens is predominantly based on regions. For example, In Kerala, it’s coconut oil, in Andhra Pradesh and other cities of south India it’s often sesame oil and palm oil. Different cultures eat different types of foods and different types of oil was used but it all changed after 1990 because of the fear of cholesterol and heart issues. But the different types of oils have their benefits too.
Sesame oil used for seasoning, sautéing. It provides hearthealthy fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6, antioxidants, vitamin E, which is essential for preventing several diseases like cardiac issues, improve immune function, reduce the risk of chronic disease and inflammation in our body.
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil and comes from fleshy fruit of palm. It is mostly used in south India. Palm oil contains high saturated fat content but it’s not harmful when it’s part of a balanced diet. It contains vitamin E, so it helps to protect your cells and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Groundnut or peanut oil is used for cooking. It has a nutty flavour. It’s loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s good for people with diabetes because it contains more unsaturated fatty acids than saturated ones and hence helps in regulating sugar level. Groundnut oil reduces the oxidative stress. It contains good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol so it’s good for the heart.
Coconut oil is known as a superfood because it contains MCT and a unique combination of fatty acids which helps in keeping you satiated and increases fat burning. Coconut oil has natural saturated fats that increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol and hence it’s heart healthy.
Compared to other cooking oils, sunflower oil is nutritive dense. It’s good when you consume it as part of a balanced diet. It’s high in vitamin E so it protects your heart. It promotes heart health, provides energy to your body, it lowers your bad cholesterol, and strengthens your immune system.
Mustard oil is one of the most popular cooking oils. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fats are good for reducing the risk of heart related disease and low content of saturated fats. It has a power stimulant so it improves digestion- related issues and fights bacteria. Mustard oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties too. It’s important to understand what is healthy or unhealthy for your body. The benefits of cooking is obtained only when you consume the right quantity and quality in your balanced diet.
When you heat the oil, its colour, texture, taste as well as its nutrition properties change. When oil reaches the smoking point, a lot of nutrients are destroyed and it’s also harmful for our health. A single oil does not contain all essential fatty acids, so try to change or rotate oil at least once in a month so as to get the necessary benefits.
There are three types of fat present in cooking oil saturated, unsaturated and monounsaturated fat. The percentage of the component vary in all type of oil so do not mix one oil with another because each oil contains different types of fats and different kind of smoking points. Most people use reheated and recycled oil; it has a harmful substance so it plays a catalyst in increasing blood pressure, causes heart diseases and cancer. Avoid reusing oil.