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The Fats And Some Facts

23 August 2010 3 Comments

 

Know Your Fats

Fats and their scary facts have made a common man stand and give a second look at the countless oil brands available in a super market. The eternal debate of which oil is good and which is bad for health still stay unresolved.

The good part:

  1. Not all is bad in the oil band. Certain amount of fat is essential for our body to function normally.
  2. Vital organs like heart, brain and liver are protected with a thin layer of fat, which help them from sudden jerks or injuries by absorbing the shocks.
  3. Presence of fats around our joints helps in the smooth functioning of joints.
  4. Certain fats help in transporting and absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.
  5. Deficiency of fats leads to hormonal imbalance, and dry skin.

There is variety of oil in the market to choose from, care must be taken to select the right oil for more health benefits.

A broad classification of oil;

Know Your Fats

 

1. Saturated fatty acids (SFA):

  • Animal saturated fats are present in egg yolks, dairy products and meat. While coconut oil and palm oil are the examples of plant saturated fats.
  • This form of fats must be avoided for better health.This oil become solid when cooled.
  • Consumption of saturated oil raise total blood cholesterol levels by raising both HDLs(good) and LDLs(bad) cholesterol in the blood.

2. Monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA):

  • These oil are much stable oil when exposed to air, heat and light and helps lower cholesterol levels and regulates the blood sugar levels.
  • Olive oil comes under this category.

3. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA):

  • These fats are essential for growth & maintenance of skin. This type of oil is found mainly in vegetable oil. Corn oil, sunflower oil, flax seed, sesame and soya bean oil are classic example of PUFA.
  • There are two more special types of PUFA, which are called essential oils. Omega 3Omega 6 are the two essential oils.
  • Essential oil cannot be manufactured by our body and have to be obtained from other food sources.

 

4. Artificial fats or Transfat:

  • The super villain of the oil kingdom, transfat is playing havoc in modern day lifestyle.
  • Most of the products from the bakeries are loaded with these transfats, since these oil are very cheap and increase the shelf life of baked goods.
  • More in the up coming article on Transfat.

These are the broad classification of fats, which are available for us to us. It is up to us to select the best of oil for good health benefits. Not to forget that the healthy limits of oil is just 3-6 teaspoons per day per person.

Note:

  • Avoid saturated oil in cooking. Use the healthier options of MUFA & PUFA oils, since they don’t cling to the arteries causing coronary diseases.
  • Changing the brand and variety of cooking oil more often is advisable and good for health.

Updated the old blogpost with new pictures and some more interesting and important facts about oil:

Back then, I never understood mom’s logic of using special oil for a particular recipe until I started to blog.

The subtle differences between cold pressed or Kachchi ghani oil and high smoking oils started getting cleared by reading various online articles. Now I am able to appreciate the finer differences between various oils I use in my cooking.

Cold pressed or virgin oil:

A cold press oil or Kachchi ghani oil is extracted mechanically by crushing the nuts or seeds and is bottled immediately for furtuew use.

Cold pressed oil retains most of the natural properties and flavors in it which gives wonderful results when added to salad as dressing.

Oil with high smoking point: 

The natural oil goes thorough various process such as bleaching to get refined oil with high smoking point and which is neutral in flavor and has longer shelf-life.

Smoking point is the temperature at which oil starts breaking down releasing toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.

Hmm…in simple terms when you heat oil in a kadai and it starts releasing fumes and smoke, that’s when the oil breaks down and becomes unfit for use.

Refining is a technique to make the oil more stable at high temperature so that it does not break down easily. The higher the smoking point for an oil, the more ways it can be used in your cooking such as sautéing, stir-frying and deep-frying,

Send in and share your valuable comments and information regarding fats. Which cooking oil do you use and how much do you consume on an average?  Your ways an some helpful tricks to cut oil consumption in our daily meals.

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3 Comments »

  • Swathi said:

    Nice information I like it.

  • swapna said:

    Very Informative….Thanks

  • Latha said:

    Great Information.

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