Does Your Oil Have Good CholesterolLeonardo Olive Oil August 18, 2015 Cooking with Olive Oil 1568 Views
For many Indians reading the day’s newspaper along with their morning cuppa is a part of their daily routine. I happen to be one of them. One morning, as I was reading the newspaper while enjoying the cool morning breeze with my cup of tea, it ended up ruining my day!
The headlines screamed that about 3/4th of Indians have abnormal levels of cholesterol or triglycerides – also known as dyslipidaemia, as per a study conducted by Indian Council of Medical research. It has also been identified that about 1/4th of the total deaths of Indians between the ages of 25 and 69 years is because of cardiovascular disease caused by dyslipidaemia. The worst part is that inappropriate cholesterol levels have no other symptom, except being visible in a blood report.
After reading all this I briefly thought I would stop consuming fried food, but the impossibility of it hit home immediately. I am a foodie and I love fried food. So what was I to do? I guess this is dilemma many people face. Oil is an essential part of the Indian diet and ensuring your diet is oil free is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Besides, the human body requires fats in certain amounts for several essential bodily functions; so oil-free diet is probably not a good idea anyway. But there can be no doubt that Indians need to cut down on their oil intake significantly.
So, is there a solution? I guess there is.
The solution is to understand your cooking oil better! Cooking oils are known to consist of mainly two types – Saturated and Unsaturated Fats.
Unsaturated fats are understood to constitute of Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA). Both of these are essential to the body as they prevent heart artery blockages and facilitate the flow of blood to the brain.
Vegetable oils, margarine, butter, clarified butter, shortening, etc are rich sources of saturated fats. Saturated fats are known to be responsible for clogging arteries and affecting the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, leading to cardiovascular disorders.
Indian Food and Choice of Oil
Indians usually prepare their meals with regular vegetable oil, desi ghee, coconut oil, mustard oil, etc, most of which are high in Saturated fats. But Food has to be cooked in fats, right?
Researchers suggest that consuming olive oil for preparing Indian meals is a good choice. They offer a couple of reasons for this choice:
1. Olive oil is rich in MUFA, which makes it one of the best options for healthy cooking, especially for a country that is in dire need of cholesterol correction interventions.
2. Olive oil blends in well with the flavours that are appreciated by the Indian palate – from paranthas, to mutton roghan josh, to poha and dosas, olive oil is a healthy replacement for regular cooking oil.
3. Olive oil is almost neutral in taste, which means if it is added to any Indian food preparation; it does not alter very much the original flavour of the food item.
4. Easy availability of high quality olive oil is an added boon. Olive oil has already entered the Indian kitchen and has earned enough fans, gradually becoming one of the leading oils used by Indians for cooking.
So the key to a better managed level of cholesterol in the body is not just to cut down on fat consumption, but also to choose the right kind of cooking medium. The trick is not just in the quantity, but also in the quality of oil you use.
Have you tried incorporating Olive Oil in your diet? Do let us know in the comments section below.