Uncovering the Healthy Side of Cooking Oils

Leonardo Olive Oil June 27, 2015 Benefits of Olive Oil, Cooking with Olive Oil 1053 Views

In the rush of today’s life, we often become oblivious to the health aspects of food and surrender to convenience or taste. Indian delicacies are delectable; traditional Indian cooking is not just about getting the mix of foods and spices right but goes beyond to establish a physical, spiritual and emotional connection with the food you eat.

While we Indians have all the reasons to feel proud of our varied cuisine, the sometimes questionable quality of oil and the huge amounts of it we consume is a big reason for us to worry health-wise. It is very important for us to take this into account and cut down on the amount of oil consumed, apart from foregoing unhealthy junk foods and foods prepared in saturated fats.

Ideal cooking is all about great cooking practices; one of the most crucial aspects of which is choosing a healthy cooking oil.

But….is there any such thing as a Healthy Cooking Oil?

As we know, oils like vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils can inflict significant risk to cardiovascular health as they convert your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol – by oxidizing it (chemical change). Therefore, the choice of cooking oil must be stable enough to withstand the chemical change that sets in while heating it to high temperatures.

There are cooking oils like Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil that has high content of “good” fat (monosaturated fatty acid or MUFA) and are better resistant to heat, making it a better choice for cooking your favourite meal. Olive oil is widely recognized as the healthier cooking medium and it’s growing to be a trusted companion in Indian kitchens.

Research suggests that diet rich in MUFA can help prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, musculo skeletal pain, and inflammatory conditions[1]{2}.

With all the extraordinary and delicious variety that Indian food offers, be it deep fried, stir fried or just plain, choice of cooking oil is always crucial. A good cooking oil should be high in MUFA so that it forms a thin crust over the food, which inhibits oil absorption during deep frying and should retain the natural nutritive compounds of the oil for long.

Low absorbing quality of oil leads to reduced consumption which eventually makes it healthy and cost-effective too.

Another crucial attribute of cooking oil is smoking point. When oil is heated, its texture, colour, taste and even nutritional properties change. When oil reaches its smoking point, it destroys lots of nutritional value and it can sometimes produce potentially harmful substances.

Therefore, cooking oils with high smoking points are ideal mediums for cooking as they can hold onto the nutritional content at high temperatures.

We Indians share a passionate relationship with our food. And in order to carry this on we need to ensure that the relationship remains strong and healthy as well, in which right cooking oil is the cornerstone.

References:

  1. Simopoulos AP. Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999; 70(suppl): 560s-569s.
  2. Erkkila, et al. Dietary fatty acids and cardiovascular disease; An epidemiological approach. Progress in Lipid Research2008; 47 : 172-187.