Best Oil for Cooking in India: The fat you take in your food mainly consists of fatty acids. Based on the chemical shapes the fatty acids perform differently in the body and affect health. Therefore, based on their chemical shapes fatty acids are of three types: saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated – sometimes even trans-fat which is very unhealthy may also be present in processed foods.
The fats present in the foodstuff or Oils mainly consist of the above three types with different proportions of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. For instance, if saturated fatty acids’ percentage is more in a fat, it is called as saturated fat – for instance: butter; if monounsaturated fatty acids’ percentage is more, then it is called as monounsaturated fat – for instance – Olive oil, and if polyunsaturated fatty acids’ percentage is more, then it is called as polyunsaturated fat – for instance – sunflower oil & Canola oil.
Is fat essential for the body?
In a healthy diet, 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories’ intake should come from the fats because your body requires a healthy proportion of fats to function properly. However, saturated fat should account for less than 10 of your calorific requirements. The selection of food and fats you do dictates the health of your heart, lungs, brain and immune system. Therefore, selecting the best foods and cooking oil in India is very important for your heart, brain, lungs and immune system’s health.
Saturated and trans-fat are bad. Why, because excess saturated fat is not good for your body, especially for your heart. Saturated fats raise LDL levels. LDL can build up in the walls of your arteries making them hard and thick. Saturated fat is high in butter, coconut oil, lard and margarine. For cooking and baking purpose substitute healthy oils with the oils and butter-rich in saturated fat. Healthy oils: canola, peanut and olive oils. Peanut oil is the best oil for cooking in India.
Healthy fats are monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fat is present in peanut oil, canola oil and Olive oil. These oils are liquid at room temperature but solidify at freezing temperatures. Monounsaturated fats improve blood High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol levels and reduce LDL levels and hence are good for your heart. High-density lipo-proteins take up excess cholesterol and take it back to the liver.
Polyunsaturated Fatty acids
The oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids are walnut oil, sunflower oil and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and heart-friendly benefits. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are always liquid both at room and freezing temperature. These are also heart-friendly fats. Best oil for cooking in India has these fats.
Top Three Oils Picks
Canola oil is also a healthy oil rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Canola oil reduces your chances of heart disease as omega-3 fatty acids present in the Canola oil reduces your risk of heart disease. The refined canola oil doesn’t have antioxidants, but its shelf life is relatively long. To control your cholesterol levels, you can add this mild-flavoured oil to your recipes for baking and frying. It also helps to control blood sugar levels. Canola oil has 62% monounsaturated fat, 31% polyunsaturated fat and 7% saturated fat. It can be mixed in equal proportions with olive oil and can be used for making salad dressing. It can also be used for baking, roasting and salad dressing.
Olive Oil: Virgin and Extra virgin olive oils (olive oil extracted by pressing and squeezing olive fruits that are devoid of chemicals) have more intense taste than light versions, in addition, they also have polyphenols (antioxidants). These oils are healthy for the heart. According to a research study published in ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’, in 2006 scientists concluded that virgin olive oil enhanced HDL levels in men than the refined olive oil did. It even prevented the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids – it is the best oil for the heart as it lowers the risk of heart disease and improves HDL levels in the blood. Olive oil has 78% monounsaturated, 8% polyunsaturated and 14% saturated fatty acids. This is an ideal oil for the heart. Good for preparing steamed vegetables.
Walnut oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids: 67%; monounsaturated fatty acids: 24% and contains very less amount of saturated fats: 9%. Omega-3 fatty acids present in walnut are good for the heart and brain. Walnut oil has a relatively short shelf life and can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 months. Owing to its nutty flavour this oil is good for salad dressings.
Doing so decreases your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
You must remember one thing pertaining to fats that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your heart, brain and lung’s health. A diet rich in these fats is good for health. Similarly, saturated fats are bad for your heart, brain and lung’s health. A diet high in saturated fat has been linked with elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease, so it’s best to limit the use of saturated fat, which is bad for your health. By now you might have understood which is the best oil for cooking in India.