Running on the road to get healthy and fit? This post might just change your life then! If you have switched your food with greens and got rid of junk food, changing your cooking oil might also be your wisest decision. In this post, we will be talking all about better, healthier and nutritional cooking oils, ladies it’s time to ditch your current cooking oil for the following oils. Before we begin, let’s talk about fats in cooking oils. There are three types of fats in a cooking oil – saturated fat, mono saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat.
What is Saturated Fat?
It is a fat that is rich in saturated fatty acids, usually solid at room temperature, it is found mainly in products derived from animals. Saturated fat can be found high in the following foods – meat, palm oil, coconut oil, and butter. Saturated fat is not good for the human body as it tends to raise the cholesterol level in the blood, which can cause various diseases including heart-related diseases.
What is Mono-saturated Fat?
The easiest way to find out whether it is saturated fat or a mono-saturated fat is by checking the consistency of the oil – a monounsaturated fat is typically liquid at room temperature but it will turn solid when refrigerated. The perfect example of monosaturated oil is olive oil. Mono-saturated fat is the type of fat that we must consume in moderation to live a healthier lifestyle and maintain overall health, as it helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels from the blood and can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke too. It also provide’s enough nutrition to help develop and maintain body’s cells. Oils rich in mono-saturated fats are – olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and peanut oil.
What is Polyunsaturated Fat?
Polyunsaturated fat is the healthiest of the above-mentioned fatty acids. However consuming polyunsaturated fat in moderation is advised. Consuming polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can improve health and keep you in better shape. This type of fat can be found in animal foods such as salmon, tuna, trout. nuts like walnuts, seeds like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, vegetable oils like soybean oil, safflower oil and corn oil.
Some of the best low-fat cooking oils are:
1. Extra virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil is one the healthiest cooking oils in the world without a doubt, you can call it the king of oils! It is believed that people who rely on olive oil live a healthier and longer life. And now I know why all Italians love olive oil. Refined olive oil is stripped from important nutrients and antioxidants whereas extra virgin olive oil is nutritious and contains antioxidants making it far more superior than regular olive oil. The antioxidants in olive oil protect the body from free radicals which can cause disease and triggers ageing. Olive oil is mostly made of monounsaturated fat (approximately 73%), making it a heart-healthy oil. According to studies, people who consume olive oil reduce their chances of having a heart stroke by a considerable degree. It has been proven that cooking with olive oil can improve the nutritional value of food.
2. Canola Oil: It is believed that canola oil can aid in weight loss and makes it perfect for people who want to stay fit or for those who simply enjoy healthy food. Canola oil reduces the risk of heart-related and various other diseases. The best part is that it doesn’t really have any flavour which makes it even better to use it for Indian dishes, sautéing or even for baking. Canola oil has both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which makes it to the top on the list of healthy cooking oils. The oil is also rich in vitamins E and K which contributes to healthy-looking skin. According to studies, people who consume canola oil reduce belly fat compared to others using various other cooking oils, hope this is convincing!
3. Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants making it way straight to this list. According to studies, avocado oil can increase HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce bad cholesterol, it’s also beneficial to lower blood pressure. Avocado oil is quite healthy for eye health as it contains lutein; a carotenoid that’s naturally found in human eyes. Avocado oil is also rich in fatty acids that can help the skin to look firmer and younger for longer.
4. Safflower Oil: Safflower oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is low in saturated fat, making it an excellent low-fat cooking oil. According to studies, regular consumption of safflower oil can reduce blood sugar levels, making it ideal oil for diabetes patients. Safflower oil can also be beneficial for heart health and helps in lowering cholesterol. It can also improve blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. It has a mild flavour and hence can be used to cook almost any food. If losing weight is your motto, we suggest consuming oil in moderation.
5. Sesame oil: Sesame oil has medicinal and cosmetic uses as well. Sesame oil is derived from raw pressed sesame seeds also known as til in Hindi. It has two powerful antioxidants called sesamol and sesaminol that has good effect on overall health. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which protects the body from various diseases. As sesame oil is rich in unsaturated fat, it’s considered to be a heart-friendly oil. It contains plenty of omega 6 fatty acids which is helpful in preventing various heart diseases. Just like olive oil, sesame oil can be applied topically on skin and hair. It is beneficial to treat scars and acne. It also has moisturising properties and can be used on hair and scalp.
6. Flaxseed oil: If you are a vegetarian, adding flaxseed oil could be beneficial for you. This oil contains omega-3 fatty acids in abundance. If you are not a fish eater, then flaxseed oil may just serve the purpose. You can’t cook with this oil as it is sensitive to heat and oxidizes quickly, but you can use it over salads or over dips like hummus. Tip – Always buy flaxseed oil in smaller quantity and store it in dark place.
7. Peanut oil: Peanut oil is quite a flavorful oil, which means it should be used in dishes in which you actually want to taste some peanuts. You can use it in making peanut butter or peanut cookies/peanut cake, or it can be used to stir fry vegetables. Peanut oil is low in saturated fat acids and hence it’s low in fat and can be used safely for a low fat diet.
We have listed 7 healthy and comparatively low-fat oils to try other than regular oil, however, it does contain healthy amounts of fat and hence moderation is necessary. I hope you try some of these oils and get in some shape. Till then eat healthy, stay fit!