Everything you need to know about fats and oils, including how to make healthier choices
This process is healthier because it does not use too many chemicals to extract the oil. Cold-pressed oils retain their natural compounds and even taste better. Such oils are best used in salads.
Extra virgin oils
The healthiest of the lot, this process does not use any chemicals or heat in the first round of oil extraction. Such oils are healthier and very tasty. With every subsequent pressing, the oil loses its taste as well as health properties. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which raise the good cholesterol in the body.
Almond and walnut oils
You can use them to moisturise your skin and hair, and also consume them by adding to milk or chutneys. They also improve fertility.
It is a rich source of potassium, vitamin E and folic acid.
Refined cooking oils
Such oils are usually high in omega-6 compounds. Refined cooking oil should be consumed in limited quantities because the body has to maintain a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 compounds. The reason you can cook food in these oils is because they do not get spoilt when exposed to high temperatures.
Refined cooking oils can be made from safflower, canola oil or be produced in blended varieties like sunflower, rice bran and mustard seeds.
Cold-pressed mustard oil is excellent for your body in winter as it produces heat. But consume it in small quantities.
Butter or margarine
Butter used in small quantities is better than margarine. Many commercial low-cholesterol margarine spreads also contain unhealthy trans fats. It is better to consume natural, cold-pressed virgin oils rather than margarine.
Consume natural fat or oil.
Don’t eat more than 25mg of fat per day.
Avoid large amounts of cooking oil and use them as dips, spreads and salad dressings.
From HT Brunch, December 31
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