What healthy fats to eat this winter
Everything you need to know about fats and oils, including how to make healthier choices.brunch Updated: Dec 21, 2013 18:28 IST
There is a wide variety of fats and oil to choose from, but most people still don’t know much about fats. Here’s how you can identify fats and oils and stay healthy.
To lose weight, should you go absolutely fat free?
No. Fats and oils are essential for the overall nourishment of the body, so cutting them out of your diet completely is very harmful. The trick lies in choosing the right kind and quantity of fats or oils. It is also important to know that most foods have small quantities of natural fat, so that mostly takes care of your fat requirement. The ideal weight loss regime should include natural fats.
Is there a difference between fats and oils?
The solid variety is called fat and the liquid kind is called oil, provided this is their form at room temperature. So if you melt butter, you cannot call it oil.
Usually, fats extracted from animals have more cholesterol than oils extracted from plants. Plant oils are naturally cholesterol-free. It is important to learn that all kinds of cholesterol are not bad for the body. In fact, the liver produces cholesterol itself.
So, which fat or oil is unhealthy?
The fats and oils used in street foods are the unhealthiest. Usually, vendors use poor quality oil and reuse it. Most street foods are fried and the reused oil creates compounds in the food, which clogs the arteries and damages the liver.
Even packaged foods use really poor quality oil to ensure taste, prolong shelf life and reduce pricing. These oils are extracted using solvents and chemicals, and are extremely unhealthy. The foods made from such oils include biscuits, instant noodles, ice creams, ready-to-eat foods, chips, wafers, namkeens, instant mixes, instant coffee, soups, cake mixes, etc.
You should consume only natural fats and limit the consumption of processed oils. Natural oils found in nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashew, hazelnuts etc. are loaded with minerals and healthy fatty acids.
Similarly, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds etc. are an excellent source of natural oils and are palatable when roasted slightly. These seeds also improve fertility.
Natural organic cream and white butter are the healthiest when consumed in small quantities, but are very unhealthy when used for frying.
To be continued…
From HT Brunch, December 22
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First Published: Dec 20, 2013 18:09 IST