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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Dilemma of Cooking Oil

Cooking oil, which is a basic and almost indispensable ingredient in every Indian kitchen, has in the last decade become synonymous to chronic lifestyle disease.

Unfortunately or fortunately, we Indian cannot do without this ill either.
Then what is the recourse!
Our smart marketing brains have effectively exploited this weakness (I call this fear of ignorance or health- apathy) by creating variants called HEALTHY HEART OIL!
How something which is blamed for nurturing ill health in our society can suddenly become heart friendly? This is the “commercial exploitation” of capitalism.
Let’s face it, cooking oil from any source, be it rice bran, sunflower, soya, canola, groundnut, coconut, sesame, mustard or corn has high calories (one table-spoon is 120 cal). And it has mix percentage of saturated and unsaturated fats. For your metabolic activity you need all three of them.
Apart from this, oil is a good source for some beneficial nutrients like Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin-E
None of the oils have a so called dreaded substance – CHOLESTEROL.
Now in this anatomy of oil, tell me which is that substance feared so much for chronic illnesses.
Comparing this with a one cup of 2% fat milk – Calories: 122 | Fat: 5g (mostly saturated) | Cholesterol: 19mg | Protein, Vitamin C and Calcium.
Personally, I will be more scared to drink a cup of milk or eat a scoop of ice-cream then a tablespoon of oil every day.
Now coming back to oil, just like multi-grain flour has become the norm of health conscious household, it is a good practice to use combination of oil for cooking. This helps in balancing the ingredients and enhances the good properties.
Bottom-line: You have to limit your fat/calorie intake from all food groups (milk, cheese, butter, oil, sweets, nuts, and other fried items) to less than 10% of your total intake.
So shop wisely, without falling into marketing trap. And keep yourself physically active every day for good health forever…

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