Do you know whether the cooking oil you are using is good for your health? Several types of cooking oils are available, and every oil manufacturer claims that his brand is the best. Cooking oil is a source of fat. Fats are classified as good fats and bad fats. The easiest way of selecting a healthy cooking oil is to check, whether it is a source of good fat or bad fat.
Good fat vs. bad fat
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats. They improve our lipid profile by increasing the level of good cholesterol and lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Bad fats are saturated fats and trans fats. They increase bad cholesterol in the blood and lower the level of good cholesterol.
Olive oil is a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Studies have found that olive oil reduces the risk of heart ailments, diabetes, asthma, atherosclerosis and colon cancer. People living in the Mediterranean countries are known to enjoy a long and healthy life, because of liberal olive oil usage in cooking. Virgin olive oil, packed with antioxidants, is considered the healthiest form of olive oil.
Corn oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also contains lesser amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, present in the form of linoleic acid is essential for healthy skins. Corn oil is also beneficial for our heart, kidney, immune system and digestive system. It is also a rich source of vitamin E.
There are two varieties of safflower oil. Safflower oil extracted from high oleic variety safflower is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. This safflower oil variety is suitable for frying. High linoleic variety safflower oil, on the other hand, contains abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids. This safflower oil variety is suitable for cold use.
Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids present in canola oil, makes it heart friendly oil. However, if you use canola oil for deep-frying some of the fatty acids would convert into unhealthy trans fatty acids.
Peanut or groundnut oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. There is some confusion about the health benefits of peanut oil. Some studies have showed that this oil could promote plague formation in the coronary arteries. Other researches have shown than peanut oil lowers bad cholesterol level in the blood.