NUTRITIONIST AVAANTI DESHPAANDE

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The best oil blend for Indian cooking

Groundnut oil & safflower oil blended in the right proportion not just brings a great flavor to your food but ups your wellness quotient too!

How many times have you wondered which cooking oil to buy so that it suits your family’s health and nutrition requirements? Should you stick to one type or oil or try different varieties for different dishes? Is the oil heart healthy and nutritionally rich? Should you really believe all that the advertisements on TV are telling you? Most importantly, what’s the right proportion of oil to use?

Here’s some science to go by. The Recommended Dietary Allowances 2010 (RDA) given by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), suggests that out of maximum 30 percent of calories from FAT , maximum of 15 per cent of calories in a day have to come from either cooking oils or from ghee or other fats added to the diet. Interpreted right this means, a healthy adult who requires a diet consisting of about 2000 calories diet would need 33g oil or fat/day. The average oil consumption should be about 1 litre per person per month.

All vegetable oils are composed of three types of fatty acids– Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA), Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and the Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA), in varying proportions. Vegetable oils are also rich in non-fat components like the sterols, carotenoids and Vitamin E.

FACT TO REMEMBER: NO SINGLE OIL HAS ONLY ONE FATTY ACID AND THESE ARE ALWAYS PRESENT IN COMBINATIONS.

For example, groundnut oil, mustard oil or olive oil have a higher proportion of MUFA whereas safflower, sunflower or soybean oil have higher proportion of PUFA. National institute of Hyderabad (NIN) suggests that it is important to obtain the all the fatty acids in the diet and avoid excess of one. It thus becomes important to blend two oils, to get the desired proportion of the fatty acids.

WHERE COULD YOU FIND A BLENDED OIL THAT INCORPORATED THESE AND SUITED YOUR HEALTH AND CUISINE REQUIREMENTS?

It’s important that cooking oil blends should sustain high cooking temperatures. Indian cooking calls for heating cooking oils to a temperature of about 180C for the purpose of tempering. The oil blend that is used should be able to withstand this temperature.

Oils which are of the Indian origin like groundnut, mustard, safflower or sunflower oil can withstand these high temperatures without degrading.

A wood pressed blended oil that is manufactured using the traditional wood pressing ghani method would be one of the right choices, given that this method keeps the nutrition intact. And while blended oils are great, most of us need to know the right proportions of oil to blend, something a nutrition professional is best trained to do.

Take for instance, Sattva, a Groundnut/Peanut oil and Safflower Oil blended in 85 per cent and 15 per cent proportions. It has just the right proportions of Saturated to Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA and PUFA – Mono & Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids) and would be a great oil to use in your daily cooking.

AND HOW HEALTHY ARE THESE OILS INDIVIDUALLY? WE DID SOME DIGGING UP FOR YOU AND HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND.

Groundnut oil includes MUFA or Monounsaturated Fatty Acids in a high proportion.

HOW DOES MUFA HELP?

Research says consuming monounsaturated fatty acids can help lower your risk of heart disease by improving your risk factors. MUFAs are said to lower your total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels but maintain your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level.

You blood vessel function may also benefit from MUFAs, apart from insulin levels and blood sugar control, beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.

Like other plant based oils, groundnut oil has no cholesterol. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Research shows that cold pressed groundnut oil, because of its high antioxidant content, reduces inflammation with regular consumption.

HOW DOES SAFFLOWER OIL WORK TO MAKE YOUR BODY BETTER?

Studies show that safflower oil, used for 16 weeks regularly improves good cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and inflammation. This study was done on obese postmenopausal women who have Type 2 diabetes but does go on to show its efficacy in your diet.

The best thing about a blend of peanut/groundnut and safflower oil is how well it adapts to Indian cooking. You can use a blend of these oils in the right proportion to cook foods that need high heat as well as stir fries. The unique flavour doesn’t hurt and you can rest easy on the health front too!

HOW WOULD IT GET YOU ON A HEALTH HIGH?

Here’s how a blend of groundnut and safflower oil can work right for you:

  • Maintain blood sugar levels
  • Reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer
  • Help to lower blood pressure
  • Blended the right way, groundnut and safflower oil can have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
  • improve cognitive development

To conclude, blended oils in the right proportion may work the best for you. Ask your nutritionist today!

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