Q: We switched from coconot oil as cooking medium to refined oil because our family doctor advised that coconut oil can lead to increase in cholesterol levels. I read recently that refined oils are carcinogenic. We are confused. (Whether to die of heart disease or cancer!). Look forward to your expert advice.
A:There is no ideal oil. The use of blended oils is recommended on the basis of their fatty acid composition. A combination of the poly and monounsaturated fats with minimum amounts of saturation is recommended. Very high intakes of polyunsaturated fats (like safflower, sunflower, corn oil) inlaboratory animals has been found to have a carcinogenic effect. Refined oils are also subjected to very high temperatures where their naturalantioxidants properties are lost. Hence the cold pressed oils (olive, mustard) are preferred over refined ones. Either use a blend of sunflower with groundnut supplemented with mustard/til oil or use oilve oil supplemented with mustard/til oil. Small quantities of either coconut oil or desi ghee (i.e. upto 5 ml/day) can be used on a daily basis.