Cooking Oil: Know How Much Cooking Oil You Should Consume In A Day
You should aim at including all kinds of cooking oils in your diet to get all essential fatty acids. But nutritionist Pooja Malhotra says that the daily intake of cooking oil must be limited to 4 tsp.
It is important to consider their stability of cooking oils
- Coconut and olive oil are 2 healthy varieties of cooking oil
- Rice bran oil is the latest entrant which is gaining a lot of popularity
- Cooking oil should be used in minimal quantities
It is important to keep a check on consumption of cooking oil in order to keep a check on your cholesterol levels. Nutritionists and dietitians recommend that it is important to include all kinds of cooking oil in your diet. This is because different oils have different fatty acids and all fatty acids are important for the body. From coconut oil to rice bran oil, soya bean oil, mustard oil and olive oil, it is important to include all varieties of oil in diet to get all essential fatty acids. When it comes to cooking oils, it is important to consider their stability and prevent their oxidation. When oils undergo oxidation, they form free radicals and harmful compounds by reacting with oxygen. These free radicals are extremely harmful for the body. The resistance of oil to oxidation and rancidification can be checked by degree of saturation of fatty acids in it.
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While saturated fats have single bond in fatty acid molecules, monounsaturated fats have double bond and polyunsaturated fats have 2 or more bonds with fatty acid molecule.
Of these bonds, it is the double bonds which are chemically more reactive and are more sensitive to heat. Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided. Saturated and monounstaturated fats are resistant to heating.
We ask Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra about how much cooking oil is safe to consume in a day, and she says that 4 tsp of visible fat (added fat) is safe to be consumed in a day. The amount of cooking oil which we use should not exceed 4 tsp in a day. This, she says, is because of the fact that there is a lot of invisible fat in many food items like dairy, egg, nuts, seeds, chicken, seafood, meats etc.
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1. Olive oil
Olive oil is quite a healthy variety of oil which can contribute to raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. It has 14%, 75% and 11% of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats respectively. Extra virgin olive oil is fairly resistant to heat and can be used for cooking.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut is another healthy variety of cooking oil. The oil is very resistant to heat because 90% of its fatty acids are saturated. It has high quantities of Lauric acid - a kind of fatty acid which is good for cholesterol levels in the body. The oil can give a boost to metabolism and makes you feel for longer. Virgin coconut oil can be a good choice for cooking oil.
3. Groundnut oil
Groundnut or peanut oil has good amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It has lesser quantities of bad saturated fats and is considered healthy for all kinds of cooking.
4. Palm oil
Derived from the fruit of oil palms, palm oil mostly contains saturated and monounsaturated fats along with small amounts of polyunsaturated fats. This is the reason why palm oils are considered to be healthy for cooking.
5. Rice bran oil
This oil is a fairly new entrant and is gaining quite a lot of popularity. This oil is made from the bran or outer layer of the grain of rice. The oil has oryzanol, a chemical which is good for maintaining cholesterol levels in the body. It is rich in monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated fats. The oil is able to hold on to its nutrient content even at high temperatures.
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6. Nut oil
Nut oil is has high contents of polyunsaturated fats and hence their consumption can be a little unhealthy for the body. They should not be used for frying or cooking in high heat.
7. Sunflower oil
This is the oil extracted from sunflower seeds and is rich in Vitamin E. It has both monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid. When cooked at high temperatures, sunflower oil is able to hold on to its nutritional content, even at high temperatures. Sunflower oil is thus, widely used for the purpose of deep frying.
Things to keep in mind
To ensure that your fats don't go rancid, avoid buying them in bulk. This way, you will probably consume them before they begin to deteriorate in their quality. Heat, light and oxygen are the main drivers which cause oxidation of cooking oils. Keep them in a cool and dry place to prevent them from going rancid or getting oxidised. Also make sure that your close the lid as soon as you use them.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
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