When it comes to cooking, one of the most essential things is Oil. Oil is used in nearly every dish that we prepare. Now, something that is so frequently used in cooking should be healthy right? But more often than not, the oils that we use contain saturated fats and are not healthy.
What to do? Is there a healthy alternative?
Yes. Switch to healthy cooking oils.
Yes, cooking oils can be healthy and less fatty too. Some of the well-known examples include Olive oil and Sunflower oil. But there are loads of more examples that can be used for cooking up a healthy dinner.
Distinctions between different oils are made based on:
- The foremost criteria that categorize oil as healthy or unhealthy are its saturated or unsaturated fat content. Oils with high saturated fat content are considered unhealthy while oils with high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content are considered healthy.
- Oil is considered healthy if its virgin and not highly processed. This is so because processing takes out all the nutrients from the oil, hence the more virgin oil is, the healthier it is considered.
- Each of these oils has a particular smoke point, this is the level of temperature that it can take before it starts smoking up and releasing a rather nasty smell. According to their smoke point, these oils are used for different purposes and cooked on a low, medium or a high flame.
Let’s have a look at some of these healthy oils.
Healthy Oils that can be used for cooking:
- Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has one of the highest amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids which makes it super healthy as these two are the good type of fats. Along with that, it is also a good source of Vitamin A. It is creamy and unrefined and can be used to cook food at a higher flame. So this is an oil that is suitable for full-fledged cooking. It has very less flavour which makes it suitable for cooking. Hence avocado oil is a good choice when it comes to choosing healthy oils.
- Peanut oil
If you like your food to have
slight nutty taste, go for peanut oil. It is again one of the oils with a very high amount of monounsaturated fat, hence it’s healthy for cooking. It’s a flavourful oil, has a nutty taste to it. And it is an oil that can be used for cooking on a high flame, hence perfectly suitable.
- Sesame oil
Yet another healthy oil, with high quantities of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, though it is not so high in terms of other nutrients, still works because of high good fat content. It has a distinctive taste, so if you don’t prefer any kind of a flavour in your oil, use it in small quantities. This is also an oil that can be used for cooking on a high flame.
- Olive oil
Without a doubt, olive oil is one of the healthiest oil that is available for consumption. It is a highly versatile oil which can be used for different kinds of dishes. As mentioned above, even for olive oil to be considered healthy, it has to be virgin or extra virgin, hence whether you purchase olive oil, always check if it’s processed or not, always buy the virgin one. Extra virgin olive oil is very high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and is known for keeping the heart-healthy. It has a low smoke point, so it is used on a rather lower flame for cooking or used as it is in salads and dressings.
- Sunflower oil
One of the best options for cooking is sunflower oil. It has no flavour and a high smoke point which makes it suitable for all sorts of cooking. Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E, a single tablespoon consists of 28% of a person’s daily requirement. A super healthy oil, it is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which is known to be healthy but also pro-inflammatory if used in high doses. So, when used in a healthy measure, this is a very good oil for consumption.
So these were the five most healthy oil options that can be used for cooking when it comes to reducing saturated fat content in food. The lower the saturated fat content, the healthier the food. So one should always try their level best to maintain a balance in their diet, have healthy amounts of all nutrients and try to use virgin oils with maximum unsaturated fat content. This a key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. Incorporating it into your daily life will be very beneficial.