Today's supermarkets are awash with various brands and varieties of cooking oils. Regardless of your preference, it is always advisable to choose liquid fat instead of solid fats like butter and margarine.
- Saturated fats: These fats increase the levels of total cholesterol and LDL, which is bad cholesterol. This allows fat to deposit on the walls of the blood vessels, causing blood clots, heart disease, and possibly type 2 diabetes.
- Unsaturated fats: These fats are considered heart-friendly. They are of two types.
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)
They are both healthy fatty acids and also lower total cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
Healthy cooking oils
- Olive oil: Contains antioxidants that can help lower LDL. It contains monounsaturated fats. Research has shown that consuming 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and blood clots.
- Coconut oil: Although coconut oil has saturated fats, it is different from those found in animal fats. This oil can be used safely for cooking.
- Sunflower oil: It is rich in PUFA and also contains linoleic acid that helps reduce LDL and HDL levels.
- Canola oil: It is considered the healthiest oil. It contains high unsaturated fats and very few saturated fats.
- Sesame Oil (Gingelly): This oil is rich in antioxidants and also has antidepressant properties. It contains vitamin E and also copper, calcium, iron, and magnesium. This oil helps regulate blood pressure in the body. It also has a very long service life.
- Peanut Oil – Contains MUFA that reduces LDL or bad cholesterol. It is suitable for all types of cuisine.