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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Cooking Oils. Pros & Cons

Certain cooking oils are indispensable in our kitchen and provide the body, the nutrition it actually needs. Few oils are vital for the human body to function properly. Here are some pros & cons of oils we use on daily basis:-

  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is extracted from the white, meaty part of dried coconuts. It adds a nutty, sweet texture for the food. Pros: (i) It helps with sluggish thyroids as it raises the temperature of the body and increases its metabolism. (ii) The high saturated fat content in the oil helps to keep the skin hydrated. Cons: (i) It has high amounts of saturated fats. (ii) It is known to put the heart at risk for cardiovascular diseases.

  • Rice Bran Oil: Rice Bran Oil is extracted from the outer brown layer of rice. It has a mild flavor and also a high smoking point. Pros: (i) It improves blood cholesterol by reducing total plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It also helps increase the proportion of good cholesterol in the body. (ii) It helps alleviate menopausal symptoms.Cons : (i) Lowers the amount of blood calcium in the body while this discourages the formation of kidney stones. It also makes one vulnerable to hypocalcemia. (ii) Too much of it in one's diet can make one suffer irregular bowel movements.

  • Mustard Oil: This oil is a big component Indian cooking. It is used extensively for massages as it increases blood circulation. Pros: Its consumption helps the intestine produce digestive juices. (ii) It is anti-bactrial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Cons: Intake of copious amounts of mustard oil can cause respiratory issues, diarrhoea and anaemia. (ii) When taken orally in raw form, mustard oil can cause irritation and inflammation of the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and intestines.

  • Olive Oil: It has been an essential part of the Mediterranean diet for years and is the current favorite of the health conscious. Pros: (i) The Mediterranean region calls it a heart-friendly oil, as it reduces cholesterol levels of the body. (ii) Known to be gentle on the stomach, olive oil helps in checking the growth of gall-stones and stomach ulcers. Cons: (i) It is unstable when heated, as it mixes with free chemicals and becomes hydrogenated, which may produce harmful trans-fatty acids. (ii) Olive oil tends to lower one's blood sugar level. Diabetics should specially limit its intake.

  • Groundnut Oil: Used largely in East Asian Food, groundnut or peanut oil is commonly used for frying because of its high smoking point. Pros: The sweet flavored peanut oil is almost free from cholesterol and is low in saturated fats. (ii) Peanut oil is rich in resveratrol, which is known to prevent degenerative nerve diseases. Cons: People suffering from peanut allergy should avoid food cooked in this oil, since they are susceptible to rashes and swelling.