Since the last 50 years, the lifestyle is changed drastically. The type of oil to be used was earlier was never a question to be discussed because people had a physically active lifestyle. Nowadays, most of us have a sedentary lifestyle due to which fatty substances do not break down and assimilate. This leads to the deposition of complex fat structures on the walls of the blood vessels, ultimately leading to heart-related illnesses. It is essential to choose the right oil for good heart health as per the best cardiologists. View more to know about the best cardiac surgeons in India.
Why are fats important for us? Let's have a look.
- Fats are useful for energy consumption. Usually, the body takes energy from carbohydrates. When the carbohydrates are exhausted, it starts using energy from fats.
- Fats are also used to keep the skin and hair healthy. They help in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K, and other fat-soluble vitamins.
- Fats facilitates the body in keeping itself warm by filling the fat cells.
- They are also an essential component for the development of the brain, resolving inflammation and clotting of blood.
There are four kinds of fats, which is available in food items:
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
These fats differ from each other in terms of chemical and physical structure. The saturated and trans fats occur in solid form at room temperature, whereas monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats exist in liquid form at room temperature. The trans and saturated form of fats tends to increase cholesterol levels in the body. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help in lowering down the cholesterol levels in the body.
Sources of good fats
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, non-hydrogenated margarine, avocados and nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, etc. Polyunsaturated fats are found in cold-water fish (like herring, rainbow trout, salmon), canola and soybean oils, omega-3 eggs, flax seeds, pine nuts, and walnuts.
The type of food that has saturated fats and should be avoided include:
- Full-fat dairy products
- Fatty meat
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Vegetable ghee
Other than this, packaged and processed food also contains saturated fats such as hot dogs, chips, burgers, french fries, cookies, cakes, etc.
Which is the healthiest cooking oil for the heart?
Every oil is made differently, and therefore each of them may vary with the type and amount of fats they contain. The healthiest cooking oil is those that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids.
The fats being saturated means it has a strong and stable barrier against heat and light. Even in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the hydrogen atoms are missing in some spots of the carbon chain that makes the fatty acid. These weak spots allow the fat to get damaged when exposed to heat and light in high intensities. These damaged fats can produce oxidation ions that are responsible for numerous health conditions.
To use oil in the best way, the cooking temperature has to be controlled. For example,
If you are using monounsaturated fats, it should be cooked at a simmering temperature between 325 F to 374 F. Some of the commonly used monounsaturated fatty acids are:
- Olive oil - This is the most commonly used oil by those who seek good health. It is a rich source of vitamin K and vitamin E, and also contains antioxidants such as oleocanthal and oleuropein. These antioxidants help in improving arterial function and inflammatory response of the body.
- Avocado oil - The oil is 70% oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid and supports the heart and liver health. The avocado oil also contains polyhydroxylated fatty alcohol, which helps in the protection of the skin against damage from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun.
- Peanut oil - This oil is made of 46% of monounsaturated fatty acid, 32% polyunsaturated fatty acid, and 17% of saturated fatty acid. Due to the presence of polyunsaturated acid, it can be easily damaged by heat. Hence, it must be cooked at medium heat.
If you are using polyunsaturated fats, it is preferred to consume them cold. These fats have multiple weak spots in the carbon chains, which makes them more vulnerable to heat and light. Other than avoiding it from heat, it is also important to buy the oils which are stored in dark glass bottles. Some of the commonly used polyunsaturated oils are:
- Sesame seed oil - Sesame oil is an excellent source of vitamin E. Other than this; it also contains calcium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin K.
- Flaxseed oil - It contains Omega-3 fatty acid in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, which is good for the heart and body’s inflammatory response.
- Walnut oil - This is the best source of antioxidants, omega 3 ALA and melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate sleep. It can be used in place of olive oil.
- Fish oil - The fish oil is mostly used in the form of supplements. It is an excellent source of PUFA omega-three fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. Fish oils are extremely sensitive to heat. If you take the supplements, the oil has to be extracted without heat or chemical solvents.
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Is mustard oil good for the heart?
The mustard oil is extracted from the seeds of the mustard plant. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Some of the major benefits of using mustard oil are:
- It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3 & 6, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
- It is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory in nature.
- Mustard oil is known to improve blood circulation, boosts metabolism, relieves congestion, and improves digestion.
- It also acts as a skin cleanser by stimulating sweat glands and opening skin pores.
- It helps in lightening the pigmentation spots.
- The oil also prevents bacterial infections in colon, intestine and in other various parts of the digestive system.
To know more about mustard oil, click here.
Is corn oil good for heart patients?
The corn oil is a form of refined vegetable oil used in cooking. It is most commonly used for deep frying. It is also used as a component in manufacturing cosmetic products. The corn is extracted from corn by processing it through multiple complex stages.
Chemical structure - The corn is completely made of fats with zero percent carbohydrates or proteins. Typically, 15 ml of corn oil will give you 122 calories, 14 grams of fat and 13% of vitamin E. Other than Vitamin E, it does not contain any significant amount of other vitamins and minerals as they are lost in the process of its manufacture.
However, the amount of vitamin E present in the corn oil is sufficient to meet your Recommended Daily Intake. It is rich in antioxidants, which help in neutralizing molecules such as free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that increase the risk of conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancerous conditions.
Corn oil also has about 45% percent of linoleic acid, which is a type of polyunsaturated acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acid includes omega-6 and omega-3, which helps in reducing inflammation in the body.
Corn oil is rich in a substance called “Phytosterols.” Phytosterols are anti-inflammatory and help in reducing the risk of conditions related to heart, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Moreover, these substances also reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the body.
Disadvantages of using corn oil
- Corn oil is high in omega-six fats, which can be harmful if consumed in excess. The excess amount may lead to conditions such as obesity, impaired brain function, heart diseases, or mental illnesses like depression.
- Most often, corn oil is made by using genetically modified corn (GMO), which is resistant to insects, and certain weed killers like glyphosate. The glyphosate is known to be a potential carcinogen by the WHO (World Health Organization). It is suspected that foods containing glyphosate may lead to an increase in food allergy and intolerance.
- A significantly high amount of refining is done to make corn oil. This leads to the production of oxidized compounds in the body.
- Corn oil also produces acrylamide on heating, which is a highly reactive compound causing problems in nerves, hormones, and muscles.
Overall, despite having some healthy components like vitamin E and phytosterols, the advantages of corn oil fall pale in comparison to the harmful effects.
An alternative to corn oil - Instead of using the corn oil, one can use extra virgin olive oil, which is made from natural olives. These olives only have to undergo compression without any chemical alteration to extract the oil. This oil has a lesser amount of polyunsaturated omega-six corn oil. It is also rich in monounsaturated oleic acid, which is helpful and weight management. For cooking at higher temperatures, coconut oil can be used.
Is sunflower oil Good for heart?
The sunflower oil extracted from the sunflower seeds. It is a very rich source of vitamin E, thus helping in keeping our cells and tissues healthy. It also boosts our immune system. It has a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It does not contain cholesterol and is considered as the healthiest option for cooking. Sunflower oil also has the following benefits:
- Preventing the risk of heart diseases - The sunflower oil contains high amounts of oleic acid, which helps in preventing heart diseases such as stroke.
- High cholesterol - Regular consumption of sunflower oil helps in reducing low-density cholesterol, which is also known as bad cholesterol.
- It helps in preventing the development of arthritis.
- Additionally, one can also prevent colon cancer and certain other forms of cancer like uterine, lung, or skin cancer. This is attributed to the presence of carotenoids and vitamin E that neutralizes the cancer-causing agents.
- This type of oil also helps in repair and revitalization of tissues.
- It reduces the risk of infection in infants who have an under-developed immune system. The oil acts as a barrier against infection.
You may also like to read - Choosing oils for cooking: A host of heart-healthy options
Why is canola oil bad?
Canola is a crop that was created by crossbreeding. It is similar to the rapeseed plant but different in the nutrients. A tablespoon of Canola oil has about 125 calories, 12% of the Reference Daily Intake of vitamin E, and 12% of the RDI of vitamin K.
Other than this, there is a 7% of saturated fat, 64% of monounsaturated fat, and 28% of polyunsaturated fat. Possible drawbacks of canola oil are:
- Some animal studies have associated canola oil to increased inflammation and harmful free radicals.
- It can lead to increased blood pressure.
- Another study done on rats indicated that it has a negative impact on memory. The rats who were subjected to canola oil consumption faced significant harm in memory and an increase in body weight.
- Effect on heart - It has been observed that obese people who use canola oil tend to have conditions like metabolic syndrome.
“Metabolic syndrome is a group of diseases that include high blood sugar, excess fat, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels, ultimately increasing the risk of heart diseases.”
Read more about Canola oil.
Which is the best oil for weight loss?
The following oils are considered the most effective ones in weight loss:
- Coconut oil - This oil is made of medium-chain saturated fat and lauric acid, which easily gets converted into energy and can be used by the body.
- Peanut oil - This is filled with monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid, which is known to reduce appetite and facilitate weight loss. It also helps in boosting memory.
- Avocado oil - It is made of pressed avocados and is rich in monounsaturated fats. It also contains vitamin B & E and potassium. Overall, it is great to reduce hunger and improve cholesterol.
As per the best cardiac surgeons in India, one should not stick to using one oil. It is important to keep changing the type of oil one is using. According to health experts, it is essential to get regular health checkups after a certain age. This includes heart-related investigations such as Angiography, ECG and detailed consultation with a good cardiologist. View more to read about the most commonly performed surgeries including Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery or CABG.
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