Rise in heart-related diseases is a worrying trend among Indians. One of the main causes of heart diseases among the consumers today is willful unawareness towards a healthy lifestyle. Thus, it's important to ensure that we choose a diet that keeps the heart healthy and overall metabolic health active. This complemented by a good fitness regime and avoiding tobacco consumption could help us achieve the best of our health. When it comes to a healthy diet, incorporating all food groups and consuming balanced diet along with active lifestyle is imperative. Food can be made healthy by choosing right ingredients in optimum quantities. In this whole scheme of things, selection of cooking oil and its quantity plays a vital role to ensure that the diet is indeed healthy. Cooking oils are made up of fats, some of which are good and the others not so much. Does this mean that we should stop consuming oil altogether? Not really. Eating oils and fats is very important as they are required in many bodily functions. What we should do is read that fine print and look at what our cooking oil is actually made of. With a plethora of oil brands available in the market, each claiming to be better than the other, it is important that we make an informed choice.
To make the choice easier for you, here are the 6 key things one should look for in the cooking oil's label before making that purchase:
1. High Omega-3
Omega-3 fights inflammation and helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels, both of which are known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 is typically found in seafood; if you are a vegetarian, it gets even more important for you to use cooking oil that is rich in Omega-3, otherwise you are at risk of getting deficient in omega 3.
(Also Read: World Heart Day: The Myths and Facts About Heart Health)
2. The Ideal Ratio Of Omega-6 To Omega-3
Maintains Overall Hearth Health
Indian Council of Medical Research states that cooking oil with Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio between 5 and 10 is ideal for consumption and declared the same as an important yardstick for choosing cooking oil. High Omega-3 content combined with the right ratio can help maintain overall heart health.
3. High Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)
Lowers Oil Absorption
Monounsaturated fats have several health benefits. They help with low oil absorption in food making the food lighter for the stomach and easy-to-digest. They also ensure that food nutrients value remain intact without compromising on health and taste.
4. Lower Saturated Fats
As we are consuming more of saturated fats from ghee, coconut oil and bakery products, it is advisable to use cooking oil, which is lower in saturated fatty acids. Higher intake of saturated fats can lead to obesity and other lifestyle diseases.
(Also Read: Add These to Your Diet to Lower the Risk of Heart Disease)
5. Gamma Oryzanol
Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Oryzanol is known for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It is a must-have if you are looking for heart-healthy oil.
5. Vitamin A, D & E
Vitamin A supports the vision and helps repair the damage caused by poor lifestyle and stress. Vitamin D is vital for immunity and supports bone strength. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals in the body. All of these are essential for overall nutrition.
It is imperative to acknowledge that transitioning to healthier oil will not only enable us to eat what we like but also lower the risk of certain heart problems. The points covered above signify the importance of choosing the right cooking oil and making a wise choice.
By Dr. Priyanka Rohatgi, Head Nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore & expert with NatureFresh Acti Heart cooking oil.
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