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Friday, February 15, 2013

3 Heart Healthy Cooking Oils

 

Each oil has a specific function to perform so it is always better that you know which one is good for your heart health. For this purpose, let's try and understand the difference between good and bad fats present in oil.

You might have gone to a supermarket and found dozens of brands of oil available there. Each oil has a specific function to perform so it is always better that you know which one is good for your heart health. For this purpose, let's try and understand the difference between good and bad fats present in oil.

Oils, primarily, are made up of a combination of three different kinds of fats. Both fats and oils either occur in saturated form or unsaturated form; unsaturated fats can in turn be either monounsaturated of polyunsaturated. 3 oils that are good for your heart health are listed below —

Olive Oil for Healthy Heart

Olive oil is a vegetable oil which preserves the aroma, vitamins, taste and all the properties of olive fruit.

The coronary arteries provide blood to our heart muscle. It is here that the monounsaturated fats present in olive oil come to show its benefits. Monounsaturated fats keep the arteries clear so that optimum amount of oxygen and nutrients are pumped to the heart at an undisturbed pace. Dietician, Himanshu Kapoor adds, "Olive oil is, in fact, known as the greatest exponent of monounsaturated fats and helps reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol without lowering the HDL (good) cholesterol. You can avail this benefit by replacing the unhealthy and chemically extracted oils with healing fat."

Do not, however, use olive oil to fry foods because its smoke point is quite low. This means that once the smoke point of oil is reached then the oil begins to break down to free fatty acids and glycerol causing degradation in the nutritional value of the oil.

Omega-3 Oils for Healthy Heart

Omega-3 oils from fish and flax are good oils which constantly dissolve cholesterol present in the lining of our blood vessels. In addition, it reduces high blood pressure and thereby also reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease and heart attacks. Studies too have proved that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce triglycerides and increase the amount of HDL cholesterol. Moreover, it also acts as an anticoagulant and prevents blood clot.

Sunflower Oil for Healthy Heart

The benefits of sunflower oil are manifold, especially in terms of its nutritional content. There are two kinds of sunflower oils i.e. high oleic and linoleic. High oleic sunflower oil is rich in monounsaturated acids and offers cardiovascular benefits. It is always better to consume very less fat or to be specific, saturated fats. This reduces the risk of any coronary disease. Sunflower oil in this regard contains low levels of saturated fat and therefore reduces cholesterol level and helps lower the chances of heart disease.

But, as a word of advice we suggest that you practice moderation when it comes to consuming even good oils because you never know when good oils can become bad for your heart health.

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