Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Know your cooking oilOils are complex compounds and they are purified fat obtained from animal and plant. How these fat is absorbed into our body is a complex process, Anyays what we must consider that which oil is better to cook into and heart healthy.

Two types of fatty acids-

(a)SFA –saturated fatty acid,it increases bad cholesterol.

(b) UnSaturated fatty acids.

1-polyunsaturated fatty acids(PUFA)- examples are -
Linoleic acid(n6,it is more common ,it reduces our friendly HDL (that is good cholesterol )
Alpha-linolenic acid (n3,reduces LDL and triglycerdides increases HDL)

2 -Monounsaturated Fatty acids(MUFA)-it reduces LDL.

3 -Transfats-it reduces HDL,produced when oil turns into solid fat by repeated frying .

Lets us find out what goes with common cooking oil.

1-Canola Oil –MUFA and omega 3 fatty acids ,good for health .
2-Olive oil-1:1 ratio between MUFA and PUFA.
3-Soybean oil –ideal n6:n3 rich in MUFA.
4-Safflower ,sunflower ,corn rich in n6 ,mix in 1:1 with mustard oil which is n3 can be an alternate option.
5-Lard /palm/coconut/butterfat – avoid it totally as they are high in SFA.
6-Vanaspati/Margarine –avoid it as they are high in transfats.

Best Oil for cooking purpose is Corn Oil /Sunflower oil or canola oil ...

For More details Go to wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_oil

Our Food Habit – is window to our health and body.

When we think of our modern food habit ,eating out has increased with liberalization a lot , and often it is 2-3 times a week.Remember in our childhood days ,eating out were only meant for picnics or marriage parties .
Now with work pressure, cooking is the last thing that comes to our mind .Add to that odd working hours which is a perfect formula for obesity.And also ready to use processed food ,makes our life easy but think how much it is damaging our body ,now this type of food that is put on the table is high in fat and low on nutrients.Eating out means burgers ,pizza,burfi,all sorts of rolls and sweetened aerated beverages.

Eating for hunger – eat to live not live to eat only.

We should check the social,emotional or habitual eating .These habits must be identified and curbed.
When moving with group of friends eat what you feel is good and healthy for your body and have the courage to tell that you would prefer eating a green salad /vege pasta over a spicy golgappa,chaat or burger.
Don’t indulge in eating high calorie deserts to pacify your emotions because your day did not went the way you wanted or planned about ,or your boyfriend/husband made you cry.

When eating try to switch off your TV,phone and eat with attention on food only.

Better make it a practice of having the dinner with all the family members ,this way you can catch up the things your loved ones have to tell you about their office and school.

Eat healthy and right.Some of us become obsessive about eating certain type of food ,people starts taking boiled vegetables or boiled /steamed food thinking it is healthy and will help to retain good figure but on the contrast it deprives of the fats which are very essential .Always remember body thrives best on a balanced food ,treat it with all types of food but in moderation.

What are the essential things that comprises a good food habit

Body needs constant detoxification , include all sorts of vegetable juices in the diet ,these act as antioxidants, these absorbs free radicals in our body that helps to detoxify. Like a carrot/palaak juice or a tomato juice .Fruits are better detoxifiers, like apples ,mangoes ,oranges .Prefer fresh fruits over processed drinking juices.Even a cup of tea can help but not empty stomach ,drink with some biscuits ,tea also act as antioxidant.

A balanced food comprises of vitamins and minerals ,include lots of vegetables/fruits in day to day basis.

Go for farm fresh vegetables instead of frozen one .Consume vegetables that are currently in season ,like cabbage,cauliflower ,capsicum in winter and lauki, Parwal ,Okhra in summer .Seasonal fruits and vegetables are high in nutrientsin their peek season.

Decide a menu for a week ,winters are round the corners ,this is the perfect time to eat green leafy vegetables ,methi,bathua,palaak and some of our better Bengali saag like kolmi,noote etc.Include fishes specially salmon, hilsa,rohu, small fishes like magur,pabda,batta etc in diets.These are high in omega -3 fatty acids ,good for our heart .

Go nutty –its pretty interesting to note that these provide fats and minerals .Its always better to eat them rather eating red meats.Start with breakfast having 3-4 kajus(cashews)/badaam(almonds) / kejur (dates) alternating each day depending upon your choices.

Go whole –always look for whole wheat grains when picking breads from your grocery store.Avoid refined flour/maida as such ,remember whole wheat provide much fibre than refined flour.Include rotis in your diet but please don’t purchase ready to use rotis /tortillas from the grocery store .Its always good to make fresh rotis in home than buying those packets add to that your satisfaction that you cook for your loved ones.

Sweet-What are the sources of sugar other than those high calorie desert in our diet ,our daily rotis/atta/rice also add up to sugars.We should not stop eating them as they give us the vital energy to sustain the hardship of the day ,but diet alteration can help us.
Go slow on root vegetables like potatoes/yams ,again eat fleshy veggies like lauki/tinda/zucchini/squash.Sweets like cookies and low fat ice-cream after dinner makes us feel satisfied as it signals the brain that meal is over ,eat sweets but in moderation .

Water –an essential part .Inadequacy leads to poor metabolism and disturbed digestion .Drink atleast 8 glasses of water and more in summer because body losses essential nutrients while perspiring .Drink 2 glasses of water before meals,this keeps you hydrated and eat a little less .Include narial paani(coconut water)/sugarcane juice to counter hot humid weather rather drinking sweetened aerated drink.

Its very interesting to note that your body needs about 20 mints to send the signal that the tummy is full .When you eat ,eat slowly and stop when you feel half full .Give your system time to process and digest.
Have an afternoon snacks between lunch and dinner ,this checks fatigue and over indulgence later during dinner.

Always leave the skin of fruits intact/on , do not peel it  like in apples or pears but obviously this does not implies for bananas or oranges , as it helps to get those extra fiber and essential nutrients .

Cook as much as is required ,reheating the food /meals result in loss of nutrients.Prefer cooking on low flame or slow cooking.
Use minimum oil for tempering and just cover the veggies while cooking.Grilling the vegetables is also good but with less oil.

Salts-use less salts.How to check the intake of salt
Take the salt shaker out of the dining table, avoid pickles and papads,potato chips,olives,cheese,namkeen and canned food, these are high in sodium content.Even if you have to use canned food, discard the brine or water .wash the content in water and then use.This way the those extra salts gets washed away and salt intake is checked.

Cook with fresh herb/spices more.Always check labels for sodium content.
Make dry masala powders/spice powders yourself in home that way you will know what goes inside and also it will be devoid of any artificial preservatives or coloring's.
Try to avoid using food colours but even if you have to check if it's written "without artificial colour "...

I hope eating right makes oneself aware that this body needs a lot of good things in life, treat it as your daily temple ,worship it and nurture it .

Happy Cooking


  1. this is a very informatice post indeed. thanks for sharing.
    I bookmarked it .

  2. beautiful post. everything we need to know in a nutshell.


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