admin Posted on 3:13 pm

The cooking oil crisis

Whether it’s crude oil or cooking oil, less is better. While reducing crude oil consumption results in a healthier environment, reducing cooking oil consumption results in a healthier you. As care starts at home, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss cooking oil concerns and leave crude oil to leaders for now. I am not a doctor or a dietitian or nutritionist, who usually gives advice that, in most cases, is easier to say than to follow. I have an even more important position as my family’s head chef, and a large part of my family’s health is my responsibility.

As much as it is said that fat is not good, some fats are essential for the body. It is also said that to metabolize (burn) fat, you need fat. The ‘good’ fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while the ‘bad’ fats are saturated and trans fats. While one should always take fats in moderation, it is best to avoid the latter. What this means for your shopping basket is that oils such as olive oil, canola (also marketed as rapeseed oil in the UK), peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and flaxseed oil are considered a healthier choice than other oils, mainly due to their high polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content.

However, olive oil is quite expensive and for this reason. Sometimes it is thought that canola is the olive oil of the poor. It should be noted that the properties of oil change with temperature and good ones at room temperature produce harmful toxins when heated. Olive oil for this reason is not considered very good for high temperature cooking. I use canola for normal cooking and once tried deep frying but the food smelled more fishy. Then I realized that canola is also not considered suitable for frying. My choice is canola for normal cooking and peanut oil for frying. If you are allergic to nuts, sunflower oil is also a good option. Coconut oil is generally considered unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content, but this is up for debate. Having understood which oil is better, here are some daily tips that I follow to reduce oil intake.

1. Instead of pouring from a bottle, use a spoon so you know how much you’re adding. When I started doing this, I found that I would start to get uncomfortable every time I went over two teaspoons, whereas before measuring I would happily add that amount.

2. Understand why oil is needed. Is it just for tempering or for sautéing or frying? The amount of oil and cooking temperature varies depending on why you need the oil. Some say that sautéing should be done near the smoke point of the oil, but we know that overheating the oil is not very good for your health. Some dishes, like Indian pickles, are quite reliant on oil and only need a large amount, but there are other dishes where oil is used to ‘enhance’ flavor and texture and can be compromised.

3. Don’t anticipate how much oil will be needed to cook a dish, rather add oil in stages. I have found that sometimes Spanish eggplants cook easily with very little oil, while other times I need to add a lot of oil to make them edible. Let go.

4. Try to allow food to cook in its own moisture. Add a little salt so that the vegetables release their water and cook in it. Alternatively, spray water frequently instead of adding oil. For some dishes, I drizzle tamarind water so it enhances the flavor of the dish and also reduces the oil.

5. I am not a saint and I am not saying that I can always resist French fries and other fried dishes. One should keep the consumption of such dishes occasional and minimal. Also, on days when you indulge, try to reduce your fat intake from other meals to maintain balance in your diet.

As I said, I am the head chef and a practitioner of all of the above tips. I try to take time to share my recipes (including low fat, healthy, vegan, and delicious recipes) on my food blog. Eat healthy and enjoy life!

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