Diet and Nutrition

A Visual Guide to Nutritional Facts Of Different Cooking Oils

And their fat contents that help beat heart disease and much more…

Dr. K P Vasudeva Rao

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Image by the Author showing different Edible Oils
Different Edible Oils -Image by the Author

Introduction-

We all need edible oil to cook our food. They are also used in the foods that we purchase like pastries, snacks, and ready-to-make foods like nuggets, etc.

Oils that we use in our diet can vary from cheap varieties like palm oil to high quality and nutritious ones like olive oil. The nutritional facts about all edible processed items are usually available on the backside of the packet or the container we purchase.

Why do we need to know these facts?

The edible oils that we use contain mostly fats. They are all mostly vegetable oils, derived from seeds of various plants. A few cooking oils are derived from animal fats.

The fats in these oils are in the form of molecules called fatty acids. Out of these fatty acids, some cause health problems like atherosclerosis that can lead to heart disease. Others help us to revert or reduce the causative factors in our blood, namely cholesterol. The fatty acids that we are going to discuss are-

  • Saturated fatty acids[SFA]- are not good for our health
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids[PUFA]- good for the heart
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids[MUFA]- very good for the heart
  • Trans Fat- very bad for the heart and overall health and is the main cause of obesity in people

Apart from these, some oils may contain essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Some contain plant sterols like Oryzanol, which is good for the heart.

The other factors that determine the quality of the oil depend upon if it is-

  • Unfiltered- may contain impurities that can harm our health
  • Filtered- this removes most of the impurities and can be assumed to be safe for use
  • Refined- by far the best because all impurities are removed but residues of chemicals used and loss of nutritive value can be a concern.

The choice of selection of edible oil is all yours depending upon your purse and needs.

What are we going to learn here-

In this article, I am going to share information on the nutritional facts of these edible oils that we use on a daily basis. We will be learning the nutritional facts about these oils and their benefits from a health point of view. Later on, you can compare the benefits of these oils and choose what suits best for you.

In one of my articles on Dietary fats, I have made mention of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly fats. These fats are present in most of the cooking oils we regularly use. You can go through it all here-

So, here we go- these are some of the nutritional facts about the commonly used cooking oils-choose which you are presently using to know its advantages and shortcomings-

Rice bran oil Nutritional facts-

Very beneficial in those having high cholesterol levels. Reduces bad cholesterol[LDL, VLDL, TGL] and increases good cholesterol[HDL]. This is an affordable oil for the lower-income and middle-income groups.

Rice Bran oil nutritional facts
Image by the Author created on Canva

Note that other than the usual fatty acids, the rice bran oil contains Vitamin E and Oryzanol, a phytosterol, that helps in maintaining good cholesterol levels in the body. It also features Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that help in maintaining heart health.

Olive Oil Nutritional facts-

By far the best of all but affordable to only a handful of people. In this oil, the monosaturated fatty acids are available in a good amount. It helps in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the good one.

Image by the Author created on Canva

Peanut Oil Nutritional facts-

This is the most common edible oil available all over the world. Here the Nutrifacts-

Image showing Peanut Oil Nutritional facts
Image created by the Author on Canva

Peanut oils are available as-

  • Refined
  • Filtered and
  • Unfiltered oils

Unfiltered oils are by far the best as the nutritive value of groundnut oil is retained fully.

Safflower oil Nutritional facts-

In this oil, the quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acid is high. This again is very beneficial for your heart. In fact, this is the most recommended oil by physicians all over the world because of its benefits to heart health.

Image showing Nutri-facts of Safflower oil
Image by the Author on Canva

Sesame oil Nutritional facts-

Image of Sesame Oil Nutri-facts
Image created by the author on Canva

The advantage of this oil over others[except Olive oil], is that it contains MUFA in a good quantity, which helps in increasing HDL and reducing trigyceridesdes[TGL]. Additionally, it contains Omega 9 fatty acids which help in reducing the above-mentioned bad cholesterol as well as improve your immunity. For more on the benefits of different types of Omega fatty acids, read this article.

Sunflower oil Nutri facts-

Sunflower oil contains these fatty acids in 100 ml of oil.

Sunflower Oil Nutri-facts
Image created by Author

Mustard oil Nutri info-

Again, in this oil, the amount of MUFA wins over its other counterparts.

Image showing Mustard oil nutri-facts
Image created by the author on Canva

This oil used in combination with rice bran oil in the ratio of 80:20 is very beneficial in diabetic and hypertensive patients.

Coconut Oil Nutri facts-

Image showing Nutritional Facts of Coconut oil
Image created by the author on Canva

Not a good oil for consumption as saturated fats[SFA] is way above the recommended levels. But this oil has components like MCT and LCT fatty acids that can be useful for overall health.

MCT or Medium Chain Triglycerides-

This component of the coconut oil is very helpful in-

1. inducing weight loss-it does not get stored in your adipose[fatty]tissue as fats. Very helpful for those on the Keto diet.

2. producing ketones in the liver that can replace the need for sugar or glucose to provide energy thereby bringing down blood sugar levels.

3. improves cognitive health

I learned about MCT oil when I chanced upon Bulletproof Diet written by Dave Asprey, where he uses it in his Bulletproof Coffee.

Coconut oil is mostly used as a component of hair oils and skincare products. Other than that, the only advantage is that it gives a good flavor to the food items that are cooked in it.

Soy Bean oil nutritional facts-

Image created by the author on Canva

Canola oil Nutritional facts-

This oil is extracted from the seeds of a plant called canola. Here are its nutritional facts-

Canola oil Nutritional facts

Very good oil for its content of MUFA and PUFA. Lowers TGL and LDL.

Avocado oil Nutritional Facts-

Avocado oil Nutri-facts
Image created by the author on Canva

High in MUFA and PUFA. Contains all the essential fatty acids but the cost is prohibitive.

These are some of the oils with benefits to our heart health. All of these are available in the market. However, do consider the benefits and costs before buying.

Other fatty foods like butter, ghee, margarine, etc., are high in cholesterol content and have the ability to increase bad cholesterol levels. Do read the labels behind the container before purchasing it.

These were some of the important cooking oils that you may find helpful to maintain your heart health as well as your weight.

I hope you enjoyed going through this Visual Guide of some of the regularly used cooking oils. If you have any experience in using one of these vegetable oils, do chip in with your suggestions.

Thank you for reading.

Originally published at https://raodoctor.com on July 14, 2020.

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Dr. K P Vasudeva Rao

I am Dr.K.P.Vasudeva Rao.I am a General Medical Practitioner living in India. I write blogs on my website:-https://raodoctor.com/ on health related issues.