How to Choose the Right Cooking Oil?   



How to Choose the Right Cooking Oil?

 
Using the right cooking oil not only bring out he taste in food, it can also ensure good health for your family.
When it comes to cooking oil, a one-type-serves all approach will not do. Depending on their sources, oils differ by several factors, including fat composition, flavour and smoke point (the temperature at which oil begins to smoke and deteriorate). These factors should be considered when selecting cooking oil for a particular dish, so keep your kitchen well-stocked with a variety of oils to meet your cooking needs.

Canola oil

Made from pressed canola seed, canola oil is low in saturated fat-the 'bad ' fat - and has moderate levels of omega-3 fatty acids-the 'good' fat. Its mild flavour and medium-to-high smoke point makes it ideal for frying and sauteing. Making the switch from margarine or butter to canola oil-based spreads can help cut a good chunk of saturated fats from your diet, and you can also use it instead of shortening or butter when baking.

Peanut and sesame oils

Favoured by many Asians, peanut and sesame oils contain plenty of healthy nutrients. An antioxidant called resveratrol found in peanuts is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, while sesame oil is loaded with magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and vitamins E and B. It also has the cholesterol-lowering and liver-protecting properties from its sesamin and sesamolin components. The medium-to-high smoke point makes these oils ideal for stir-frying, but the distinct flavour of sesame oil should be taken into account when preparing dishes.

Olive oil

Chockfull of monounsaturated fats -also the 'good ' ones-and polyphenols, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Thanks to its distinct flavour and aroma, olive oil is often used in salad dressing, dips and marinades. A medium to-high smoke point also makes it suitable for light frying or sauteing, but try not to heat it over 200 °C. A few varieties are available, but extra-virgin olive oil is your best bet.

Flaxseed and walnut oils

These oils are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but their low smoke point makes them unsuitable for cooking. Save these oils for dishes that require no cooking, eg, salad dressing, dips and marinade. Both walnut and flaxseed oils should be stored in the refrigerator and used within few months.
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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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