Arusha Foods

Let’s Demystify Oils, Ghee and different kind of Fats

All Indian recipes begin with pouring oil/ghee in the pot or pan. Ghee & Oil are 100% fat. When we speak about fat, not all are good or bad. These are the 4 kind of fats found in our food – 

  1. Hydrogenated or Trans Fat
  2. Saturated Fat
  3. Monounsaturated Fat
  4. Polyunsaturated Fat

 

  • Trans Fat is the worst kind of fat. It is formed as a result of partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil into saturated fat. It was sold as DALDA in India in the past. It reduces HDL (Good cholesterol) while increases LDL (Bad cholesterol) —> Avoid it totally.
  • Saturated Fat is a kind of fat in which all bonds between Carbon atoms are single. It increases both HDL & LDL (Ghee is a type of saturated fat) —–> Avoid it totally though Ghee is an exception which we will discuss why later in the article.
  • Unsaturated Fat has at least one double bond between carbon atoms. Monounsaturated  fat has only double bond while Polyunsaturated fat has multiple double bond. It increases HDL while reduces LDL         —-> Good for heart and body.

 

Cell Membrane is made of fat. Our body is good is making fat & converts all extra calories into fat, to be stored in fat cells under the skin and around internal organs (visceral fat). 

Our body can only not make 2 fats —> Omega 3, Omega 6 (types of polyunsaturated fat) and that is why these two fats are called essential fats. In nature, Omega 6 is available in abundance but omega 3 is not. It is recommended to consume unsaturated fats and more specifically Omega 6 and Omega 3 in a ratio 2-3 : 1 . Among cooking oils, this ratio is in range of upwards of 10-1000:1. Only mustard oil (cold-pressed) and ghee with a ratio of 3:1 and 6:1 respectively are an exception.  

When Fat is consumed in oil, it quickly gets absorbed in the blood, thereby increases triglycerides levels. High triglycerides level causes body to store fat in fat cell.  When fat is consumed through whole foods, it doesn’t raise triglycerides level as fat is naturally embedded in fibers. As a result, fat provides energy over a period of time and not instantly. 

One should avoid oil and prefer whole foods like olives, avocados, seeds, nuts, soybean, spinach, etc for fat (unsaturated) intake. If one must use oil for cooking, then ghee or cold-pressed mustard oil can be used.

 

Note: Trigylcerides and LDL Cholestrol causes plaque formation in the arteries which eventually leads to blockage and resulting in heart diseases

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