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Vegetable oils derived from plants are known to have umpteen benefits. Besides enhancing the texture and flavour of food, vegetable oil has many other advantages and hence should be incorporated in our daily diet. Some of the more popular oils for daily consumption include sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil among others. Ms Gauri Iyer, Technical Head, AAK Kamani shares the common health benefits of vegetable oils.
1. Improves heart health: Most vegetable oils help to make the food delicious and nutritive too because of their unique fatty acid profile. By using soyabean oil, low erucic acid rapeseed oil, you can manage to keep cholesterol levels low. This is because it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids or essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3). Hence, incorporating these oils in your diet also lowers your chances of suffering from heart ailments. Read more on oils with high PUFA content good or bad?
2. Enhances the flavour: Edible cooking oils like peanut, olive and soybean oil are not only healthy but also enhance the flavour of food and hence they are extensively used for cooking. Peanut oil or groundnut oil, when used as filtered oil, is a favourite because of its aroma which can be used for dressing, for saut ing as well as cooking.
3. Naturally trans-fat free: Vegetable oils are naturally trans-fat free. Trans fats, which are commonly found in animal products puts you at a greater risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke or death. Hence, oils like refined palm oil and other vegetable oils are used by the food industry as a replacement for hydrogenated vegetable fats which may contain unhealthy trans-fats. Also read about is your cooking oil making you unhealthy?
4. Relieves menopausal symptoms: In a research conducted on health benefits of rice bran oil, it was observed that there was a reduction in symptoms of menopause like hot flushes in more than 90% of the women who consumed rice bran oil daily. So including vegetable oils like rice bran oil can help you to deal hormonal swings during menopause.
5. Loaded with vitamins: A pregnant woman and her unborn child have a high possibility of suffering from vitamin deficiencies. Vegetable oils are carriers of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. So if you are pregnant or suffer from vitamin deficiency, including vegetable oils in your daily diet might provide numerous health benefits.
6. Softens cracked feet: Not just in diet, vegetable oils can also be applied on the skin and feet for its moisturising effect. We have all experienced rough feet at some point, and one of the best remedies suggested for it is vegetable oil. Before going to bed, rub cracked feet with vegetable oil like coconut oil and cover it with a pair of soft socks. This helps to nourish cracked heels and naturally smoothen the feet.
7. Helps to remove splinters: One of the best ways to get rid of splinters is to use vegetable oil. Soaking the finger for a few minutes in vegetable oil softens the skin, which is enough to pull out the splinter with the help of tweezers.
Choosing the right kind of oil can not only change the flavour of your meal but can also make a difference to your health. Vegetable oil, which was once a questionable cooking oil, is now considered a diet-friendly source of beneficial nutrients. However, keep in mind that excess of anything can be harmful to your health and everything should be consumed only in moderate quantities. Visit a nutritionist on a timely basis who can help you chalk out a diet plan according to your health and help you make wise and healthy lifestyle changes.
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