Indian Tradional Oils Healthier for Heart than Modern Day Refined Or Olive Oils

An editorial in current edition of Indian Heart Journal, written by Dr S.C.Manchanda , Senior Consultant , Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital & Santosh Jain Passi Public Health Nutrition Consultant; Former Director, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, has found that in Indian cooking conditions which mostly involves deep frying , our age old oils like Ghee , Coconut and Mustard oils score better than refined and other oils in health benefits .

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality all over the world; its incidence is rising rapidly, especially in developing countries, including India. Dietary factors, particularly the edible oils, play an important role in the causation, treatment, Indian-Tradional-Oilsmanagement, and prevention of CHD. Cooking oils form an integral part of Indian diets; however, one is confronted with an array of commonly marketed edible oils asserting host of health claims.

According to S.C. Manchanda,  Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and author of Editorial “right selection of edible oil is extremely important, especially in the Indian context, where cooking methods are different then in the west. Numerous clinical trials and observational/metabolic studies among diverse populations indicate a consistent association between quality/quantity of fat intake and the CHD risk.1,2 The effect of dietary fats on plasma lipids constitutes a key link in the causal pathway that connects diet to CVD.”

In the global context, Indian cooking conditions differ greatly, since the oils are often subjected to rather high temperatures, as stir-frying is a routine process in every curry or other similar preparations. As a result, exposure to high temperatures not only destroys antioxidants like vitamin E and b-carotene but also produces toxic compounds .

According to Santosh Jain Passi Public Health Nutrition Consultant; Former Director, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi and Editorial Author , “It is advisable to avoid refined oils, since during the refining process, oils are heated to high temperatures resulting in their degradation and generation of toxic substances. Refined oils, particularly high in PUFAs, degrade easily and therefore, should be avoided for frying. On the contrary, oils high in saturated fats (like ghee/coconut oil) can be used for Indian cooking, as they are comparatively stable during frying. Earlier, oils high in SFA were considered harmful since they increase LDL-c but recent studies indicate that oils high in short/medium-chain SFA (like coconut oil) have not demonstrated adverse health effects.”

Dr Manchanda further added “ Mustard and rapeseed oils – due to their favorable (LA/ALA ratio, low SFA, and high MUFA)  content along with their relative stability during cooking – can be a preferred choice, particularly mustard oil in its non-refined (cold-pressed) form, popularly known as “Kachhi Ghani ka Sarson ka  Tel”  . In fact epidemiologic studies among Indians do suggest that mustard oil consumption can reduce the risk of CHD.”

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