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There is much debate about what is the healthiest cooking oil – with many ‘experts’ recently highlighting the benefits of coconut oil resulting in it becoming a trendy ‘superfood’. Don’t’ take as the truth all that you read! The absolute key consideration that many trusted scientific sources and dietitians tell us we should focus on is the level of saturated fats!
It is also important to understand how we use the various cooking oils! Many of the advocates in the trendy ‘superfoods’ world recommends the use of coconut oil yet they don’t actually cook anywhere near as much food in ‘edible oil’ as we do in Sri Lanka. We love our oil! We cook so many of our dishes in oil – that it becomes critical to consider the level of saturated fats and their impact on heart health and cholesterol.
One really informed quote is from Karin Michels, a professor from Harvard University who is an epidemiologist calls it “pure poison”. In 2005,15 years ago, the World Health Organisation had already included coconut oil in its list of foods you should 'restrict your use of' if you didn't want to have a heart attack.
An American Heart Association (AHA) report states that unsaturated fats, which include monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can reduce the risk of heart disease when people chose to eat them instead of saturated and trans fats.
A group of researchers from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutritional Sciences in Manitoba, Canada, reviewed the evidence for the health benefits of canola oil. Their results demonstrate that people who follow diets they based on canola oil had lower total cholesterol levels compared with those consuming a typical Western diet high in saturated fatty acids.
So, it is really quite simple – aim to reduce the amount of saturated fats you consume on a daily and weekly basis. Therefore, using the simply chart below – based upon edible oil readily available in Sri Lanka you can make a choice that will benefit your health for years to come.