Aisles Of Oils

PICK­ING A COOK­ING FAT USED TO BE EASY: YOU ONLY HAD VEG­ETABLE OIL AND OLIVE OIL. NOW THERE’S GRASS-FED BEEF TALLOW, OR­GANIC DUCK FAT, AND AR­TI­SANAL GHEE. HERE’S HOW TO SORT OUT THE BULL AND IM­PROVE YOUR DIET.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - NUTRITION -

DON’T FALL FOR FAKE

“Ex­tra-vir­gin” olive oil un­der­goes min­i­mal pro­cess­ing. But a re­port from UC Davis found that 73 per­cent of im­ported ex­tra-vir­gin olive oils in the U. S. from top brands failed “ex­tra-vir­gin” stan­dards tests.

TURN OUT THE “LIGHT”

“‘Light’ does not mean bet­ter for you,” says An­gel Planells, a Seat­tle-based di­eti­cian. The term in­di­cates the oil has been fur­ther re­fined to re­move flavour. Light olive oil tastes flavour­less, sim­i­lar to veg­etable oil. Look­ing to save calo­ries? Cut back on how much oil you use. All cook­ing fats con­tain about 100 to 130 calo­ries per ta­ble­spoon. That’s usu­ally about the amount you need for cook­ing.

DOWN­SIZE YOUR JUG

Fats are sen­si­tive to light, tem­per­a­ture, and time. A su­per­sized tin or bot­tle of oil may be less ex­pen­sive ounce for ounce, but taste and nu­tri­tional qual­ity will likely de­grade be­fore you use it all, says Planells. Buy a two-month sup­ply. For most fam­i­lies, that’s a 500ml bot­tle.

CO­CONUT IS NOT KING

In­ter­net “ex­perts” have touted this oil as a cure-all for health woes. There’s no con­clu­sive ev­i­dence that co­conut oil will help you lose weight, boost your en­ergy lev­els, or re­duce di­a­betes risk. That said, it’s de­li­cious. But isn’t it full of sat­u­rated fat? Well . . .

DON’T FEAR FAT

A 2018 study by Bri­tish sci­en­tists found that peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enced no sig­nif­i­cant changes in weight, BMI, or sys­tolic or di­as­tolic blood pres­sure whether they ate 50 grams (a lit­tle less than ¼ cup) of but­ter, olive oil, or co­conut oil daily for four weeks. A sep­a­rate 2018 study in In­dia re­ported that peo­ple who typ­i­cally con­sumed ghee (a clar­i­fied but­ter used in In­dian cook­ing) had bet­ter choles­terol pro­files than those who favoured mus­tard oil. So what’s the best cook­ing fat?

DI­VER­SIFY

Each fat of­fers dif­fer­ent nu­tri­ents, Planells says. For in­stance, olive oil is loaded with polyphe­nol an­tiox­i­dants, and sun­flower oil is a good source of vi­ta­min E. Match your fat’s flavour to your cook­ing. Use but­ter for omelettes, olive oil for Ital­ian, duck fat for oven fries, ghee for curry, and a neu­tral oil such as canola or saf­flower oil for ev­ery­thing else.

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