Monday, October 17, 2011

How to choose healthy cooking oil

How to choose healthy cooking oil is generally an important consideration for the good housewives as they would fry food for their family. Frying is a food processing using a very high temperature with the aid of oil as the heat transfer medium. But because a small portion of them was absorbed by the fried food, then it should be good quality as this can affect the flavor (taste, flavor, and aroma) of fried foods.
Unethical advertising fool the consumers
The lack of knowledge of the housewives about cooking oil can result in disadvantages. Their consideration usually based on advertising or promotion by the manufacturer. Whereas in promoting their products, manufacturers often violate norms and business ethics. Coconut oil, used to be, is the only cooking oil that is used in Indonesia but is now being pressured by the market for palm oil. It contains saturated fatty acids (SFA) in high quantities so often 'accused' as the source of coronary heart disease.
Now, on the market many cooking oil made from raw materials such as coconut, palm, soybean, corn, and sunflower seed oil. Even some of that were a mixture of two kinds of the oil. In addition, there are also palm cooking oil which come from different manufacturing process than other vegetable oils. The first product is known as the product from single fractionation while the second from the double fractionation.
Through the heating and pressing, from palm fruit will be obtained crude palm oil (CPO) which is reddish orange because they contain beta-carotene (about 400-700 ppm). It is composed of two fractions: namely solid fraction (stearin) and liquid fraction (olein). To become a cooking oil, CPO is undergoing the first refining process, namely neutralization, washing, decolorization (bleaching), and odor removal (deodorization) to obtain refined bleached deodorized palm oil (RBDPO). The second refining is the fractionation process which is often also referred as the screening. It will separate the solid from the liquid by lowering the oil temperature (to 20 degrees Celsius) and then filtered the solid part.
The solid product contained in the liquid is known as the solid fat content (SFC). Palm oil obtained from a single fractionation process at a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius contains about 15-20% SFC, while those obtained from the double process only contains about 0-5% SFC. Double fractionated palm oil will always be liquid at low temperatures because the content of SFC was also low. While the single fractionated palm oil will freeze when soaked in ice water because the content was higher SFC. In other words, the content of unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) of double fractionated product is higher than the other one. This is then associated with the state of the oil (fat) in the body. It means if the oil (from the single process) is frozen in the ice water so it will also be frozen in the human body. Though the body temperature is about 37 celcius degrees and quiet different with the ice or refrigeration temperature. Of course this kind of advertising or promotion certainly fool consumers. Cooking oil was changed into solid phase when it is stored in the refrigerated room so that it would appear whitish. It does not mean that there were deterioration on their quality but because its SFA content is relatively high so it freezes faster than the product contains more UFA.
There are sometime cooking oil manufacturers who claim that their products do not contain cholesterol. This is completely misleading because all kinds of cooking oils derived from plant materials, does not contain cholesterol.
Oil saturation affects the health ?
People often consider the saturated fatty acid levels in the oil when they ask how to choose healthy cooking oil. Does that thought have strong support? Indeed, too much when we question its fatty acids composition. For example, certain cooking oils containing UFA are claimed to be better than oils containing SFA.
First, the amount of oil contained in fried foods is relatively small (except for the pan-fried food) and secondly, during the frying, UFA will be broken down due to high temperature during the frying (about 150-180 degrees Celsius). So that the amount of UFA are expected to be consumed, actually very little.
Coronary heart disease is not only due to the ingestion of SFA. Many other factors must be considered. It has been scientifically proven, the palm oil consumption, although it contain relatively high SFA, does not cause atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and coronary heart disease. This is because its SFA containing medium carbon chain (unlike animal fat) in the body so it is more widely used as an energy source and does not raise cholesterol levels (LDL) in blood.
Excessive consumption of unsaturated fatty acids would endanger the health because it can form more radical compounds in the body. Something that can damage cells and tissues.
A study proves, the unsaturated fatty acids consumption will increase the chances of excessive destruction of blood vessels due to atherosclerosis by radical compounds. The experts always recommend the use of high UFA must be accompanied by a high consumption of vitamin E as well. Cardiologists Medical Association in U.S. recommends that consumption of oil / fat is limited to about 30% of total calories consumed (approximately 90-100 g of oil / fat per day). Oils / fats should consist of 10% SFA, 10% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and 10% poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). This statement clearly indicates, the consumption of SFA are allowed in reasonable quantities. Especially if the source is only from of fried food.
Indeed there is scientific evidence that UFA can lower cholesterol levels and can prevent the atherosclerosis onset and coronary heart disease, but the oil must be consumed in a crude state. Not as cooking oil, such as salad oil (salad oil).
Other tips
How to choose healthy cooking oil can also be done simply. First, see the clarity and second, whether its smell is rancid or not. A good one is clear and no smell rancid.

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