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Cooking Oil

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Which is the best oil to use for everyday cooking?

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The answer to this question is based on the following important aspects:

1. The diet should have all the essential fatty acids present in the food.
The body needs some fatty acids which it can only get from foods and hence they are called essential fatty acids, the major ones are omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. The reason they are so important is that they reduce inflammation in the body (arthritis, heart disease and allergies are all due to hyper inflamed body) hence one should consume every day both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Sources of omega 3 are flax seeds (alsi seeds, nuts like chia seeds, walnuts etc) and fish and other seafood. For omega 6 there are many sources like pumpkin seeds, whole grains, most vegetable oils, eggs, nuts and poultry – most people get omega 6 easily, so the focus should be in getting adequate quantities of omega 3 in the diet.

2. What is the kind of cooking methods being used in the house?
Oil and cooking methods are connected. Many oils become toxic if they are used for frying. Hence, for frying use peanut oil or ghee as they have a high smoke point and do not spoil at high temperatures. However, eating fried foods frequently is unhealthy, so do not eat such foods beyond once a month.

3. Are there family members with special needs in the house?
For special needs – like children need ghee and butter in their diet till the age of 5 years (preferably organic), elderly need some oil in their diet, however, it should be a light oil like olive oil for regular use and 1 teaspoon of ghee daily.

4. How much oil is healthy?
1 teaspoon of oil per day per person is healthy besides a handful of nuts and seeds. Hence, doing oil rotation is a good practice while consuming oil in moderation.

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