Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. It is also used in food preparation and flavouring that doesn’t involve heat, such as salad dressings and bread dips, and in this sense might be more accurately termed edible oil.
Cooking oil is typically a liquid at room temperature, although some oils that contain saturated fat, such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are solid.
The FDA recommends that 30% or fewer of calories consumed daily should be from fat.
Oils containing higher percentage of saturated fats are associated with higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This can be bad for the heart.
Oils containing higher percentage of Unsaturated fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats) are generally healthier.
Mayo Clinic has highlighted oils that are high in saturated fats, including coconut, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Those of lower amounts of saturated fats, and higher levels of unsaturated (preferably monounsaturated) fats like olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocado, safflower, corn, sunflower, soy, mustard and cottonseed oils are generally healthier.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and World Heart Federation have urged saturated fats be replaced with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The health body lists olive and canola oils as sources of monounsaturated oils while soybean and sunflower oils are rich with polyunsaturated fat.
Here is the List of Cooking oils arranged in increasing amount of saturated fats!
|Type of oil or fat||Saturated (%)||Monounsaturated (%)||Polyunsaturated (%)|
|Pumpkin seed oil||8||36||57|
|Sunflower oil (high oleic)||9||82||9|
|Sunflower oil (linoleic)||11||20||69|
|Rice bran oil||20||47||33|
|Tea seed oil||22||60||18|
Its better to choose oil which are low in Saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats as they are found to be healthier. However, the total amount of oil consumed still needs to be less than 30% of your calorie intake!
The new guidelines on cholesterol treatment advocate aggressive control of Cholesterol levels by drugs called statins for primary prevention of heart disease. They advocate high-intensity and moderate intensity statins in patients with intermediate risks of developing heart disease.
Majority of the Physicians would be following these recommendations. But, there is a great need to discuss the risks and benefits of statin therapy with individual patients.
These become more relevant when we know that statins do increase marginally the incidence of developing diabetes.
Two recent studies also throw up interesting findings:
Study 1. A study presented in April 2014 at the Society of General Internal Medicine meeting in San Diego showed that individuals prescribed statin therapy for high cholesterol consumed more calories and more fat than nonstatin users. And, not surprisingly, this increase in calories paralleled an increase in BMI in statin users.
Study 2. An analysis of a prospective cohort study of men (published in JAMA Internal Medicine) revealed that physical-activity levels were “modestly” lower among statin users compared with nonusers independent of other cardiac medications and of medical history.
Though there may be a biologic or chemical explanation for the above findings, the above studies point to Lifestyle-Statin interaction whereby there seems to be a sense of protection felt by the patients on statins. Individuals on statins (due to a sense of security due to their drug compliance) may be abandoning on Diet moderation and Physical activity. This abandoning of important lifestyle measures would reduce gains of statin therapy.
The above findings suggest that Physicians need to continuously emphasise the importance of Lifestyle measures to individual patients irrespective of their cholesterol levels or statin therapy!
A decade of health policies and health-promotion messages in New York City aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease have pushed heart-disease rates downward faster than they have elsewhere in the US, according to the city’s health commissioner. “Making healthy choices easy ought to be our goal at the population level,” Dr Thomas Farley said during the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2013.
Since 2002, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office and began implementing policies to battle smoking and obesity, the life expectancy of New Yorkers has risen by 36 months vs an average increase of 21.6 months in the rest of the country, Farley noted. Half of this increase was from decreased heart disease—probably the result of the ban on smoking in public places.
Encouraging Smoking Cessation
The city used a multipronged strategy to get its citizens to stop smoking. In 2002, it banned smoking in public places. Currently, it has the highest taxes on cigarettes in the country. When focus groups revealed that smokers were afraid of suffering but not of dying, they implemented a hard-hitting ad campaign that shows a patient with lung cancer “suffering every minute.”
The prevalence of smoking dropped from 21% in 2002 to 15.5% in 2012, “which represents about 300 000 fewer smokers . . . and saves an estimated 1500 lives a year,” Farley said.
Focusing on Diet, Calories, and Physical Fitness
Close to 60% of adults in New York City are overweight or obese—”a problem of normal people in an abnormal environment,” according to Farley.
To turn this around, the public-health department focused on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables and making people aware of calories, sugary drinks, trans fat, and sodium.
The city established standards for food and beverage vending machines that deliver millions of meals and snacks to New York City government employees. It is also working with retailers to increase the prominence of healthy foods and set up a system of street vendors who sell only fruits and vegetables, in targeted neighborhoods.
In 2006, the New York Board of Health voted to restrict artificial transfat in 24000 restaurants, one of the first major cities to take this step. That initiative appears to have paid off. Then, in 2008, the city implemented a policy requiring that fast-food restaurants post the calorie content of foods. This resulted in a small but meaningful effect: 15% of consumers read the calorie content, and these individuals then eat 100 fewer calories.
The city has also led a successful campaign to lower the sodium content in food. Last year, 21 companies met voluntary sodium-reduction targets for such products as Heinz ketchup (15% lower) and Kraft singles American cheese (18% lower).
Public Policies to Prevent CVD
Speaking with heartwire after Farley’s presentation, CCC scientific program committee chair Dr Andrew Krahn (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) noted that the public-policy approaches undertaken in New York will be key to combating CVD.
What are the types of Fats in our body?
The human body contains different types of fats or lipids. Lipids are important chemicals present in the body and needed for various cellular functions. The fats in our body are of different types. They can simply be divided in Bad and Good fats.
Which are the Bad fats/ lipids? How do they harm us?
The Bad fats get deposited in our arteries thereby causing blocks. These blocks decrease the blood supply of the organs causing various serious illnesses like heart attacks (decrease blood supply to the brain), paralytic strokes (decrease blood supply to the brain), or gangrene of the limbs (decrease blood supply to the limbs). Thus it is important to keep our Bad cholesterol below the normal range. There are 2 types of Bad Cholesterol in our body: LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Higher levels of Bad Cholesterol can be harmful in the long run.
Which are the Good fats/ lipids? Do they harm us?
The Good Cholesterol is protective and higher levels are better. The Good Cholesterol in our body is HDL Cholesterol.
How do we know our fat/lipid level?
One needs to do a Complete lipid profile (blood test) after 12 hours of fasting.
What should be your LDL (Bad) Cholesterol level?
If one suffers from any of the below mentioned illnesses, then the LDL Cholesterol needs to be below 100 mg/dl. These disorders are
Does diet and exercise help to reduce Bad Cholesterol?
Yes, they do. Brisk walking every day for 30-45 minutes can help reduce your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol. Avoiding foods rich in fats like fried food, cakes, sweets can also help reduce the bad cholesterol.
Are there medicines which reduce Bad Cholesterol and prevent heart attacks?
Statins are called the wonder drugs which reduce LDL cholesterol. These drugs are extremely safe and also decrease triglyceride levels and increase the good cholesterol! They have been proven to prevent heart attacks and in some cases reduce the blocks! These drugs need to be taken on a daily basis and need to be continued lifelong.