Dated 27th Feb 2017, the ACC (American College of Cardiology) published a review article on Debunking nutritional myths.
The article supports eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts in moderation. It also mentions that very limited quantities of lean meat, fish, low-fat and nonfat dairy products and liquid vegetable oils may be consumed. It however does not recommend intake of antioxidant pills, juicing and gluten-free diets (unless allergic to gluten).
A summary is provided:
Eggs and cholesterol:
Although a U.S. government report issued in 2015 dropped specific recommendations about upper limits for cholesterol consumption, the review concludes, “it remains prudent to advise patients to significantly limit intake of dietary cholesterol in the form of eggs or any high cholesterol foods to as little as possible.”
According to the authors, coconut oil and palm oil should be discouraged due to limited data supporting routine use. The most heart-healthy oil is olive oil, though perhaps in moderation as it is still higher calorie, research suggests.
Berries and antioxidant supplementation:
Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants to reduce heart disease risk, the review explains. There is no compelling evidence adding high-dose antioxidant dietary supplements benefits heart health.
Nuts can be part of a heart-healthy diet. But beware of consuming too many, because nuts are high in calories, said the authors.
The authors explain that while the fruits and vegetables contained in juices are heart-healthy, the process of juicing concentrates calories, which makes it is much easier to ingest too many. Eating whole fruits and vegetables is preferred, with juicing primarily reserved for situations when daily intake of vegetables and fruits is inadequate. If you do juice, avoid adding extra sugar by putting in honey, to minimize calories.
People who have celiac disease or other gluten sensitivity must avoid gluten – wheat, barley and rye. For patients who don’t have any gluten sensitivities, many of the claims for health benefits of a gluten-free diet are unsubstantiated.
We all love desserts! They give us a feeling of satiety and satisfaction which few things in this world provide. However, too much of indulgence can be harmful. Its better to be informed and make a choice about the dessert depending on its sugar content.
Here is a chart from Shari’s Berries showing the sugar content of different desserts.
As Julissa from Shari’s Berries mentions “Although most say “There is ALWAYS room for dessert”, there is no reason to go overboard on your sugar taste buds especially if you are watching your weight or want something lighter.
That’s why Shari’s Berries has created a visual chart with the most popular desserts you find at restaurants and parties. The desserts range from lowest to highest in sugar content, hopefully making your choice a little bit easier. Sweets are definitely fun but moderation is key!”
Follow a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level. A healthy eating pattern includes
A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
Fruits, especially whole fruits
Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages
A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
A healthy eating pattern limits saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.
Key recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet of particular public health concern that should be limited.
Consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars.
Consume less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fats.
Consume less than 2300 mg/d of sodium.
If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.
The Dietary Guidelines also include a key recommendation to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
This Viewpoint summarizes the updated recommendations of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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!
Olive oil is actually the juice of the olive, and it is the only oil in the market that is extracted from a fresh fruit. Of course, we’ve all read about the benefits of olive oil, and what it can do to our skin and hair.
But do we really know how to use this oil for everyday cooking, more importantly, which grade of oil to use?
Perhaps not, which is why even though many in the world have switched to olive oil, we’re still unsure about its usage.
Time to get educated, then… To begin with, here’s bursting the most famous olive oil myth in India: We should use Extra Virgin (EV) olive oil because it is the best!
Extra virgin olive oil:
It is the highest grade olive oil with perfect aroma and flavour. EV oil is got from the first cold pressing of the olive fruit within 24 hours of harvesting. It is heavy, and its viscosity is higher than other grades of olive oil and therefore, it is mainly use is for preparing cold dishes: dressing salads, pasta, rice and vegetables, meat and fish.
This variety is a combination of refined olive oil and EV olive oil. Refined olive oil is obtained by refining oil that does not possess optimum characteristics. After refining, the oil is blended with EV oilive ol. Olive oil is an intermediate grade oil at the best. Well, not really. At least, not for preparing Indian dishes. EV olive oil may be best in flavour, but its flavour is so strong that it can change the taste of the dish! Also, deep-frying in EV olive oil is not advisable as it is heavy and viscous as compared to other grades of olive oil. Therefore, EV olive oil is suitable for only flavouring, dressings and condiments or for integrating foods – like making cold sauces, crushing ingredients and preparing Carpaccio or marinated dishes. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are primarily refined olive oil, with a small addition of virgin-production to give taste.
So then, what is the best option? Olive pomace oil. It is the cooking grade oil, and is used all over Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean for every type of cooking. Pomace oil is not costly, is light and has neutral with medium aroma and flavour, suitable for pan and deep frying, stir-fries, sautes and stews. It is also suitable for all types of body massage.
Olive pomace oil:
This is the main cooking grade oil variety. It is a light oil with neutral taste and flavour and is the most suitable oil for Indian cuisine as it does not change the flavour or taste of any preparation. This oil is obtained by treating the olive residue paste (after the fruit has been pressed) with solvents to extract oil, refining and then blending this product with EV oil in order to enhance the product and its health benefits, taste and flavour.
And, this oil is ideal for cooking all types and varieties of Indian dishes. It neither changes the taste nor presents any difficulties while cooking. Indian cuisine, whether fried, roasted, ‘bhunoed’ or cooked by any other method, tastes as good with Olive Pomace oil as it does when prepared in sunflower, safflower, corn or any other oil. Also, when frying at between 130 and 190 o C, olive oil forms a crisp, golden crust making the fried food much more appetizing but without affecting its nutritional value, as the oil hardly penetrates the food, leaving it light and digestible. Each portion of this oil used for deep frying may be reused 3-4 times as long as it is filtered carefully after each use through a gauze, muslin or a suitable paper filter.
And this one’s for those who think the oil is really costly: Yes, any grade of olive oil costs more than other edible oils. But look at it this way: It takes only 1/3rd the quantity of other edible oils to cook in olive oil, and since it has a high smoking point, it can be reused 3-4 times. Therefore, the effective cost of olive oil is 1/9th of its actual price!