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 Which fats are good for healthy heart?

  Last Updated : Oct 26,2018

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Which fats are good for healthy heart?

Fats – Make the wiser Choice

Taking care of your heart is probably the single most important thing you can do for your body and using the right kind of cooking medium is an essential part of that care, along with keeping fit.

You eat what the land gives you. Regionally, people cooked in the oil extracted from oil seeds native to their land. Groundnut, mustard, sesame seed oils are all traditionally used cooking mediums - tried and tested by generations of housewives who found them healthy to use for their families. Mustard oil is ideal for pickling because of its natural preservative properties. Sesame oil enhances flavour of Chinese cuisine and regular daily cooking.

From this wide range of oils, one question that springs in most minds is “Does each of these oils give equal calories?”

Yes, all fats and oils have the same amount of calories, be it ghee, coconut oil or groundnut oil. Low calorie edible oils are a myth.
1 teaspoon of oil and ghee = 05 gram = 45 calories
1 tablespoon of oil and ghee = 15 gram = 135 calories

However, all oils and ghee are not equal in their effect on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Broadly speaking there are 3 types of fats present in oils and ghee. They are:

SATURATED FATTY ACIDS (SFA) - : Solid at room temperature. Saturated fats get deposited on the arteries causing blockages. Butter, ghee, hydrogenated Oils (vanaspati) etc. are examples of saturated fatty acids.

POLY-UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS (PUFA) Liquid at room temperature. PUFA based oils lower total blood cholesterol, both, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. They may cause damage to the arteries of the heart. Safflower oil and sunflower oil are some PUFA based oils. However PUFA are Omega 3 and 6 fats and essential for the body. You can obtain these fats by adding small quantities of any one of walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, soy products etc. to your daily meals, rather than having it from PUFA based oils.

MONO-UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS (MUFA) : Liquid at room temperature. MUFA oils lower only the ‘bad’ or unhealthy blood cholesterol and improve the ‘good’ and healthy blood cholesterol levels. This helps reduce risk of heart diseases. Olive oil, canola oilm, coconut oil and groundnut oil are MUFA based oils.

The table below explains the function of each of these fats in detail.

Type of Fat Form Function Examples
Saturated Fat (SFA) Solid at room temperature Increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) and so the risk of heart disease Butter, C ream, Ghee, Vanaspati, Palm oil , Margarine, Coconut oil, dairy products
Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA) Liquid at room temperature Protects good cholesterol (HDL) and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) Olive oil, groundnut oil, canola oil, mustard oil, sesame oil
Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA) Liquid at room temperature Decreases bad cholesterol (LDL)but also leads to a decrease in good cholesterol (HDL) Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Corn Oil, Soya Oil

It is evident from the details above that saturated fat increases get converted to cholesterol in the body and thus may increase the risk of heart disease. Hence it is advisable for people with high blood cholesterol levels or even heart disease, people desirous of a healthy heart, to avoid the use of margarine, butter, cream etc. However, a teaspoon of ghee daily may not really pose a heart problem as ghee has the tendency to increase HDL also. Recent studies also show that a large number of people with heart disease have normal cholesterol levels. So whether saturated fats are a cause of heart disease or no is yet under research. It’s also other factors like stress, other diseases like diabetes etc. which cause heart disease.

But it is advisable for people with heart disease to not consume more than 3 to 4 teaspoons of fats (oil and ghee) per day. Another way of keeping a check on the oil consumption is to measure ½ litre of fat (approx. ½ kg.) per person per month.

Another question that comes to most minds is “ Which oil is the best?”
The answer to this is clear as you can see from the above table. Certainly, it’s all the oils mentioned in the MUFA category. Multiple usage of MUFA based oils in your diet will ensure all nutrients and anti-oxidants present in these oils are included in the daily diet of your family.

Olive oil has been considered healthy amongst this category in the West as it blends with their food taste while groundnut oil is a good option for Indian palates. Studies have shown that groundnut oil is just as effective in protecting against heart disease, as is olive oil. This is because it has similar properties and a similar fatty acid composition, as does olive oil. In addition, refined groundnut oil has special properties that slow down the absorption of cholesterol in the blood, and this works beneficially towards improving heart health. Coconut oil, again rich in MUFA is also a healthier option to use then. It’s best to switch the type of MUFA oil consumed in different meals. However frying using these oils should be avoided as that’s what piles on excess fat in your body and also makes harmful substances which further deteriorates your body leading to other diseases like cancer.

Other articles you will find interesting related to a Heart and Cholesterol.
Healthy Heart Foods, list of best Grains Cereals
Low Fat Dairy Products for Healthy Heart
Heart Healthy Fruits
Healthy Heart Vegetables
Fiber for Healthy Heart
Reduce Sugar and Salt for a Healthy Heart
Are All Beverages Healthy for Heart

fats and healthy heart

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Which fats are good for healthy heart?
 on 12 Sep 17 04:20 PM

Loved your article on healthy fats and do lots of my cooking in coconut oil and olive oil. Thanks.