Mar 31, 2021
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How to “butter up” yourself? Nutritionist refuted 6 myths about vegetable oil

You should add no more than a teaspoon of vegetable oil to a serving of salad. And in total, 1-1.5 tablespoons are allowed per day. How to choose and apply it correctly?

Disassembled the most popular myths about vegetable oil Senior Researcher of the Federal Research Center of Nutrition and Biotechnology, Candidate of Medical Sciences, nutritionist Julia Chekhonina

Myth 1. Vegetable oils are healthier than animal fats. The latter are best excluded from the diet.

Animal fats must be present in the diet. Our body needs them, in particular, for the synthesis of steroid hormones, which also include sex hormones. Animal fats and cholesterol are part of the structure of the body’s cell membranes. They are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The undesirable properties of saturated fat begin to manifest themselves when they are consumed in excess. A regular excess of animal fats is fraught with an increase in cholesterol levels, lipid metabolism disorders and the development of atherosclerosis.

Of all the fats in the diet (the norm is 60-80 g per day), two-thirds of fats should be animal fats, and one-third – vegetable fats.

Myth 2. It is better to choose unrefined vegetable oils. Refined are useless

During the refining process, of course, some of the vitamins in the oil are lost. However, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids remain almost unchanged. And these compounds play a significant role in the prevention of many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. So refined oils are good for you too. They are also suitable for frying. Crude unrefined oil contains fragments of plant fibers, free amino acids, phospholipids, which can form smoke when heated. In addition to smoke, foaming occurs, which makes unrefined vegetable oil unusable. Therefore, we add unrefined vegetable oils to salads, and fry products on refined ones.

Myth 3. Frying in vegetable oil is harmful, as carcinogens are formed

Not certainly in that way. A small amount of cooking oil can be added. And do not cook on it again, do not heat it several times. The higher the oil’s so-called smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts to burn), the less harmful substances will be formed when heated. For example, refined sunflower or soybean oil, coconut oil are suitable for frying. You can also use special cooking oils.

Myth 4. It is better to choose olive, linseed, pumpkin, sesame and other exotic oils than cheap sunflower

Inexpensive sunflower oil is in no way inferior, and in some ways even surpasses its expensive exotic “counterparts”. Sunflower oil is the leader in vitamin E content. There is more of it than olive oil. And vitamin E is a recognized vitamin of youth and beauty with antioxidant properties. In sunflower oil (like other oils that are produced from plants of northern latitudes – pumpkin, linseed, hemp), there are many polyunsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is dominated by the monounsaturated oleic oleic fatty acid omega-9. In general, the further south the region is, the more saturated fatty acids are present in vegetable oils, which are produced from local raw materials. This is the reason for their consistency. For example, tropical oils like coconut, cocoa butter, palm, at a temperature of about 20 degrees have a solid consistency. Coconut oil is widely used in cooking. But its biological value is much lower due to the low content of unsaturated fatty acids than vegetable oils from the northern regions, including sunflower, linseed and others. But, on the other hand, coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids, which, due to accelerated metabolism, are practically not deposited in adipose tissue, which plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of obesity. Coconut oil is part of the recipe for baby food and medicinal products for people who cannot absorb long-chain fatty acids.

To diversify your diet, you should include different types of oils in it.

Myth 5. It is better not to mix different types of oils in dishes.

Quite the opposite: you can even add different oils to the salad to get the maximum of nutrients. For example, flaxseed oil is recognized as the leader in alpha-linolenic fatty acid, one of the omega-3 fatty acids essential for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It is the only vegetable oil in which the omega-3 content is close to that of fish oils. Pumpkin seed oil, in addition to polyunsaturated fatty acids, is rich in a wide range of carotenoids. Due to this, it is used in the production of dietary supplements, treatment and prevention of liver diseases, biliary tract, in violation of cholesterol metabolism.

Hemp oil differs in that it contains a unique fatty acid complex, including valuable gamma-linolenic, stearidonic and arachidonic acids, which makes it possible to use it as a biologically active food additive. Sesame oil, in addition to all the same polyunsaturated fatty acids, contains the antioxidant sesamin, which complements the antioxidant properties of vitamin E, which helps prevent premature aging.

Therefore, it makes sense to occasionally add a teaspoon of the oil mixture to your salad batch, or alternate between them.

Myth 6. Vegetable oils do not harm the figure.

This is a very dangerous myth. The calorie content of vegetable oils is even higher than that of animal oils. The difference is about 100 kcal. If oils of animal origin have a caloric value of 700-800 kcal, then vegetable oils can reach 890-900 kcal. Therefore, to add vegetable oils to dishes, measure them with teaspoons.

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