Edible Oils: They are Not All Created Equal

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You probably have used edible oil in lots of your homemade meals. But have you ever paused and wondered what is it made of and what sets edible oils apart from one another? How does your oil compare with others in the market in terms of health benefits and is there a merit in switching the edible oil?

 

There are plenty of choices of variety of edible oils available in the market, the most common  being Palm oil, Vegetable oil, Soyabean oil, , Groundnut oil, Olive oil ,coconut oils etc. While each of them may look the same, but scientifically, they are all very different from each other – in their fundamental construct and health benefits they provide.

 

Scientifically, all edible oils are 100% Fatty acids – This is true for all types of oils! However, what makes them different are the type of Fats they contain, and it makes them good or bad for you. The fatty acids of all edible oils belong to one of the following – Saturated Fatty acids (SFA), Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) or Poly-Unsaturated Fatty acids (PUFA), depending upon the saturation of the Chemical bonds inside them. All edible oils essentially contains a different proportion of the above 3 fatty acids and these fatty acids aren’t built alike! There are plenty of scientific literature available to understand these Fatty acids and their impact on the human body..

 

Saturated Fatty acids (SFA),  sometimes called solid fats have been suggested to be Bad Fats – They have been associated with increased levels of bad (LDL) Cholesterol in people. LDL Cholesterol is associated with increased risk of heart diseases and stroke. They may increase health risks if a person consumes too much over a long period. Many health authorities, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the British Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, the World Heart Federation, the British National Health Service, amongst others advise that saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and their consumption should be minimized.

 

On the other hand, Unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and  may be either Monounsaturated Fatty acids (MUFA) or Polyunsaturated Fatty acids (PUFA). They are defined by the un-saturation in their chemical structure.  Contrary to Saturated Fats, unsaturated Fatty acids have been associated with lowered risks on hearts – Many careful studies have found that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or strokes. These studies prompted many medical organizations and public health departments, including the World Health Organization to officially issue that advice. The un-saturated fats help protect your heart by maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. PUFA are mainly of 2 types – Omega 3 or Omega 6, the benefits of which are well documented. The more un-saturated fats an oil has, is better for consumption.

 

As evident, the type  of fat in the diet is important –  They have an  impact on  growth and development, heart and body functions,  brain functions and general well being. .

 

Also, the World Health Organization estimates that every year trans-fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease. “Trans fats increases levels of LDL-cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decreases levels of HDL-cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transport it to the liver, that secretes it into the bile”

 

It is common to find vegetable oil brands made from refined Palm Olein marketed as Vegetable oil in the Nigerian market. To put it in perspective, the refined Palm Olein sold openly, is crude palm oil that has undergone physical refining or chemical refining and fractionation. The various brands of vegetable oils made from Palm Olein all say that it is healthy but is Palm oil  really healthy?

 

Palm Olein is rich in saturated fatty acids and is often considered as being atherogenic (food High in saturated) nutritionally. According to a report by the Nutrition Information Centre, Stellenboch,  Vegetable oils contain about 10% polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), 48% monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and upto a whopping 52% Saturated fat (SFA));  Compare that with Soyabean oil – another commonly available oil in Nigerian market which has  61% polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) , 24% monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and only 15% saturated fat (SFA). This simple comparison makes it amply clear of which oil is healthier and should be adopted by Nigerian consumers for their overall and their Heart well-being.

 

A healthy body is needed to drive all of life aspirations; healthy oil consumption habit starts with a step in the direction of Golden Terra Soya Oil. Golden Terra Soya oil has recently emerged to be the leading SoyaBean oil in Nigerian market with its increasing presence across Nigeria. It is 100% pure Soya oil, totally sourced and manufactured in Nigeria and should be adopted by every Nigerian for a healthy life!.

 

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