Oils derived from plant sources plays a very big role in providing nutrition. They also play an important role in food preparation by increasing the flavour of food, as well as adding texture to the food, and making baked product crispier.
Some common vegetable oils available are sunflower oil, palm oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and olive oil.
Vegetable oils are known to have numerous health benefits; firstly it is the major source of energy and a carrier of essential nutrients which are vital for growth and metabolism, they protect brain cells, and also reduce the risk of heart diseases, etc.
What are The Benefits of Vegetable Oils?
The four basic types of fats which one should know are as follows,
- Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs)
- Saturated fats (SAFAs)
- Trans fats
Out of the four MUFAs and PUFAs are good fats and TRANS and to some extent SAFAs are bad fats, too much of SAFAs helps to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
The monounsaturated fats or MUFAs are called lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and but they maintain HDL (good) cholesterol. The polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, but too much of polyunsaturated fats can also lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Fat which formed during the process of hydrogenation is called trans-fat which can increase the LDL level which is the bad cholesterol and decrease the good cholesterol, the HDL may lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Triglyceride levels in the blood can be increased by trans-fat, adding the risk of heart disease. Taking too much of Trans fats may also lead to diabetes, obesity, immune system dysfunction.
- In daily diet and nutrition vegetable oil plays an important role as they contain polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) and monounsaturated fats, along with saturated fats in different proportions and they also help in cholesterol management, Polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs and monounsaturated fats or MUFAs are the most frequently found forms of fats in vegetable oils. Fat found in the vegetable oil such as MUFAs and PUFAs help in lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and they also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases thus improving cardio protective properties. Oils provide energy which is essential in performing our daily activities.
- Vegetable oils also protect our brain cells, oils like Peanut oil, Almond oil and Wheat Germ oil which is rich in vitamin E, which is required by the body for cell protection and development and the right function of the nervous system. This vitamin benefits our body, by improving the immune system. The main property of vitamin E is that it act as an anti-oxidant due to which it protects the different body tissues such as skin, eyes, etc., the presence of vitamin E in the oils also helps in preventing heart diseases. It also helps in preventing of blood clots and blockages in coronary arteries, thus helping in preventing cardiovascular ailments.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are present in some of the vegetable oils also plays an important role in the preservation of a healthy heart, brain function, normal growth and development of the body. It is recommended to regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.