When you are trying to reduce your cholesterol it is not only important to watch what you eat, but also keep a watch about what ingredients you use while you prepare food. Cooking oil is the most common ingredient which is used while cooking. But some of these cooking oils may increase your cholesterol levels. However many healthy options are available in the market. When you are choosing cooking oil always look for the amount of fat on the nutritional detail label. An ideal cooking oil is one which is low in cholesterol and saturated fat; and has a higher unsaturated fat content.
Since the following oils are low in saturated fat and are high in unsaturated fats the following oils are considered to be cholesterol friendly-
Olive oil- It is considered to be healthy as it provides the right mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Along with monounsaturated fat, olive oil also contains phytochemicals which help lower blood cholesterol levels and protects against cancer. Olive oil is more healthier when uncooked and therefore can be used for salad dressings.
Canola oil- Experts now agree that canola oil is a healthy option but its major drawback is that it might not respond well to high temperatures.
Corn oil- It is high in polyunsaturated fats that could lower cholesterol levels. Corn oil is good for deep frying and so used in most fast food joints.
Safflower oil- This oil is higher in polyunsaturated fats and also has omega-6 fatty acids. These days most doctors recommend this oil. Safflower oil is also high in Vitamin E which is very healthy.
Soybean oil- This oil contains good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, although not as much as canola oil. Soybean oil has a bland flavor and therefore avoids adding any flavor to the dish.
As such nobody can point out any particular oil as the ‘healthiest oil’ since each oil offers different health benefits. Instead one can make a preference depending on the cooking process. For high temperature cooking, experts recommend using peanut oil while canola oil or olive oil for medium temperature cooking. A variety of polyunsaturated oils should be used for baked goods.
Even the healthiest of oil is packed with calories so moderation is the key for using any oil. To minimize the use of oil, use non-stick pans and canola or olive oil cooking spray. Instead of deep-frying use alternative cooking methods which require less oil like stir-frying, grilling or baking.