Before you buy that cooking oil-A A +A
To Your Health
Friday, June 29, 2012
TO SAY that death from heart disease is rising, is an understatement. The bothersome reality is that cardiovascular disease is no longer exclusive to the citizens of the more affluent societies of Europe and the Americas. And if we look as to the whys and wherefores, it is a fact that diet, especially high consumption of fats plays a major role in the causation of coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis is the main cause of CAD or ischemic heart disease, in which plaque deposits which may have accumulated through the years have now significantly reduced or blocked the supply of life-saving oxygen to the cells of the body especially the heart.
Probably then, our knowledge of fats needs updating. Then, we were told that fat is bad for the health, so that both consciously and subconsciously, people developed somehow a sort of "fat phobia". At the turn of the century however, our attitude towards fat slightly changed, that fixation or you may call it obsession to avoid fat mellowed into an emphasis on the pros and cons of using specific types of fats. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends consuming fats, with a caveat or warning, no more than 25% to 35% of your total calories from fats. And let's start with cooking oils.
Experts in nutrition-dietitians, endocrinologists, cardiologists- as well as respected researchers, tell housewives to choose oils which are liquid at room temperatures except the so-called tropical oils like palm oils, coconut and palm kernel oil. Cooking oils are made of a mixture of fatty acids- saturated and unsaturated. Chemistry teachers say that saturated fatty acids typically come from animal sources such as meats, butter, cheese and other tropical plants most notably palm and coconut oil. The "kalabkab" or big chunk of fat our mothers buy from the market to draw oil from, which we used as children to mix with freshly cooked rice and add soy sauce or patis, is made up mostly of palmitic - most common saturated fatty acid followed by stearic acid, which when taken in excessive amounts contribute to the unhealthy effects of bad cholesterol or LDL-C or low density lipoproteins. The density of a lipoprotein - circular round masses of fat floating in the blood especially immediately after a heavy fatty meal depends on its content of protein. The reason why, HDL-C or the high density lipoprotein is called the "good cholesterol" is because it has more protein in its core than fats. Its protein component makes HDL-C water soluble, and helps in its role as “scavengers " of fats, i.e. it carries fats attached to the inner walls of blood vessels to the liver for eventual excretion through the bile by the liver. The AHA recommends limiting saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of the total daily calories, for a 2000 calorie-daily diet, 0nly 16 grams of saturated fats per day. or a maximum of 140 calories from saturated fat, that's about 2 and half tablespoon of butter
Saturated fats are those with a single bond in their structure, which is a hydrocarbon chain (a train of carbon and hydrogen) with an acidic structure, COOH or a carboxyl group at the terminal ending. In terms of number of carbons, they are short cahin, having less than 10 carbons. Most are solids at room temperature and they require hear to melt them. When eaten, these saturated fats increase the amounts of LDL-C thus start the atherosclerotis process that would eventually lead to a fatal heart attack. The other bad fat is the so-called "tans fat" which result from hydrogenation of some fats. Hydrogenation is the process of increasing hydrogen into the chemical structure of a fat, to make them more solid at room temperature and also to increase their shelf life in supermarkets and groceries. The American Heart Association (AHA) advises limiting tans fat consumption to less than one percent of the total daily calories or just a measly 2 grams per day. so folks, when you go to the groceries, please read the nutrition label, and live a healthy life style.
Next Week: Which Cooking Oil is Best for You?
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 30, 2012.