Oils are like any other food, always best consumed in variety because a varied diet offers more nutrients. Oils are made from different types of foods as such each type of oil features a high ratio of certain nutrients. You can, therefore, use more than one type of oil in a recipe to rave-up the nutrient value of the meal. However, always keep in mind the function and ratio of both fatty acids (omega 3/ Omega-6. fatty acids).
Balancing Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is crucial in our daily diet regimen because omega-6 fatty acid is said to be pro-inflammation, so it should be consumed sparingly while omega-3 fatty acids is said to decrease Inflammation, so it is wise to use oils that are richer in omega-3 more often. However, all oils should be used sparingly in any recipe as they are only a flavouring.
Ultimately, to balance the oil nutrient factor (omega 6/3 fatty acids) one must get creative. Below are some tips for balancing the oil nutrient factor:
- Oils such as groundnut, moringa, coconut, avocado and a host of others have a high smoke point, which makes them ideal for high-temperature cooking such as frying. You can fry your yams or any food you wish with a high smoke point oil and if it contains omega-6 fatty acids, then balance the nutrient factor by making a sauce with a omega-3/9 fatty acids rich oil such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). After cooking your sauce you can then drizzle a little EVOO to infuse more life-force into the sauce since EVOO is much more beneficial to health when eaten uncooked.
- If a food is rich in a particular fatty acid and needs cooking, always cook such foods with the fatty acid missing or greatly reduced to strike a healthy balance. For example, Egusi is said to contain high omega-6 fatty acid, so cook Egusi with oils rich in omega-3. For maximum benefits always consume oils in moderation, and add oils at the end of your cooking to retain more nutrients!
- If you are suffering from a lifestyle health condition, endeavour to use oils that are richer in omega 3 and 9 fatty acids! EVOO and flaxseed oil are great picks to start with.
We all have a responsibility to make wise and informed choices each day about the food we buy and eat. These tips are your ally to safer dieting so use them generously.
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