[All about Oils]
Oil contains 100% fat. Regardless of the types of oil you’re using, they all contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively. The good news- there are good & bad fats:
- ‘Good’ fats refer to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- ‘Bad’ fats refer to trans fat and saturated fat, which lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels and raises LDL levels.
Rough guide by Ministry of Health Singapore suggests to choose oil that contains no more than 35% of saturated fat, less than 0.5% of trans fat and more than 50% of unsaturated fat (as indicated on the Nutritional Information labels).
In addition, you need to consider about the smoke point of oil. The smoke point of cooking oils varies widely. In general, the more refined an oil, the higher its smoke point, because refining removes impurities and free fatty acids that can cause the oil to smoke.
How to read label?
For example, by referring to the nutrition information label of the Simply Natural High Oleic Organic Sunflower Oil in the picture, it contains 76% of unsaturated fat (with 43% monounsaturated fat & 33% polyunsaturated fat), 10% of saturated fat and 0% trans fat, with a medium-high smoke point of 225°C.
Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. No matter how good/ expensive the oil is, when heated past its smoke point, it decomposes & loses its beneficial nutrients, generates toxic fumes, and creates harmful free radicals.
Depending on the cooking method, different types of oil have to be used. As general guide, you should choose cooking oils with smoke point well above the cooking temperature.
- Deep-frying: 177°C- 191°C
- Sauteing/ Stir-frying: 177°C- 204°C
- Baking 177°C- 232°C
- Roasting ≥ 204°C
**The longer the cooking time, the higher the temperature.
Check out the smoke points of different cooking oils:
Info adapted from: Simple Balance Nutrition
–How to store cooking oil?–
Exposure to oxygen, light or heat will subject oil to oxidation, eventually turning it rancid.
- Keep the lid tightly closed to reduce exposure to oxygen.
- Store cooking oils in a cool place, away from sunlight
- Alternatively, consider using dark-coloured bottles to reduce exposure to heat from sunlight.
- For longer storage periods, you can refrigerate cooking oil. (Do take note that the oil might solidify at low temperature, leave them at room temperature for one to two hours for the oil to return to its regular consistency)
In Zenxin, you may find a series of healthier organic vegetables oil (all low in saturated fats):
Cold pressed from fresh, moist coconut meat. Contains good amount of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) which will be converted into energy rather than fats in the body. Rich in lauric acid, helps to balance hormones naturally and maintain healthy cholesterol level. Healthier alternative for butter/ margarine, only suitable for low temperature cooking.
Highly beneficial unrefined oil. Contains oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acid) which protects heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol levels. Contains antioxidant in abundance which helps fight cancer. Has a rich flavor, ideal for low temperature cooking, marinating, dressing both sweet and savory dishes.
Rich in monounsaturated fats, low in saturated fats, and has no trans fat. Contains high amount of vitamin E (tocopherols) which acts as a strong antioxidant in body. Helps to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) without lowering HDL cholesterol (the good kind) which protects the heart. Improves skin health and cell regeneration. Has medium-high smoke point of 225°C, making it suitable for most cooking methods.
Blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. High in oleic acid, which reduces inflammation. Contains antioxidants that can fight cancer cells. Has a light color with more neutral flavor, perfect for salads, mears, marinades and all-purpose cooking.
Info adapted from:
- Health Hub. Ministry of Health, Singapore- Canola Oil, Olive Oil, Soybean Oil- How to Choose Cooking Oil?
- Simple Balance Nutrition- Smoke Point Of Cooking Oils And When To Use Them