Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Tip A Day: Olive Oil vs Vegetable Oil

From today, I am starting 'A Tip A Day' series, which will focus on better health, natural remedies, alternative healing and much more.

Coming from Punjab, the most difficult thing for me or my husband is to adopt food that is good for our health. I don't mean to say that Punjabi food is unhealthy but its laden with oil, ghee, and butter. My husband is from Kashmir and Kashmiri food has a very high oil and spice content.

When trying the same recipes with less oil, it is impossible to replicate the same taste but that is a compromise you will have to make for your health. Factors like stress, processed foods, and an unhealthy diet all contribute to high cholesterol, blood pressure, and obesity. Not good.

A lot of families have started cooking regular Indian meals in olive oil. Olive oil is a great source of omega fatty acids but not good for cooking Indian food. Why? Most of our food is made at a high smoking point and when olive oil is heated to such high temperatures, it tends to clog the arteries. You could use it after warming the oil a bit or just use mustard oil. Mustard oil increases good cholesterol in the body.

I generally use about 2-4 tablespoons of mustard oil when making dinner (this is both for sabji and dal). I also use a tablespoon of ghee for the tadka, which is helpful in keeping your bones oiled and preventing arthritis in your forties.

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