Recently there’s been a lot of conversations about multi-source or blended cooking oil and fats in general, as we are becoming more and more conscious about our lifestyle and food, especially our fat intake. Contrary to the popular notion of just focusing on reducing the amount of fat in our diet, we also need to remember that fat is a macronutrient that is essential for the proper functioning of our body. Instead of just focusing on reducing fat, the conversation we should be having is about how to increase the quality of fats in our food. One lesser-known and great example of this is including blended oils in your diet.
Nidhi Mohan Kamal, a certified nutritionist and fitness trainer, says, “Personally, I have been using blended oil for the past 5 years and noticed some positive changes in my body. My blood test reports have shown improvement in lipid profile and lesser inflammation. Good fat percentage is obviously a common one when you switch to a healthy oil, but I loved seeing the less obvious ones like better mental health, better recovery, more energy, and better skin and hair health.”
Nidhi adds that before further explaining blended oils, understand that fats have important functions in our body like storage of energy, insulation, protection for our vital organs, and production and regulation of hormones. Additionally, essential fatty acids help regulate cholesterol levels, and blood clotting and control inflammation in the joints, tissues, and bloodstream. And that`s not all, fats also help in sustaining nerve impulse transmission, memory storage, and tissue structure. All in all, the importance of fats is underrated!
Although some percentage of fat is present in most foods, to fulfil our recommended daily requirements of good quality fatty acids, they need to be added to our diets in different forms. One of the best and a convenient source of these essential fats are blended edible vegetable oils. Blended oils are simply a combination of two or more types of edible vegetable oils where the proportion by weight of any edible vegetable oil is not less than 20 per cent.
Essentially blended oils give you all the goodness of two or more oils in one! Apart from being a great source of fatty acids, they have multiple other benefits which are hard to obtain by using single seed oils. Nidhi Mohan Kamal lists 5 benefits of using blended oil:
Healthier fats for maintaining heart health: Numerous studies have been carried out to identify the type of fat that correlates with heart disease. We now know that excess intake of saturated fat increases bad cholesterol and causes blood pressure. We all have heard about trans fats and their ill effects. In blended oils, the ratio of poly and monounsaturated fatty acids is adjusted to ensure better heart health.
Higher smoke point for versatile cooking: Indian cooking requires high temperatures at various durations depending upon the dishes. Blended oils are known to have high smoke points, ensuring not just safety but even keeping the nutritional value of oil intact.
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels: The ratio of fatty acids in blended oils helps reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL), which in turn keeps you and your heart healthy!
Improved anti-inflammatory properties: Blended oils can increase the anti-inflammatory properties of the final product, by adding to the overall potency of the final product, studies have shown successful results with blends like rice bran oil and safflower oil.
Improved nutrition: Apart from the balanced ratios of fatty, blending 2 or more oils provides several health-promoting phytonutrients in one oil. Oryzanol, Tocopherol, and Tocotrienol to name a few, provide health benefits that are beyond basic nutrition. They help in preventing chronic diseases like cardiovascular impairments, and metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, diabetes, and hypertension.
At the end of the day, we need to pick an oil that best suits our health requirements and taste buds but thankfully now we have a larger variety of blended oils to choose from, everyone gets to choose the oil that works best for their family`s needs.