Friday, June 13, 2008

Oil and Health

By oil, I mean cooking oil and not any other oil. Almost every single ad we see on TV connects oil and health - I cannot think of a more stupid message that can be conveyed.

One campaign which comes to my mind is the Goldwinner oil campaign - it has a cute model, a kid no less, mouthing, "G for H, Goldwinner for Health." Thats it. Obviously, they have no other additive or benefit to speak about, so you come up with an inane, G for H.

Another one is Saffola that touts different health features of oil and how switching to a healthier oil (with oryzanol) will be beneficial to your heart and life. This is to me, is a jumbled message. 

My question: Agreed that these oils are less harmful than hydrogenated oils which will pretty much hasten your steps towards your grave, but ultimately oil is oil, right? Fried food is as bad it can get for your body? So, how can anyone ever position oil on the health platform? Or again, am I getting something wrong?

As far I know, if anything can save your heart, it is avoiding oil altogether. If at all you have to have oil, get back to your traditional cold pressed oils - the sesame and mustard oils or even ghee and have as less of it as possible.


Sowmya said...

Oil labels should list the amount of saturated, mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats present in coconut oil, ghee, cashew nuts all increase the risk of coronary heart diseases. Polyunsaturated fat actually helps protect against cardiovascular disease. Monounsaturated fats are known to lower LDL cholesterol levels. So based on the percentages of these fats in a oil, a particular one can be claimed healthier vs another.

Neelakantan said...

The first thing about oil is moderation - perhaps lower than that. The second thing as you say is "good fat" and "bad fat". It is not a blanket no for coconut oil, cashew nut etc. - most naturally cold pressed (and not solvent extracted) oils are good. The jury is out on the whole cholesterol thing.

Oil being healthier is but a relative thing.

Nikhil Narayanan said...

leave oil!
Even vim bar is now on a health platform