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A Checklist for a Healthy Heart

In the Journal of Preventive Cardiology, two eminent Indian cardiologists have laid out a detailed checklist as a guide to choosing a cooking medium that is proven to be healthy for the heart. Dr Sundeep Mishra, Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and Dr S C Manchanda, Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have been studying the effects of cooking oil from a heart-health perspective for decades, and their in-depth knowledge and insights have enabled them to define the precise parameters that an ideal cooking medium should have.

Here are the parameters – the ideal oil should be:

  1. Free from Trans Fatty Acids (TFA)

  2. Free from Cholesterol, especially LDL (Bad Cholesterol)

  3. Low in Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA)

  4. High in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)

  5. High in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA)

  6. Having an ideal Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio (less than 4:1)

  7. Having a high smoking point

  8. Derived from natural, plant-based sources

  9. Minimally processed during manufacture/extraction

On the basis of research and epidemiological studies, both the doctors found that cold-pressed Mustard Oil was the oil that met all the parameters mentioned in their checklist. Their extensive research over the years had convinced them that there is a direct correlation between Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and the consumption of dietary fats. Moreover, multiple medical and nutritional research studies have shown that the risks associated with CAD are significantly lower in people consuming Mustard Oil. One such study was the landmark collaboration between the Harvard School of Medicine, AIIMS and St John Hospital, Bangalore, which showed that making cold-pressed Mustard Oil the primary cooking medium for both cooking and deep-frying could reduce the risk of CAD by more than 70 per cent.

So if you already are a consumer of Mustard Oil, you are protecting yourself from heart disease with every meal you prepare. Now that’s heartening news, isn’t it?

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