Membership to the Food Lovers Club run by Kripal Amanna, brought us a lovely hamper of some edible goodies and lots of dining privileges. One of the items in the hamper was virgin coconut oil with a salad dressing recipe which I have reproduced here with minor changes.
Coconut Oil Salad Dressing
Virgin coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
Water – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Crushed peppercorns – 1/2 teaspoon
Honey – 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon
Method of preparation –
Mix salt in water. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. The dressing is ready. Use it while making a salad.
Note – Coconut oil does not contain cholesterol. It can be used like any other edible oil in small quantities.
During an interactive nutrition session with badminton trainees, their parents and coaches, I was asked if a growing child can eat egg yolk. I wondered why this question came up. A parent informed me that her son doesn’t eat the yolk because he wants his heart to be healthy! Good intention, indeed. But is it necessary to avoid egg yolk totally? No.
Egg yolk (the yellow part of the egg) is filled with nutrients like protein, choline, vitamin D, vitamin A, phosphorus, zinc, folate, etc. Each of these nutrients is essential for good health. Egg yolk is also high in cholesterol. But there’s no reason for a child or a grown-up to avoid egg yolk, unless indicated due to health reasons. Our body is designed in such a way that the cholesterol which comes thru foods can be processed and regulated by the digestive system. Moreover, a single cholesterol-rich food will not damage the heart.
So, keep the yolk and enjoy a boiled egg or an omlet or scrambled egg.
Many packaged foods carry ‘no trans fats’ on their label. This indicates that trans fats are not good for us.
Trans fats (trans fatty acids is the real term) are formed when vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation to make them solid at room temperature. The most common examples of trans fats is vanaspati and margarine. This type of fat is used in baking (biscuits, cookies, cakes, etc), in ready-to-eat foods (chiwdas, mixtures, bhujias, namkeens, chips, etc), and sometimes even in homes and restaurants for deep frying. The reason for its widespread use is because vanaspati is cheaper than pure ghee or butter, and it’s melting point is higher than some oils. Secondly, vanaspati and margarine do not contain cholesterol because they are made from vegetable oils. So far so good.
But the downside of using hydrogenated fats is that it’s the worst type of fat for health. Trans fats not only increase the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body, they also decrease the ‘good’ cholesterol. Heart disease risk increases much more from trans fats than when you consume saturated fat from butter!
So it’s best to stay away from all those ready-made munchies and also to read labels carefully when you buy packaged foods. While eating out do not hesitate to ask the cook what type of fat he uses for cooking.