The heart is the engine of the body and feeding it with healthy minerals will prolong and enhance its performance. In other words, what you consume is essential for proper function. You might have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” This motto helps keep us on alert about what we put in our bodies. However, health-conscious feeding begins long before mealtime. It starts with the careful selection of ingredients that make up what we eat. For example, what kind of edible oil do you use for cooking?
This question is critical in the light of the prevailing cases of heart-related diseases globally but particularly in Nigeria. Recently, a popular artiste slumped and died while carrying out light exercises. The story was not different for a school teacher who slumped and died while dancing during an end-of-year party for graduating students of her school. These two instances are part of the estimated 61,374 or 4.14 per cent of total deaths from Coronary Heart Disease in Nigeria according to the latest World Health Organisation data published in 2020.
It will interest you to know that the high presence of saturated fats in our diets has been identified as the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases. However, as stated in the 2020 WHO report, a healthy heart requires that we “reduce saturated fats to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake; reduce trans-fats to less than 1per cent of total energy intake; and replace both saturated fats and trans-fats with unsaturated fats – in particular, with polyunsaturated fats.”
Polyunsaturated fats, also called polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFA, are “good fats” unlike Saturated fats which are generally viewed as “bad fat” because they can cause problems with your cholesterol levels that can increase your risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats are a type of fat that is good for your heart health. Since the body cannot make this type of fat, it must be included in households diet by adopting edible oil and foods high in polyunsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They are generally categorised under two main groups: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the functioning of the body’s cells. They help with energy production and play important roles in the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system. While Omega-6 fatty acids can help control your blood sugar and lower your blood pressure with implications for your heart health. Hence, the level of PUFA is a key yardstick for measuring how healthy your cooking oil is.
Soya Bean Oil is one of the highest sources of PUFA. Soya bean oil mostly consists of 60 percent PUFA, which are heart-healthy types of fat associated with several benefits. It contains more PUFA than Sunflower oil, Olive oil, Corn Oil, and Palm Oil. With Golden Terra Soya Oil, consumers could get 5x more PUFA than the popular Palm Olein (Vegetable Oil) brands. In comparative terms, while some other brands positioned as healthy oils on the market shelf have PUFA contents of between 10 and 11 percent, Golden Terra Soya Oil contains 62 percent indicating at least 5x PUFA making it the healthiest choice for your cooking.