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healthy cooking oils in Nigeria

Top 4 Healthy Cooking Oils in Nigeria

The type of cooking oil you use plays an important role in your health. Cooking oils are a staple used in every Nigerian kitchen influencing the flavor, texture, and nutritional profile of dishes.

In this article, I’ll give details of what cooking oils are and the best ones to consider when shopping in any Nigerian market.

What are cooking oils?

Cooking oils are liquid fats, typically derived from plants or animals, used in various culinary applications. Their primary function is to;

  • Facilitate high-heat cooking which allows for higher cooking temperature than water, enabling faster and more even cooking without burning
  • Enhance flavor by imparting their distinct flavors to dishes.
  • Prevent sticking by brushing or coating pans with oil to create a barrier that stops food from sticking to the surface.
  • Add moisture and richness to contribute to the overall texture and mouthfeel of cooked food.

Overview of Unhealthy Cooking Oils in Nigeria

A Report from Thisday News shows that unadulterated oils are a death sentence owing to cases of admitted patients in hospitals under health issues such as high cholesterol, strokes, heart complications, obesity, cancer, and high blood pressure, amongst others.

Also, this research report shows that 70% of cooking oils in the Nigerian market are unbranded. And they meet up with the features of contamination laid down by NAFDAC.

A discovery at the Daleko market shows the widespread of unhealthy cooking oils in the Nigerian market. This can be traced to ignorance among consumers of safe and unsafe cooking oils. Also, the poor economic situation whereby a lot of consumers prefer cheap cooking oil so far it can serve their needs.

Uses of Cooking Oils

Cooking oils serve various purposes in the kitchen, both for enhancing the cooking process itself and adding flavor and texture to food. Here are some culinary applications of cooking oils;

  1. Cooking oil allows even heat distribution at high temperatures, perfect for deep-frying, pan-frying, and stir-frying.
  2. Oils coat food and transfer heat efficiently, creating a flavorful sear on meat or vegetables during sauteing.
  3. Certain oils are infused with herbs, spices, or other flavorings, adding a unique taste dimension to dishes.
  4. Olive oil or sesame oil, possess distinct flavors that can elevate a dish.
  5. Adding oil to baking recipes, like cakes or muffins, contributes to a moist and tender crumb.
  6. Truffle oil is used sparingly as a finishing touch to add a hint of luxurious flavor to a dish.
  7. They are also used in salad dressings

How To Choose The Right Healthy Cooking Oils in Nigeria

Below are essential factors to consider when shopping for healthy cooking oils;

  1. Smoke Point – Groundnut, sunflower, and palm oil have a high smoke point and are better for frying and high-heat cooking. While olive oil which possesses a low smoke point is suited for dressing and low heat application.
  2. Flavor – cooking oils such as coconut oil are known to add unique flavors to curries while olive oil is perfect for Mediterranean dishes.
  3. Nutritional Profile – Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthier options.
  4. Health – Your health status determines the volume and quantity of oil you should consume. As an adult, the amount of oils you consume each day is different from individuals of other age groups. Recommendable, you should consume about 2000 calories per day.  In these calories, women can have up to 5-6 spoonfuls while men can have 6-7 spoonfuls of oil per day.

Where To Buy Healthy Cooking Oils in Nigeria

CSI Grocery is your number one online store to shop all your grocery needs and healthy cooking oils at the best prices.

Top 4 Healthy Cooking Oils in Nigeria

1. Sesame Oil

Popular among the Chinese, and Japanese. Made from the Sesame seeds. This oil is high in vitamins E, Iron, and Calcium. It is also a good source of healthy fats including polyunsaturated and mono-saturated fats. It has a low smoke point. Some of its potential benefits include;

  1. Reducing the risk of heart diseases
  2. Helping to heal wounds and burns
  3. Reduces sugar levels
  4. Reduce inflammation
  5. It improves hair strength

It’s two types namely;

a. Toasted Sesame Oil – Made from sesame seeds that have been toasted giving it a strong flavor than the untoasted sesame oil.

b. Untoasted Sesame Oil – Made from raw sesame seeds and possesses a more neutral flavor than toasted sesame oil.

2. Sunflower Oil

It is extracted from the seeds of sunflower plants and is widely used in both culinary and cosmetics. It is rich in monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, linoleic acid, and oleic acid. It has a high smoke point and it’s used in frying, sauteing, and salad dressing. Due to its moisturizing properties, it is used in cosmetics.

There are 3 different types of sunflower oils which differ in their oleic acid content. They include; regular, linoleic, and high oleic.

Some of its potential benefits include;

  1. Reduce cholesterol levels in people
  2. Oleic acid sunflower oil might reduce the risk of heart disease

However, it doesn’t seem to lower high blood pressure when taken by mouth.

3. Olive Oil

It is derived from olive fruits, a staple in many cultures and prized for its culinary and health benefits. It’s suitable for high-heat cooking like sauteing or stir-frying. The fatty acid in olive oil seems to decrease cholesterol levels and have anti-inflammatory effects.

The three types depend on the refinement levels; Refined, Virgin, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

Some of its potential benefits include;

  1. Lower risk of developing breast cancer
  2. Lower the risk of heart diseases
  3. Lower the risk of constipation
  4. Lower the risk of diabetes
  5. High amounts of EVOO in our diet while taking the prescribed medications can reduce high blood pressure

4. Canola Oil

Canola oil is derived from a member of the rapeseed family called the Canola plant. It’s one of the healthiest vegetable oils and developed in Canada. Canola oils are commonly used in foods, due to their high smoke point they are suitable for high-heat frying, sauteing, and baking.

It possesses lots of benefits;

  1. Lower cholesterol when used as a dietary fat.
  2. It can reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of dietary fat.

Wrapping Up

Choosing healthy cooking oils is important for improving diet quality and overall health in Nigeria. Understanding the best type of healthy cooking oils to consider when shopping for your grocery needs can improve your health positively and also help you make an informed decision.

Whether you are preparing any Nigerian dishes or experimenting with new recipes. With the right cooking oils, you can make a difference in your culinary experience.

 

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