Most of us will link the word “vegetable” to healthy food choices and even healthier dishes ..but what if you realise that your favourite brand of vegetable oil is actually……unhealthy?
To start with, let us understand what vegetable oil is. Vegetable oil is oil derived from plants and common examples of vegetable oil are soyabean oil, rice bran oil and peanut oil.
However, the vegetable oil found in many supermarkets is usually a blend of several different types of oils, which have been highly processed and refined and this negates any of the potential vegetable oil benefits.
One way to identify if the oil is of a healthier choice is by reading the ingredient list. This is usually located at the side or at the back of the food label.
If you see pure palm olein in your ingredient list, chances are that it is NOT a wise choice because palm oil is a form of saturated fats. There are only two sources of saturated fats from plants (the other plant source is coconut fats) and most sources of saturated fats comes mainly from animal fats such as butter or lard.
Saturated fats, when consumed over a long period of time, can lead to serious heart diseases, hypertension or stroke!
So it is better to choose pure plant oil such as sunflower oil, peanut oil and canola oil over blended oil (e.g palm olein blended with soya bean oil).
So why are oil manufacturers using the word “vegetable” in their food label? Well this is because palm oil is considered a plant and since all plants comes in vegetation form, it is legal to park it under the wide term of “vegetable”.
Palm oil is commonly used in our local dishes because it is the cheapest form of oil available. One bottle of 2L palm oil can cost as low as $4.80 wherelse the same 2L of sunflower oil can cost as much as $7.20!
Hence, the next time you pick up a bottle of cooking oil, check out for the ingredient list behind first to make better, more informed decision for yourself and your family.