Olive, canola oil can prevent chronic diseases

Expensive remedy

Using expensive olive and canola cooking oil can save Indians from many life-threatening and chronic diseases including liver cirrhosis, heart attack and diabetes, a new study has found.

Carried out on 90 healthy, non-alcoholic males who were divided into three groups, the study clearly showed how change of one dietary component had multiple health-benefits for obese and over-weight people, who did not change their lifestyle at all during the course of the trial.

The research – yet to be published in any peer reviewed scientific journal – demonstrated a “significant decrease in the amount of triglyceride and liver fat and significant improvement in liver metabolism” with the use of olive and canola oil, both of which are imported.

Though switching over to olive and canola oil has other fringe benefits like a marginal dip in weight and improvement in the body-mass-index, the major advantage is in the reduction of non-alcoholic liver fat, found in almost one-third of urban population.

“All of the patients had fat in liver. After intervention, 57 per cent in canola group and 66 per cent in olive group showed no liver fat. This is statistically significant,” Anoop Misra, a former professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences who is now associated with Fortis Hospital, said.

Misra along with colleagues from Command Hospital, Bangalore, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, Government MH College of Home Science and Science for Women in Jabalpur and AIIMS conducted the research, which later would also look into the genetics of liver fat in Indians.

The participants in the study were made to use olive and canola – supplied by a business house that funded the research – for six months and followed up in the next six months. Olive Pomace oil, which has higher heating point and good for Indian style cooking, was used.

As many as 80 per cent obese have excess liver fat, which is dangerous as it can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer, while 15 to 20 per cent non-obese persons also has liver fat. The excess fat could trigger heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Even though canola and olive are expensive, the health benefits come from healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acid, which these oils have aplenty. Canola has good quantity of omega-3 fatty acid too, which is good for heart.

Misra made it clear that the new trial is not for categorising cooking oils on the basis of its health benefits and common Indian oils like mustard and rice barn oils too have their own advantages.

The worst, however, is coconut oil, palm oil and butter fat. “It is best to use a combination of cooking oils in a limited quantity,” he said.

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