In the vibrant tapestry of Nigerian cuisine, the choice of cooking oil plays a central role, not just for flavor, but also in the overall health impact of traditional dishes. As health reporters, delving into the nuances of cooking oils used in Nigeria provides an opportunity to unravel the unique aspects and health considerations associated with these culinary essentials.
In an era where health consciousness is on the rise, examining the considerations associated with cooking oils provides a lens into the evolving culinary landscape and health-conscious choices. From fatty acid profiles to potential benefits, providing a comprehensive view enables consumers to make informed dietary choices.
The first observation is that the traditional narrative around dietary fats has evolved. In place of the blanket notion of avoiding fats, there is now a nuanced understanding of the different types of fats and their varying effects on health. This shift in perspective is leading consumers to reevaluate their choices of cooking oils.
To understand the pivotal role that cooking oil plays in our daily lives, we reached out to the esteemed cardiologist, Dr. Monisola Adanijo. Dr. Adanijo’s expertise in cardiovascular health is invaluable, and her insights will undoubtedly shed light on what individuals should be mindful of when choosing a healthy cooking oil.
“As a cardiologist, I emphasize the critical role of dietary choices in maintaining cardiovascular health. When selecting cooking oil, consumers should prioritize their understanding of the dietary fat composition. Different cooking oils contain varying proportions of saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats, each with distinct effects on cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
“Opting for oils rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, like soybean oil, can contribute to overall cardiovascular well-being. Soybean oil is particularly noteworthy for its abundance of polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential nutrients have been linked to positive cardiovascular outcomes, making soybean oil a favorable choice for those conscious of their heart health,” she said.
In order to get the manufacturer’s perspective, we reached out to the leading brand of Soya Oil in the Nigerian market, Golden Terra from the TGI Group, for their views.
Probal Bhattacharya, Chief Marketing Officer, TGI Group, said, “The landscape of cooking oil is fast evolving with consumers showing a strong inclination towards cooking oils with healthier fat composition. Golden Terra Soya Oil contains five (5) times more PUFA (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) proven to provide numerous health benefits, thereby fast becoming the brand of choice for the discerning consumer.”
This is an evolving story, and as a health reporter, we will keep monitoring, understanding, and reporting on the developments as consumers get more and more astute about choosing their cooking oil.