Taste has been guiding snacking choices for a long time now. Health considerations, more often than not, have played second fiddle.
According to a 2005 study by Marlene M Most, Richard Tulley et al. published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, rice bran oil lowers cholesterol in healthy adults. Total cholesterol was significantly lower with consumption of diet containing rice bran oil than with consumption of the control diet.
Moreover, with consumption of the rice bran oil diet, harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased by 7 per cent, whereas HDL (good) cholesterol was unchanged.
Snacking in itself is not only desirable but also necessary. Snacking helps keep energy levels up between meals and ensures that there is no energy slump as the day wears on. Snacking also helps avoid binge eating.
It merits mention that these factors together account for most of the cases of obesity and overweight.
What concerns the health conscious masses is the fact that these snacks are mostly fried in oil rich in saturated fat and trans fat.
These fats tend to increase the cholesterol levels in blood which is the number one risk factor involved in heart diseases.
If you are in the age group of 20 to 30, working in a stressful environment and have a predilection for snacks prepared with unhealthy oil watch out.
Your heart might be suffering silently. These worries are going to be a matter of the past sooner than later as these products are cooked with rice bran oil and contain 40 per cent less saturated fatty acids than other such products.
What makes these products more attractive is that they are free from monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is one of the main culprit behind obesity.
It is important to make sure that you snack smart and here is where rice bran oil comes in. Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. So, what makes rice bran oil a healthier alternative as compared to other oils?
First and foremost, it is naturally abundant in antioxidants such as tocopherol, oryzanol and tocotrienol. Extensive research conducted worldwide has proved beyond doubt that Oryzanol reduces the harmful cholesterol without reducing the good cholesterol.
Tocotrienol, on the other hand, is a powerful vitamin E existing in nature and is said to have an anti-cancer effect. It also contains Phytosterols, which are believed to lower the absorption of cholesterol.
‘Rice bran oil known as the Indian Olive Oil (trans fat less, healthy oil). It contains almost all the essential fatty acids and its non-fatty acid components too have beneficial health effects’ says consultant endocrinologist attached to Lilavati Hospital Mumbai Dr Shashank Joshi.
Other health benefits of rice bran oil include its ability to counter ageing by fighting free radicals in the body, which are chemicals responsible for ageing.
Presence of the powerful antioxidants also gives rice bran oil a higher oxidative stability in comparison to other oils.
This makes it an ideal option for preparing snacks for long-term consumption, as they tend to retain their nutritional value for a longer duration.
So one can open a pack today and have it after two days without much change in its taste or nutritional value.
In addition to health benefits, rice bran oil offers some unique advantages over others. It gives the snacks a nutty aroma unlike peanut oil, which has an earthy flavour.
It has a high smoking point in comparison to other edible oils making it an ideal choice for high temperature cooking such as stir frying and deep frying.
It also gives fried foods an ideal colour even after deep-frying and an ideal non-sticky texture. The use of rice bran oil for frying food is not a new concept altogether.
It has been in use as cooking oil for centuries in Asian countries such as Japan and China. However, the science behind its health benefits has been explored only in recent times.
This is the reason a major players in the snack food business have now switched their loyalty to rice bran oil for their popular snacks in the market.
So, the next time one feels the urge to treat his/her taste buds with some potato chips, put your worries behind and just enjoy the munch. But, make sure that it has been cooked with rice bran oil.
Why rice bran oil is healthy:
* Rice bran oil lowers cholesterol in healthy adults
* It contains almost all the essential fatty acids and its non-fatty acid components too have beneficial health effects.
* It is naturally abundant in antioxidants such as tocopherol, oryzanol and tocotrienol. Oryzanol reduces the harmful cholesterol without reducing the good cholesterol. Tocotrienol, on the other hand, is a powerful vitamin E existing in nature and is said to have an anti-cancer effect.
* It also contains Phytosterols, which are believed to lower the absorption of cholesterol.
* Food products cooked in RBO have bland oil taste, while other oils like Peanut incorporate its own distinct taste.