Emphasising that India’s heart disease epidemic increased due to dietary patterns, doctors urged people to avoid reusing any oil for frying food products as it increases the proportion of trans fats, major source of heart diseases.
According to the doctors, including from AIIMS, fats in food items are of four types – saturated, unsaturated, mono and trans, with the last most dangerous and their presence in any oil going up if it is cooked for a long duration or as soon as it emits smoket. Vanaspati has the highest content of trans fat content.
“Our (Indian) people simply do not have any idea of what they are eating. Trans fats which is the most harmful and leading cause of heart diseases is entering into the body of humans in so many ways. One should choose cooking oils which are well balanced and has less than 4 gms of saturated fats,” says Sundeep Mishra, professor of Cardiology at AIIMS, on the occasion of World Heart Day.
Mishra, who has several studies on the matter, says that boiling oil for hours and reuse of refined oil leads to the increase of trans fats. Suggested that though mustard oil and olive oil were among the good oils which should be mostly used for cooking, the doctors even suggested mustard oil should be mixed with ghee to balance its fats, while olive oil should only be sprinkled on cooked food and not be used for frying as it leads to increase in trans fats.
“Our food habits are such that heart disease becomes common. Even in market, biscuits and bhujias are cooked in vanaspati so that they can be preserved for long. This again leads to intake of trans fats, a leading killer,” he says.
Stating that other types of oil such as coconut by people in southern India used for cooking was making them acute heart patients, doctors also warned against using palm oil as it also has a high content of trans fat.
WHO says Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally, as well as in India. They are caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels, and includes coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure.
Doctors also said that an interesting study by AIIMS showed only 13 per cent of educated individuals pay any attention to what they are consuming, and the number of heart bypass surgeries among youth has also increased.
Praveen Chandra, of Intervention Cardiology, Medanta Hospital, Gurgram said that India has witnessed tremendous advancements when it comes to treatment of coronary artery diseases.