Losing weight seems to come with so many rules: no carbs after six, nothing processed or refined, and absolutely nothing fried. However, according to researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois, anything fried in vegetable oil is perfectly fine as part of a heart-healthy diet. In fact, even though previous studies have suggested that the linoleic acid (LA) in vegetable oil promote inflammation in animals, the new study argues that consuming between two to four teaspoons of vegetable oil a day is beneficial to your wellbeing.
According to Kevin Fritsche, an MU professor and lead researcher of animal science and nutrition in the Division of Animal Sciences, ‘In the field of nutrition and health, animals aren’t people. We’re not saying that you should just go out and consume vegetable oil freely. However, our evidence does suggest that you can achieve a heart-healthy diet by using soybean, canola, corn and sunflower oils instead of animal-based fats when cooking.’
So while you’re drizzling that vegetable oil into the frying pan, let’s look at some of the other heart-healthy foods you can toss in too. Firstly, tomatoes act as a blood purifier, and also contain lots of Vitamin K, which helps to prevent haemorrhages. As an added bonus, tomatoes are great for brightening your skin. While we’re on the fruit, your heart can benefit from pretty much any dark berry, but if you want a real boost to your heart wellness, blueberries are the way to go. These powerful little fruits can help widen your arteries, and this your helps blood to flow smoothly and prevents blockages.
To lower your cholesterol levels – and your LDL “bad” cholesterol in particular – you can’t go wrong with oats. This is because oats contain a soluble fibre called beta glucan, which targets the worst types of cholesterol. Likewise, avocadoes lower your LDL levels (which, in turn, lowers your risk of heart disease) while raising HDL “good” cholesterol levels in your body, which prevents your arteries from getting clogged. Avocadoes are also packed with the ‘good’ type of fat – monounsaturated – which further helps your heart health.