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This Is Undoubtedly The Best And Worst Cooking Oil For Your Health:Tells Our Expert Nutritionist

The Kashmir Monitor





Cooking oil is used in almost every dish. It is used while baking, drizzling, as a topping and sauteing. Therefore, it becomes very important to choose the oil carefully. The oil which goes into cooking should be healthy for the human body. However, now a days there are many cooking oil available in the market like olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, soyabean oil, nut oil, hempseed oil, coconut oil and many more. According to the Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, ” All fats and oils essential contain equal number of calories. However, all fats and oils are not created equally. They all vary in their fatty acids composition which makes them healthy and unhealthy.”

Have a look at some of the healthy fats and oils:

1. Ghee:


The nutritionist further goes on to talk about the healthy fats and oil. “Ghee is now recognized as super fat. It comprises of short-chain fatty acids. These are preferentially used by the body. It helps to reduce glycemic index, obesity, insulin resistance, PCOD and diabetes. It is rich in antioxidants and has a high smoking point. Also, ghee is recognized as a heart-friendly. It has ;long been demonized as unhealthy for the heart but that is not the case now.”

2. Mustard oil:

“Mustard oil mainly consists of monounsaturated fatty acids. It helps to lower the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It improves good cholesterol which is HDL. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, has high smoking point, aids in digestion and is suitable for frying, adds nutritionist Pooja Malhotra.

3. Olive oil:

She continues to say, “The much celebrated olive oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and is quite healthy. But it is not a local food for Indians. It’s a local food for Mediterranean population. Importing it to India only increases the carbon footprint.”

4. Vegetable oil”

“We have a variety of healthy vegetable oil, so depending upon which part or region you belong to you can select your vegetable oil.” So if anywhere you are near the coastline you can choose coconut oil. It is a healthy option and contains medium chain triglycerides which are preferentially used as a source of fuel, supports thyroid function, reduces glycemic index of meals and is also safe for diabetics,” added the nutritionist.

5. Rice bran oil:

According to the nutritionist, “It is also quite healthy as it contains monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also contains some important antioxidants so rice brain oil is also a good choice.”

When asked about the unhealthy oils and fat the nutritionist Pooja Malhotra said, “The unhealthiest of all fats is trans fats. Trans fats are produced when the liquid vegetable oils are hydrogenated and it solidifies so it is very cheap form of solid fat. It is used in bakeries and confectioneries. Trans fat is really the unhealthiest type. It’s toxic and carcinogenic and must be avoided. Trans fats include Vanaspati; which is the local Dalda variety.”

Further she went on to say, “Fats which are high in saturated fatty acids content are also unhealthy. These foods include red meats, salted butter and processed food items which contain saturated fats and trans fats like bakery items, microwavable popcorn, cream crackers and cookies are all high in unhealthy type of fat. These foods must be avoided and healthy oil must be used in moderation.

However, Pooja Malhotra said, “Fat should not be eliminated from the diet as they perform the vital functions. However, one should choose the type of fat wisely in their diet and should be eaten in moderation. Hidden sources of healthy fats include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, fatty fish and healthy seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.”

To conclude the nutritionist advised, “Reheated fat should also be avoided. It is very unhealthy. When you buy street food like cutlets, fritters or samosa you will realize that they continue to use the same oil for day. The fat gets broken down because it reaches its smoke point. It converts into trans fat which is toxic. So if you want to fried food items, try frying at home and in moderation. Also, you can discard the oil once its fried.”



Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor



Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:


Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.


Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor



As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.


The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor



By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.



We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.


Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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