Cooking involves the preparation of food in the presence of heat. The process of cooking varies for different countries around the world, as there are so many cultures and traditions with unique techniques. Cooking is a hobby for some people, a career for others or plain and simple, one has to cook to eat. Cooking is the process of using different ingredients to give food the taste that is required; Food is prepared with modern as well as traditional techniques, food earlier was cook in earthen pots on fire produced by wood. However, with the emergence of technology there are Teflon pots, pans, and other various cooking appliances to cook food on a gas or electric stove or in a microwave.
Most of the ingredients that we use are a subsequent result of nature around us. Divided into two parts vegetarian and non-vegetarian, some people only prefer vegetarian food while others prefer non-vegetarian food. Vegetarian food would be prepared from thousands of products derived from plants, while the non-vegetarian side would come from eggs, poultry, fish, or other animals. However, the most important ingredient amongst all of these that forms a basic ingredient to cook food is oil; nothing can be prepared without oil. There are two types of edible oil mainly categorized on their origin: Vegetable Oil and Animal Fat Oil, the main components of oil are fatty acids; divided into two parts saturated and unsaturated.
Animal fat consists of very low unsaturated fatty acids and vegetable oils consist of 50% more unsaturated fatty acids. The problem with saturated fatty acids is it increases the cholesterol levels that cause health hazards like high blood pressure and clogging of blood vessels. On the other hand, vegetable oils contain a greater value of unsaturated fatty acids; these cooking and frying oils contain mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats that help in decreasing harmful low-density lipoproteins and increasing high-density lipoproteins. This in turn helps in development of growth and promotes healthy functions for the body.
There are many different products relatively high in saturated, mono-unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oils have a certain smoke point i.e. oil will start to smoke when heated. High smoke point indicates that a very high temperature is required before it starts to smoke. Vegetable oils have a high smoke point in comparison to animal-based oils. Refined oil has a very high smoke point; lighter color of oil also indicates high smoke point. Its smoke point decreases as you keep heating it.
Heating oil repeatedly for frying and other cooking purposes promotes the formation of Trans Fatty Acids, Trans fats come from hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hydrogenation occurs when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil with metals like nickel, platinum, etc. Unsaturated come in Mono-unsaturated Fat with oleic acid, and Poly-unsaturated fat Linoleic acid, Linolenic acid. Trans are like saturated fats, they increase the cause of hazardous diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and gall stones. These Trans acids increase chances of coronary heart disease and increase the level of LDL (Low density Lipoprotein) in the arteries.
Oils that are relatively high in saturated fatty acid content are coconut oil, kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc. and oils high in mono unsaturated are peanut oil, olive oil etc. and oils high in poly-unsaturated fatty acids are corn oil, commercial sunflower seed oil, and safflower oil.