Nutrition Q&A: What oils are safe to consume?

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.
This week’s answers:

1. Dear Madam, i have back pain because of which my doctor has advised calcium tablets. i am 36 yrs old. im also prone to kidney stones. so i cant take calcium and diary foods. is it ok to drink milk daily and eat calcium supplements?
I hope you have mentioned to your doctor that you are prone to kidney stones. Take your calcium supplements along with your main meal (lunch) to reduce risk of kidney stones.
It is alright to have milk daily. Normal intake of Calcium from diet does not affect kidney stones. Though you may need to avoid oxalate foods like spinach, okra, chocolates, black tea, sweet potato, beetroot. Also reduce salt intake, restrict animal proteins.
And, of course drink water throughout the day.

2. Hi Parvathy. my daughter is anaemic, 8 haemoglobin. please suggest suitable foods.
You have not mentioned the age of your daughter. Foods that have easily absorbed form of iron are meat, liver, poultry. Other sources of iron and folic acid are iron fortified cereals and bread, green leafy vegetables, oranges. Vit C is essential for the absorption of iron. So include citrus fruits along with the meals. I hope she is also on iron/folic acid and B12 supplements.

3. Hello. my cholesterol is in borderline and doc advised me to avoid saturated fats. what are the fats i can consume safely?
You can safely use all vegetable oils particularly sesame, peanut, sunflower, soyabean, olive, flaxseed. Avoid hydrogenated oils, animal fats, restrict coconut and palm oils. It is best to use 2 or three different oils in the day. This is more beneficial as you can get both poly and monounsaturated fatty acids in your diet this way.

4. dear madam, how can we use herbs effectively in our cooking to get the full benefits?
In cooking herbs have varied uses. They may be best used fresh if possible or dried. As fresh they can be used in salads or infused in olive oil to make salad dressing. They can be used in cooking especially meat(rosemary, mint), chicken(thyme, coriander) and fish (dill, basil, lemon grass). You can use them in rice/potato/pasta preparations, in sauces. to flavour beverages and curries, as garnish in most cooked dishes.
Use in every possible way that you will consume herbs is beneficial to you.

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