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The Most Common Cooking Oils

The most common inexpensive cooking oils today are the vegetable oil, canola oil and corn oil. Although each one them can be fully substituted for another, each of them has slightly different properties lending them individual favorites.

Vegetable Oil

The term “vegetable oil” actually can refer to a number of different oils. Vegetable oils are any oils, which originate from plant sources. The health benefits associated with vegetable oil depends on the particular oil and what plant it is sourced from.

Most vegetable oils come in the form of a mixture of different oils. A common combination for vegetable oil consists of soybean, corn, canola, sunflower, palm, and safflower oils. Vegetable oils are a popular type of oil, but due to their refined nature, they do not boast the same high nutritional levels as some of the other cooking oils available today.

Typically, vegetable oils have a high tolerance for heat. This means you can use the oil for a wide range of cooking applications including frying, baking, and as an ingredient in salad dressings.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is one of the more popular cooking oils used by expert chefs and home cooks. Containing high levels of monounsaturated fat, it is also a very good source of polyunsaturated fat.

Canola also has a nearly even ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have essential nutrients that help the body combat a number of health conditions and diseases.

Canola oil is a convenient option for everyday cooking for a variety of dishes. The fact that it has a neutral flavor and can endure high levels of heat makes it a good option for most home cooks.

Corn Oil

Corn oil is vegetable-derived oil with a reputation for cooking a variety of dishes. Most popularly used for deep frying, corn oil goes through a lot of complex processes to refine it into the form it is used in by cooks.

Corn oil contains a high fat content and it also boasts other important nutrients like vitamin E. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in corn oil is 46:1. This is a drastic imbalance between the inflammatory omega-6 and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which is why it is not good to have too much of it.

Corn oil has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for deep frying applications. Its buttery flavor makes the foods more palatable.

Also look for the “Cooking Oils – Gourmet Choices” article by Amita Vadlamudi on her Wix website, https://amitavadlamudi.wixsite.com/mysite

Eggs

Eggs have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. The eggs of the most common choice are produced from the chickens.

Eggs are considered to be nutritious and a good part of a healthy diet. While being one of the best sources of protein, eggs also contain several essential nutrients including:

• Vitamins A, B-2, B-12, B-5, D, E.

• Biotin

• Choline

• Folic acid

• Iodine

• Iron

• Selenium

Around 12 percent of the edible part of the egg is protein. Fat, which is mostly unsaturated is present in the yolk. Eggs also contain a rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for healthy brain function and good eyesight.

Eggs are versatile and can be consumed in many ways. They can be fried, hard boiled, poached, scrambled or made into omelets. Eggs are one of the main ingredients in the breakfast items such as pancakes and waffles and baked dishes such as cakes and cookies. They are also used in main dishes such as quiches and meatballs and as coating around fried or baked meat, poultry and fish dishes.

Chicken eggs can be found in either white or brown color. While brown eggs are priced higher than white eggs, there is little to no nutritional difference in them. The difference is in the color of the shell and is dictated by genetics. White eggs are said to be produced by breed of chickens with white ear lobes whereas the brown eggs are laid by breed of chickens with red ear lobes.

Eggs also have non-food uses. Egg whites are used to produce influenza vaccine. They are also used as ingredients in facial cleansers because of their protein-rich nature. And combined with olive oil, eggs are used as natural hair conditioner. One of the most unusual uses of eggs in the history was as a medium to contain pigment for fresco paintings by artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli.

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The Popular Drink Tea


Tea, the second-most consumed drink in the world, comes from a versatile plant Camellia sinensis. All types of teas including Black, Green, Oolong, White, and Pu’erh are extracted from a sub-tropical, evergreen plant. The plant that produces tea is native to Asia, but is now grown in many parts of the world. The tea plant properly grows in loose, deep soil at high altitudes, and in sub-tropical climates.

Tea is popularly consumed all over the world, but China is considered to be the largest consumer of tea, at 1.6 billion pounds a year. India, United States, Turkey, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are also high tea consuming countries. A study shows that the world’s tea consumption has annually elevated by 4.5% to 5.5 million tons over the past few decades.

The first time that tea was ever mentioned in writing was in Chinese documents about 4700 years ago. Today, the tea bush grows in various parts of the world including India, Sri Lanka, China, and Africa. History tells us that tea was probably first invented in China in 2737 B.C.E. The discovery of tea was accidentally made by the Emperor Shen Nong – an intelligent ruler and scientist. Once tea became a household name in China, a Japanese Buddhist monk – Saicho introduced tea in Japan. From there, tea eventually was introduced in the West and it wasn’t until the 17th century that people started enjoying the hot beverage.

By the early 1700s, the East Indian Company settled in India as a trading power and began selling tea. In this way, tea became accustomed to the natives of India and gradually became their favorite beverage.

Though not high in nutritional value, tea contains good amounts of magnesium and potassium. It has lower amount of caffeine than does coffee. Both green and black teas are high in antioxidants which help prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body.

The author of this article Amita Vadlamudi is an avid reader and a blogger on many varied and interesting subjects. Amita Vadlamudi’s other articles on food and nutrition may be found at her Wix website.

Milk Derivatives

Milk

Milk is an important source of healthy nutrients such as vitamins A, B-2, B-12, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

In addition to these nutrients, milk also contains fat, carbohydrates, and protein in the form of glucose which gives the milk a slightly sweet taste.

There are various products that are created from milk such as cheese, cream, yogurt, and buttermilk. Since they are produced from milk, they are known as “dairy products”.

How Dairy Products Are Produced?

1.    Cream

The cream is the type of dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer. It is skimmed from the top of the milk before it undergoes the process of homogenization.

Before homogenization, the fat rises to the top but this process takes time. In the industrial production, this process is elevated by using centrifuges known as separators.

2.    Cheese

Cheese comes in a number of varieties and each variety goes through an entirely different making process depending on its ingredients and characteristics.

Typically, cheese is made from pasteurized or raw milk. Varieties of cheese made from raw milk impart a different flavor and texture to the finished product.

3.    Buttermilk

Buttermilk is made from the residual liquid that remains after the butter is churned out from milk. It is generally flecked with tiny spots of sweet and creamy butter.

4.    Yogurt

In order to produce yogurt, fresh milk is fermented. The fermentation process includes the addition of lactic bacteria into the heated, pasteurized, and homogenized milk.

The bacteria help convert the lactose into lactic acid. It eventually thickens up which gives the milk a tangy taste. When the milk reaches this stage, it is transformed into yogurt.

How Skim Milk Is Produced?

The fresh milk has to sit and settle for a while, the cream where most of the fat resides is left behind with time. This is a traditional way of producing skimmed milk.

The quicker and modernized way of making low-fat or skim milk is by adding the whole milk into a machine – centrifugal separator.

The machine separates the fat globules out of the milk. However, during the skimming process, vitamin A and vitamin D are lost. Federal law mandates that milk solids must be added in the milk as they help compensate for the essential nutrients that are lost from the processed milk.

 

Amita Vadlamudi likes to research and write about food and agriculture topics. See Ms. Vadlamudi’s other articles on similar subjects on her Wix Website. Her resume can be found at https://www.f6s.com/amitavadlamudi

About Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural stimulant and the most common drug used around the world. It is found in tea, coffee, and cocoa plants. It works by stimulating the brain and allows you to stay alert by preventing the onset of tiredness.

Historians first tracked the brewed tea containing caffeine as far back as 2737 B.C. However, according to a Chinese legend, the Chinese emperor Shennong accidentally discovered tea when tea leaves fell into a pot of boiling water and resulted in a fragrant and restorative drink! The earliest known credible evidence of coffee drinking or knowledge of coffee appears in the middle of the fifteenth century in the Sufi monasteries of the Yemeni southern Arabia.

Where is caffeine found?

Caffeine can be used in a variety of foods and beverages; however, it is derived from a few main sources such as tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts, and coffee beans.

Some of the most common foods and drinks that contain caffeine are:

Coffee:

This is perhaps the most commonly consumed form of caffeine. An 8 ounce of coffee contains approximately  100 milligrams of caffeine. However, the serving size and the brand of coffee can also make a huge difference in the amount of caffeine present.

Soft drinks:

Both diet drinks and soft drinks tend to contain substantial amounts of caffeine, a 12-ounce soft drink contains around 23 to 69 milligrams of caffeine depending on the brand.

Tea:

Some brewed teas, especially black and green tea contain certain levels of caffeine. An 8 ounce of black tea contains  35 milligrams of caffeine whereas 25 milligrams of caffeine is found in 8 ounces of green tea.

Chocolate:

Since cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, chocolate bars too can contain some caffeine! In general, the higher the level of cocoa the more caffeine there will be. An  1 ounce chocolate bar contains   approximately  15 milligrams of caffeine.

Effects on health

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it is an effect that possibly starts 15 minutes after the ingestion of caffeine and lasts up to six hours. The main effect of caffeine is increased alertness and reduced sleepiness but the drug can also cause some problems.

Excessive intake of caffeine can lead to long or short-term complications. Too much caffeine is known to produce certain side effects such as insomnia, difficulty concentrating, muscle tremors, fast heartbeat, heartburn, nervousness, irritability etc.

 

Amita Vadlamudi, the author of this article is an avid reader of non-fiction books and author of articles on many topics. Some of Ms. Vadlamudi’s other articles may be found on her Slideshare and Behance websites.