Time for an oil change

05 May 2015

This Heart Week (May 3-9), local cafes and restaurants are being asked to ensure they are using heart smart oils.

A Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and Parramatta City Council survey of 100 small to medium independent Parramatta eateries shows 69 per cent are using healthy cooking oils.

Unfortunately some outlets did not meet the National Heart Foundation (NHF) guidelines which recommend food has no more than 20 per cent saturated fat and less than 1 per cent of total fat.

WSLHD Population Health deputy director Christine Newman congratulated the businesses using healthy oils and urged others to follow suit.

"We’re asking owners and chefs to consider the easy switch to better oils.

"High levels of fat and poor nutrition can raise cholesterol levels and the chance of developing life-threatening cardiovascular disease.

"We plan to continue working with businesses and encourage the use of healthier frying oils to improve the quality of our local food supply."

Parramatta City Council’s Lord Mayor Cr Scott Lloyd said eateries can make sensible choices without jeopardising the taste of food.

"Top class chefs prefer quality oils to match the food, which is great," he said.

"Healthier oil tastes better, lasts longer and is better for the customer."

The owner of Thai in a Box Parramatta said he only uses top class oils.

"Our chefs are some of the best and we need good oils to complement our cuisine," said Adam Elchakek.

As recommended by the National Heart Foundation, oils to avoid include beef tallow, duck fat, palm, coconut, ricebran and cottonseed oil.

The best oils for cooking include those that are higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as canola, olive, sunflower, high oleic, grape seed, corn, soybean and peanut oil.

Owners seeking more information should speak to their supplier and visit www.heartfoundation.org.au and download a free copy of the Three Step Guide.

To view findings from the WSLHD and Parramatta City Council survey, visit: http://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Population-Health-Services/Population-Health/Publications