Have you gone to a local shop, restaurant, or hotel where the cooking oil is heated throughout the day for all the snacks or reheated when you need a snack? Or have you tried reusing oil for cooking because you want to save on expenses since oil seems so costly these days?
According to Go Ask Alice, which is made up of a team of experts from Columbia University ranging from health professionals, research specialists, and writers:
“Although re-using cooking oil and/or grease is somewhat common practice, it can cause some serious health hazards. The most common danger when recycling cooking oil is that it become rancid or spoiled. In addition to having strange flavors and odors, rancid oil may contain possibly carcinogenic free radicals. These pesky molecules are then absorbed into the fried food and ingested by an unlucky eater.”
A diet consultant, Naini Setalvad also explains that the free radicals created by reusing oil can cause ailments in the long run since they attached themselves to healthy cells and can lead to diseases. These can cause cancer and atherosclerosis, which can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol levels, blocking the arteries. Also included in some other potential health risk of reusing oil are heart disease, acidity, irritable throat (due to inhalation), and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Team Alice suggests that you should use fresh oil every time you cook as this is the healthiest option for you and your family.
Identifying The Good Oil
Cooking at high temperature needs an oil that is stable and will not oxidize easily. When oils undergo oxidation, they form free radicals and compounds which are damaging to your health.
Jamiru Mpiima, a nutritionist at Victoria University Wellness Clinic thinks and commented that:
“The most important factor in determining an oil’s resistance to oxidation and staleness, both at high and low heat, is the relative degree of saturation of the fatty acids in it.”
Alex Mark Kakooza, a nutritionist at Homart explained that fats and cooking oil are classified into Polyunsaturated fats and when you eat them as food such as fish, seeds, nuts, and leafy greens, they have clear health benefits. Monounsaturated oils are found in olive oil, olives, hazelnuts, avocados, and almonds and also in lard and goose fat. Saturated fats are particularly contained in dairy and other fats derived from animals.
Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are pretty resistant to heating, but oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided for cooking.
Olive Oil – This oil is famous for its heart-healthy effects, which is believed to be a key reason for the health benefits. Just be aware when buying olive oil as 80% of it circulating the market are fake.
Coconut Oil – When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice. It is resistant to heat as more than 90% of the fatty acids in the oil are saturated.
“It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. The fats in coconut oil are organic and saturated fats which are a safe source of energy for humans and can boost metabolism.”
Avocado Oil – This oil can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil. It is monosaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated character mixed in. You can cook with it, or use it in the cold state, according to Kakooza.
Butter – butter contains Vitamins A, E, K2, fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which lowers body fat percentage in humans. It can also improve gut health and fight inflammations since it contains butyrate.
But on the other hand, it tends to get burned during high heat cooking like frying.
Palm Oil – Palm oil is a good choice for cooking. It consists of saturated, monounsaturated fats and small amounts of polyunsaturated fats. This makes palm oil a good choice for cooking. Red Palm oil is the best because it is rich in Vitamins E.
Nut And Peanut Oils – There were lots of nuts oils, however, they are very rich in polyunsaturated fats which make them a poor choice for cooking. They can be used as parts of recipes but not to be used to fry or do any high heat cooking.
Rice Bran Oils – Mpiima commented that:
“Most common vegetable oils contain trans fats, which are highly toxic. It is therefore important to read labels and if you find any of these oils on a packaged food that you are about to eat, then it is best to purchase something else.”
Seed And Vegetable Oils – These types of oil are highly processed and are way too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. Apart from the fact that you should not use them in cooking, they are also linked to many diseases which include cancer and heart diseases. They include Cottonseed, Canola, Rapeseed, Soybean, Corn, Safflower, Sesame, Sunflower, and Grapeseed.
Care For Oils
Keep unsaturated fats like palm, avocado, and olive oil in an environment where they are less likely to oxidize and go rancid. Place them in a cool, dry, dark place and make sure to screw the lid on as soon as you finish using them.
Do not buy large batches at a time if you are not going to use it at once to make sure that your oils and fats do not get stale.