COOKING OILS AND HEALTH

 

 

28-Mar-2022

 

Cooking oils are a staple in every kitchen, but with so many types, how do we know what to use and if we should avoid any?

 

Cooking oil is probably one of the most important ingredients we use when cooking almost any meal. Of all food ingredients, cooking oil contains the most calories per gram.
Therefore, it is distinguished by its high fat content, especially in saturated fats, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

 

Avoid vegetable oils, like canola and corn oil, because are usually made with genetically modified corn, canola, and soy.

Avoid refined oil because it has been altered by using chemicals that are harmful to us.

 

IS COOKING OIL HARMFUL?

Consuming lots of saturated fat - more than 20g for women and 30g for men a day - causes the body to produce more LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease, according to UK guidelines.

But chronic inflammation resulting from excess omega-6 fatty acids in these oils, which are consumed in large quantities and are the cause of many common diseases, has made nutritionists not hesitant to recommend staying stay away from oils that are harmful to health, especially those rich in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid).

 

Nutritionists recommend trying olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

 

During the 20th century, the consumption of vegetable oils has increased 20 times, due to its availability, and the large number of recommendations for its consumption, claiming that it helps to lower cholesterol in the blood, according to a study published in 2017.

 

Therefore, experts advise using olive oil and natural ghee in cooking and avoiding the following oils as much as possible:

 

CORN OIL IS NOT AS HEALTHY AS IT SEEMS

Composed of 57% omega-6 fatty acids and 29% omega-3 fatty acids, this relatively inexpensive oil, with saturated fats and omega-9s making up the rest, has a high burn point, which makes it a popular choice for fried foods.
Corn oil is full of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-6s, which can cause inflammation and liver damage.
It is necessary to emphasize the need for a balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in our diet, as the consumption of disproportionate amounts of either can disrupt our health system.

 

SUNFLOWER OIL IS THE MOST TOXIC OIL?

Sunflower oil is unhealthy because it contains a high content of omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) and no omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid). For better health, we must increase the omega-3 fatty acids and not the omega-6 already present abundantly. excess omega-6s can cause inflammation in the body, leading to health problems, such as heart disease and cancer.

when repeatedly heated to temperatures up to 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), the greatest amount of aldehydes are released in the cooking fumes, compared to other vegetable oils. (aldehydes are toxic compounds that can damage DNA and cells, contributing to conditions such as heart disease and Alzheimer's disease).

 

PALM OIL SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM COOKING OILS?

Although palm oil occupies the second place in the production of vegetable oils in the world, its use raises a state of controversy between those who consider it rich in vitamin A, and those who see it as a significant risk for the health, especially with regard to cancer.
Experts believe that palm oil, when heated to high temperatures, can lead to cancer, circulatory diseases, heart and diabetes. In addition to containing a relatively high percentage of saturated fatty acids, hydrogen can cause low blood fat levels and calcification of blood vessels.
Despite this, food factories use it - because it is a cheap material - on a large scale in the manufacture of many products that line the shelves of stores.

 

SOYBEAN OIL SHOULD BE REDUCED

Soybean oil ranks first in the production of vegetable oils in the world. But like many vegetable oils, it is highly refined and goes through an extensive process that involves many chemicals to extract it from soybeans and turn it into oil.
This production process makes these plant oils more susceptible to oxidation, and when we have too many oxidized compounds in our bodies, we put ourselves at risk for diseases like heart disease, diabetes 2, and metabolic syndrome.

 

HYDROGENATED OILS IN PROCESSED FOODS

Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in processed foods, such as baked goods, pies, cookies, biscuits, margarine, pizza, frozen pasta, French fries, fried chicken, cream, vegan coffee, margarine and other spreads are a major source of dangerous trans fats in the diet.
The American Heart Association (AHA) states that by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils for freezing, trans fats raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

At the turn of the century, cancer and heart disease were rare. Butter consumption was about 18 pounds per person per year, and the use of vegetable oils was non-existent.

Today, butter consumption is just over 4 lbs per person per year, while the use of vegetable oils and refined oils has skyrocketed.

As a precaution, it is recommended to avoid refined oils because they are processed and are downright dangerous for our health.

Thus, it is recommended that trans fats should be avoided. while healthy fats (found in olive oil, nuts and avocados) should be consumed.

         

 

https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.10.041

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29369816/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492028/

https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/trans-fat-and-menu-labeling-legislation.aspx