63 countries around the world think it’s a good idea to Reduce Future Medical Expenses and avoid a chronic illness by not working in kitchens where the fumes are concentrated in Aldehydes.
The cost to employers, hospitals & family is significant.
Answer – live healthy, avoid the low priced seed oils high in Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids – PUFA, namely Omega 3 & 6.
Here is why.
The families of Vegetable oils include Soybean (64% PUFA), Sunflower (75% PUFAS, GM & Non-GM), Rapeseed (35% PUFAS), Corn (45% PUFA), become Toxic under extended hours (4 hours or less for some poorly made & stored oils) of being exposed to water, air and other food particles (including carcinogenic carbon) at high temperatures.
Read also: A Heated Concern – Vegetable Oil is Toxic
How – The PUFA oils (see above) have an unstable chemistry when cooked at high temperatures. They simply break down (like a banana going from green to brown) into new toxic chemicals grouped as aldehydes that are linked to causing chronic illnesses such as cancer and other diseases.
There are a group of aldehydes formed that have been additionally linked to neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart diseases, “malformations” during pregnancy, inflammation, an increase in the risk of ulcers and a rise in blood pressure.
The cost to the family and members is far greater than the expense of buying the better oils with very little PUFA.
The Experimental Proof
Michael Mosley (of the 5:2 Diet fame) and the ‘Trust me I’m a Doctor’ team banded together with Professor Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology from the DeMontfort University Leicester, UK. Mosley initially gave Leicester residents a variety of fats and oils and asked these volunteers to use them in their everyday cooking.
The volunteers were also asked to collect any leftover oil which would then be analyzed.
The fats and oils they used included sunflower oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, cold pressed rapeseed oil from France (a healthier variety known as canola oil in Canada or Australia), olive oil (refined and extra virgin), butter and goose fat.
After cooking, samples of oil and fat were collected and sent to Leicester School of Pharmacy at De Montfort University. Grootveld and his team ran a parallel experiment where they heated up these same oils and fats to frying temperatures.
What Happens to Oils Under High Temperatures?
When frying or cooking at a high temperature (at or close to 180°C or 356°F), the molecular structures of the fats and oils change.
These oils undergo a process called oxidation; meaning they react with oxygen in the air to form aldehydes and lipid peroxides. At room temperature something similar happens, though more slowly. When lipids go rancid they become oxidized.
The Low-down on Lipid Peroxides and Aldehydes
Lipid peroxidation, or Lipid peroxides refers to the oxidative degradation of lipids (Lipid Oxidation Products – LOPs).
The end products of lipid peroxidation are reactive / toxic aldehydes.
The creation of toxic aldehydes is a result of degradation of the fatty acids in oil, and although some are volatile (short lived), others remain after frying. That is why they can be found in cooked food.
As they are very reactive compounds they can react with proteins, hormones and enzymes in the organism and impede its correct functioning.
Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of LOP’s and aldehydes.
Grootveld, providing a relatable example noted in his research showed that “a typical meal of fish and chips, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organization”.
In contrast heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes.
Separate research from the University of Oxford and spearheaded by Professor John Stein, Oxford’s emeritus professor of neuroscience, suggests fatty acids in vegetable oils also contribute to other health problems.
Partly as a result of the oxidation of heated corn and sunflower oils, Stein notes, “the human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be”.
Stein contends that as vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 acids, they are contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain.
When you start heating oils such as corn and sunflower and subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds – namely aldehydes and LOP’s.
How to Reduce this Toxic Burden
The most obvious solution to reduce the generation of LOPs in culinary oils during frying is to avoid consuming foods fried in PUFA rich oils as much as possible.
Grootveld notes that when these oils when “completely pure and authentic they offer no threats to human health” but that “LOPs arising from the frequent and common use of polyunsaturated fats” for frying “certainly do so”.
Grootveld additionally recommends olive oil for frying or cooking. “Firstly because lower levels of these toxic compounds are generated, and secondly the compounds that are formed are actually less threatening to the human body.”
Firstly, try to do less frying, particularly at high temperatures. If you are frying, minimize the amount of oil you use, and also take steps to remove the oil from the outside of the fried food, perhaps with a paper towel.
To reduce aldehyde production, go for an oil or fat high in monounsaturated and low in polyunsaturates (less than 20%).
Grootveld believes that the ideal natural oil with a history of use is “compromise” oil for cooking purposes is extra virgin olive oil, “because it is about from 60 to 70% mono-unsaturates, 14% saturates and only 10% poly-unsaturates.
Otherwise Enjoi’s Steven Horton includes the high oleic seed oils as they cost much less that the Extra Virgin oils. They have 75%+ monounsaturates and low saturates are much more resistant to oxidation than polyunsaturates”.
When it comes to cooking it doesn’t seem to matter whether the olive oil is “extra virgin” or not. “The antioxidant levels present in the extra virgin products are insufficient to protect us against heat-induced oxidation” noted Grootveld.
A final bit of advice – always keep your oils in a cupboard, out of the light, and try not to reuse already heated oils unless they are filtered clean of all the food particles and as this also leads to the accumulation of even more nasty side-products.
I look forward to trialing our Australian Canola oil it is priced very close to HKD287 delivered and it can last in quiet conditions 6 days.
It is certainly one that the Chinese kitchens should try.
Otherwise our High Oleic Sunflower Oil (HOSO) remains the leader in the lowest cost frying oil producing the best tasting & appealing foods that meet the toughest conditions.
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