Cooking and Frying Oils-How do they affect your health?

By: LuckyBW

Millions of users around the world use healthy cooking oil for frying and food preparation. There are different methods to cook food like frying, grilling, roasting, baking, etc. Out of these, frying has turned out to be the least healthy as the food absorbs all the oil in comparison to the other modes of cooking, where oil is definitely used but it is not absorbed. This does not mean food should not be fried; it depends on frying habits.

Foods cooked or fried with excess or unhealthy oil is certainly not good for health, fats that are not good for health are saturated and trans fats and the good ones are monosaturated and polysaturated ones, these fats decrease the risk of disease. Healthy Oil for frying includes oils such as canola, sunflower, olive and corn, while the bad ones include palm oil, kernel oil, cocoa butter, margarine and shortening.

Cooking oil is mostly glycerol esters or fatty acids; these can be derived from animals and plants. Oil is mostly used as a heat transfer platform to cook food. While cooking or frying, oil is heated to a certain temperature that causes a reaction like oxidation, hydrolysis, polymerisation, etc. The products that are degraded include fatty acids, triglycerides, etc, if cooking oil is heated again and again its colour will change and it will give rise to an unpleasant odour as it oxidises.

If cooking oil for frying is used for an increased duration, it will cause a lot of degradation and the toxicity of this oil will increase as well. There are so millions of hotels, restaurants, and food joints around the world. It is imperative that the food industry should choose cooking oil of good quality and stability, use appropriate equipment, select the most appropriate temperature for frying or cooking food, if oil is used once it should be filtered to remove food particles, if the oil is reused number of times, then it should be replaced.

Letís talk about trans fatty acids in brief, these fatty acids are produced if the oil is fried repeatedly, it will come from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Tranís fatty acids decrease good cholesterol (HDL) that helps to prevent blockage of arteries and increases bad cholesterol (LDL) that causes blockage of arteries. Cooking oil with high volumes of Trans fatty acids increase the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, gall stones, obesity.

What should be done to avoid the consumption of these oils; consumption of cooking oils for frying should be reduced, whilst other cooking methods should be used like boiling, steaming, roasting, stir frying, etc. Tranís fats are found in the following products like hydrogenated vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, refined vegetable oil, butter, margarine and shortening.

Talking about pressure frying, foods like chicken tastes good when it is pressure fried in a pressure fryer as they contain lesser number of fats, in comparison to open fried foods. These pressure fryers consume less amount of cooking oil than open fryers and they cook faster at lower temperatures causing lesser number of Tranís fatty acids with low absorption.

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Good and healthy cooking oil management practices always produce better and tasty food products.

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