Are Your Oils Making You Sick?

Listen up...this is something everyone needs to know.

You may be making the most nutritious meals, but the oil that you use could actually be damaging your body and slowly making you sick. Fats create your cell membranes. There’s no going back when they have been made, so it is important that we don’t create them with damaging fats.

There are so many oils on the market that it can be confusing and overwhelming deciding which is the better option for our health. But the type and quality of the oil you use matters, as does the proper use of it when cooking.

So I am going to break it down for you, to make it easier for you.

Let’s begin by talking about SMOKE POINT.

The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which the fat or oil begin to smoke and breakdown, altering the flavour and smell but also the formation of toxic compounds.

If a fat has a higher smoke point, then it can be used for many cooking methods. But is that all you need to look out for?

No.

Stable or unstable?

Many people believe that vegetable oils are excellent cooking oils due to their relatively high smoking point, but their stability (ability to resist oxidation) is a huge problem.

When exposed to heat, light or oxygen the structure of a fat can change (oxidise). It is this structure that will determine whether it is known as ‘stable’ or ‘unstable’.

If it is made up of double bonds, the fat is likely to be unstable as they weaken its structure.

  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) are in this category as they contain more than one double bond, making them less able to resist oxidation. They SHOULD NOT be used for cooking.

    This includes vegetable oils corn, soybean, safflower, rapeseed (canola), sunflower & cottonseed oil

  • Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs) have a higher stability as they do not contain double bonds. Animal fats tend to stable choices for cooking, plus they contain fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, & K.

  • Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) contain one double bond. For olive oil and avocado oil, it is very important to focus on quality as many of these oils on the market are mislabelled.

The takeaway message is: More double bonds = More unstable.

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So, what is the deal with PUFAs?

Besides the fact that soy, safflower and linseed (flax seed) oil was originally used to make paint, while rapeseed oil (canola oil) was a lubricant for ships and steam engines, oils that contain high PUFA levels and a low ability to resist oxidation are the worst options for cooking.

PUFAs naturally found in foods such as nuts/seeds are protected by antioxidants such as Vitamin E. However, in the process of making cooking oils (extraction at high heat), the natural antioxidants are used to prevent it from being oxidised.

We then expose the oils to further oxygen (in the air) and heat (when cooking), so more antioxidants are used up. When we ingest the oils, it is exposed to more heat inside our bodies making oxidation a likely outcome as it has little to no antioxidants left to protect itself.

Oxidation produces harmful compounds which cause free radical damage to all the cells in our body, lead to digestive issues, skin issues, increase inflammation, aging, contribute to memory loss, reduce your ability to learn new things and to lose weight.

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What to cook with

So when choosing an oil to cook with, make sure to opt for one that is stable when exposed to light, heat and oxygen and thus produces the least amount of harmful free radicals.

In my opinion, when cooking at high heat, use tallow or ghee as they have high smoke points.

For medium heat cooking, opt for butter or coconut oil.

It was once believed that you couldn’t sauté with olive oil, but this has now been debunked. It is believed that the high antioxidant content of olive oil makes it less resistant to oxidation. Instead use it for medium to low heat cooking or as a topping.

In terms of avocado oil, quality is paramount. Some research has shown that many of the products on the market are of poor quality, mislabelled and mixed with other harmful oils. High quality avocado oil, when exposed to light, heat and oxygen, have the antioxidants to fight against oxidation. Choose an oil that has been third party tests, in a dark, glass jar and store in a cool, dark place.

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The biggest problem is that toxic oils are used in food manufacturing and in most restaurants.

It is important now to start reading food labels and see which oil is used in the making of the food you are eating. Limit the number of takeaways and scale back on eating out unless you know which oils the chef is using.

If you are serious about improving your health you will become more aware of these harmful oils. You’ll be surprised at how many things they are in.

I can help you

If you are suffering from the ill effects of these harmful oils, it is something you need to address. Book a FREE 15 minute consultation with me and we can begin addressing you health issues. Follow the link in my bio on Instagram or click here.