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Question
Posted by: Health seeker | 2011/05/09

Heating oil - health effects

When you heat vegetable oil, does its chemical composition change, making it less nutritious or even unhealthy? Which is the best oil to use when frying - olive, canola, sunflower?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Health Seeker
The fatty acid composition of vegetable oils which are repeatedly heated to high temperatures, can change and in some cases harmful trans-fats are formed. It is, therefore, a good idea to use plant oils with a so-called high smoke point as they are less inclined to be damaged by heating. In this respect, safflower and avocado oils have the highest smoke points (i.e exceeding 260C). In regard to the 3 oils you mention, the smoke points of these oils in ascending order are canola, olive and then sunflower oil, but they all fall within the 200C range and should be safe, provided they are not repeatedly heated. Always discard any oil that has been used to deep fry foods and do not re-use such oil.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/05/09

Dear Health Seeker
The fatty acid composition of vegetable oils which are repeatedly heated to high temperatures, can change and in some cases harmful trans-fats are formed. It is, therefore, a good idea to use plant oils with a so-called high smoke point as they are less inclined to be damaged by heating. In this respect, safflower and avocado oils have the highest smoke points (i.e exceeding 260C). In regard to the 3 oils you mention, the smoke points of these oils in ascending order are canola, olive and then sunflower oil, but they all fall within the 200C range and should be safe, provided they are not repeatedly heated. Always discard any oil that has been used to deep fry foods and do not re-use such oil.
Best regards
DietDoc

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