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Question
Posted by: Mia | 2005/01/12

cooking with oil and heart health

I use vegetable oil for stir frying. I know that plant oils (except for coconut and palm ) are good for your heart, but what happens when you heat them? Which ones are suitable for frying and which aren't in health terms? What are the risks?

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Mia
I apologise for only answering your question today, but I had to have an operation last Wednesday, and although I informed the boffins who administer the Message Board, they failed to block incoming messages while I was in hospital.
All plant oils, including red palm oil (see the DietDoc Topic on 10 January 2005), are good for the heart to varying degrees. Heating these oils ONCE will not cause problems, but if you should store the used oil and repeatedly use it at high temperatures, then the fatty acids may break down and form so-called trans-fatty acids which are extremely harmful to health and the heart. So only use your oil at high temps Once. Red palm oil and avocado oil have the highest smoke points of all the oils, so they are more resistant to breaking down.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: science | 2005/01/12

Best to use oils that can stand high heat such as avocado oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, canola oil and ofcourse extra virgin olive oil. These are all heart-healthy oils. Try Borges olive oil, its one of the cheaper olive oils, and is proven in quality and taste.

Oils with a low smoke point deteriorate when overheated and give rise to cancer causing aldehydes and trans fatty acids. These are used differently in the body and can cause damage to proteins and enzymes, damage to lungs, formation of age pigments, disruption of cell membranes and even cancer.

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