Advertisements on the latest healthy cooking oil certainly feels like another marketing trick.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by selection of cooking oils at the grocery stores. It seems that too often now a new claim on the healthiest cooking oil surfaces making you wonder about the cooking oil you just bought last month. However, scientific evidence shows there are certain cooking oils that are harmful to the human body after having been genetically modified, chemically processed, stored and cooked with.
Not all oils are created equal. There are oils that are best for pan frying, light sautéing, baking or just simply using as a salad dressing. Below is a detailed guide to make it easy to identify which types of oil are the worst and what to use instead for specific cooking methods.
1. Canola Oil/Rapeseed oil
Olive oil comes from olives, sesame oil comes from sesame seeds, and canola oil comes from rapeseed…what? There is no such thing as canola seeds. Canola oil was developed by Canada through hybridization of rapeseed, which is part of the the mustard family. In other words, canola oil is an invention and originally used for industrial purposes such in candles, cosmetics and soaps.
Canola oil might be low in saturated fat an Omega-3 fatty acids, but like all vegetable oils, it goes though the process of refining, bleaching and deodorizing removing a large portion of the Omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. In addition to a high percentage of canola oil being genetically modified, trans fat can cause health issues such as clogging arteries, higher cancer risk, damage to the cells and tissues and excess inflammation in the body.
2. Corn Oil
Although corn oil is excellent for frying food and high heat resistant, it is high in polyunsaturated fat, omega-6, which accelerate the growth of cancer cells. Corn oil is also is genetically modified and although the short and long term consequences of genetically modified corn crops are not entirely known, research shows it causes toxicity of the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. In children specially, genetically modified corn can damage immune systems and digestive function, smaller brains, livers and testicles.
3. Palm Oil
Primarily used in processed foods, palm oil is high in saturated fat having harmful effect on cholesterol and promoting heart disease.
4. Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil has a high ratio of saturated fat raising the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. Approximately 90% of U.S. cotton crop is genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides. Exposure to pesticides have been linked to ADHD in children, cancer, and obesity and diabetes.
5. Vegetable Oil
Typically a combination of Canola, corn, cotton, safflower, sunflower and/or soy. High in Omega-6 fatty acids , can cause inflammation which has been found to be linked to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression and cancer. Vegetable oils are extremely damaging to the reproductive system specially in unborn babies and children and causes problems with hormone production.
These cooking oils have no nutritional value, but unfortunately most processed foods contain one or more of these oils. Look a the ingredients listed on the box and you will see one or more listed. It is hard to avoid these harmful cooking oils specially when eating out, most restaurants use these oils as they are cheaper and last longer, but you can start making a change at home. S
tart by choosing better cooking oil alternatives such as avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil and reducing processed foods consumption.