Oils are an essential part of cooking in our homes and a lot of people frequently use it to fry food items and frequently. People have resorted to reusing oils as they aim to conserve and not spend so much cooking. This is wrong and unhealthy as it can lead to health problems.
The problem with reusing oils is that they generate free radicals that cause ailments in the long run. These free radicals attach themselves to healthy cells in our bodies and lead to diseases. Did I mention they can be carcinogenic??
Yes, they can cause cancer!... A new study found that reusing oil increases cholesterol, creates some toxins that cause cancer. It also causes atherosclerosis which can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol levels, blocking the arteries.
Some other potential body health risks include:
- Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
- Irritable throat (due to inhalation)
There are factors one has to consider when reusing oils and it's important to note that these factors do not completely shield you from the health risks. It's advisable to reduce the number of times one uses the same oil to fry as it reduces the risks
- Make sure the leftover oil from cooking or frying is cooled down and then transferred into an airtight container through a strainer/cheesecloth. This will remove any food particles in the oil as they spoil the oil much sooner than expected.
- Make sure you check the oil each time before reusing for the colour and thickness. If it's dark in colour and is greasy/sticky than usual it is time to change the oil.
- Also, if the oil is smokey on heating much before than expected, you need to discard this batch as it may have accumulated HNE which is a toxic substance that has been associated with a number of diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, liver disease, etc.
- Another thing to remember is that not all oils are the same. Some of them have a high smoke point i.e. they can be used for frying, deep-frying. Basically they do not break down at high temperatures.