Why you should not reuse the oil with which you cook

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Reusing oil is not a good idea if you want your diet to be healthy and not have a negative impact on your body. It is very likely that you have seen it in your home during childhood and that you also do it with the aim of not wasting it while saving a little … The problem is that, although a priori may seem harmless, it has been proven through different investigations that it is not a harmless practice.

This revision review of previous studies on the matter, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, notes that cooking oils are heated repeatedly generate different compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of them carcinogenic. Both its consumption and the inhalation of the fumes that are generated can present a serious health problem. In this way, it is concluded that being exposed to these fumes increases the incidence of aberrant cells and the high consumption of reused oils, very present in ultra-processed fried foods, is associated with a series of malignant tumors such as lung, colorectal, breast cancer and prostate.

What is the most recommended

To begin, as the dietitian-nutritionist Carlos Ríos explains in his book “Eat real food”, it is important to avoid refined vegetable oils, as they are more unstable to heat and produce oxidative stress. That is, sunflower oil or any other refined oil is not suitable for health, because when subjected to heat treatment once or several times harmful compounds can be produced. Its consumption contributes to oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic oxidative stress and, in turn, promote the occurrence of chronic noncommunicable diseases such as cancer.

A study by Lucía Ramos, and that Carlos Ríos mentions in his book, is the proof of this: after analyzing the composition and temperature resistance of 22 types of fats and oils, a very poor stability was demonstrated by the majority . Especially oils with more content in omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as sunflower oil or sesame oil, which at higher temperatures produce more harmful compounds.

This, however, does not occur in extra virgin olive oil due to its monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant compounds, which give it greater stability. Therefore, as the dietitian-nutritionist explains, this is the most recommended oil for cooking, “especially in short fried foods that are not reused”. In this way, the most advisable is to discard refined oils and use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, but for a single-use, because although this is more stable to heat, all oils degrade and lose quality when subjected to several fried foods

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