Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard. Some people choose to use vegetable oil due to how long it lasts in the kitchen, as many know that butter and lard can go off quite quickly when it gets warm. Asking questions like “how long does olive oil last?” however could help save lives in the long run.
The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
The scientists began using laboratory equipment to test the vegetable oil. They may have been using a hotplate stirrer to heat up the chemical (this is a pretty standard protocol). They found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.
In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of harmful chemicals.