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Indian cooking is incomplete without the use of oil. Almost every recipe starts with a few spoons of oil. We use it for sautéing, for the quintessential tadka and, not to forget, for deep frying mouth-watering pakoras, bondas and vadas. Oil is an essential ingredient required to satiate the Indian food palette. Also Read - Viral Video: Man Dips His Hand in Boiling Hot Oil to Fry Chicken, Internet Left Stunned | Watch
Due to the heavy usage of oil in restaurants and households alike, oil is recycled for economic purposes. How safe is this practice of reusing cooking oil? The reused oil does not contain the nutritional benefits your body needs. A study conducted by the students of Surgical Gastroenterology Department at the Madras Medical College (MMC) revealed that 90 percent of those suffering from esophagus cancer had been consuming food prepared with reheated or reused cooking oil. Also Read - Cooking Oil to Become Cheaper in India Soon As Govt Launches National Edible Oil Mission, Grants Rs 11,040 Crore
For all the street food lovers, here is an eye-opener: The study mentioned above also stated that most street food is made with reused oil and contains food additives rich in saturated and trans fat that can be carcinogenic or trigger cancer.
Reused oil can create highly charged free radicals, or uncharged molecules with unpaired electrons, which can be carcinogenic. These free radicals attach themselves to healthy cells. This can result in an increase of bad cholesterol levels and block arteries as well. Spanish researchers found that people whose kitchens combined any type of oil that had been reused many times were more likely to have high blood pressure than people whose cooking oils were changed frequently.
Some other hazards of reusing cooking oil include the following: acidity, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and irritable throat. Nutritionists recommend using a fresh batch of oil each time to avoid such diseases.
When you store used oil, bacteria begins to feed on the food particles left in the oil. This can lead to fatal food poisoning. Very few people are aware of the dangerous effects of recycled cooking oil. It is now time to understand them and adapt ourselves to healthy cooking habits. Some bad cooking habits are difficult to break and we are also often unaware of the hazardous effects of certain cooking practices.
Here are some bad cooking habits to get rid of:
- Do not heat oil until it smokes: We often heat the oil in the pan until it becomes really hot. This is a bad practice- As heating oil until it smokes destroys the oil’s beneficial antioxidants and form harmful compounds.
- Do not use non-stick pan on high heat: High temperatures cause the non stick lining to release PFCs (Perfluorocarbons) in the form of fumes. PFCs can cause liver damage and also developmental problems.
- Extra virgin olive oil and Canola oil are considered as the best oils to use. Soybean oil and palm oil can be skipped due to their poor nutritional content.
- Shop healthy: Healthy cooking starts with a healthy grocery list. Stock your refrigerator with fresh, organic foods. Try to include lean proteins and unrefined grains.
- Watch your diet and protect your health. After all, health is wealth!