Reusing cooking oil is one of the most common practices done in Nigerian homes. We tend to reuse oil and store them for later use, especially if we deep fry because it is not practical to discard the oil from an economic standpoint. While this common cooking practice will save up on time and money, it is harmful to your body.
According to studies, reusing oil creates free radicals that can lead to inflammation and thus diseases. Free radicals attach themselves to healthy cells and may cause diseases, including cancer. The dangers of reusing cooking oil include;
- It increases LDL Cholesterol.
Reusing oil can cause an increase in the bad cholesterol leading to blockage of arteries, heart disease, stroke, and chest pain.
2. It causes inflammation.
The free radicals created by reusing oil causes inflammation in the body, which is the root cause of most diseases including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. High inflammation in the body can also reduce immunity and make you prone to infections.
3. It increases acidity in the body.
If you feel that burning sensation in your stomach and throat more frequently, then reheated cooking oil may be the culprit behind it. Avoid eating roadside junk and deep-fried foods if you feel more acidity than usual.
It might be difficult to reduce the way we reuse oil due to the high cost, but by choosing oils with a high smoke point, preparing food for minimal contamination of the oil and straining the oil to get out any food particles leftover,you can reuse most oils as long as they are properly stored. Anyone routinely cooking with reused oil could try to reduce its negative effect by :
- Ensuring that leftover oil is cooled and properly sieved to remove food particles before being stored in an airtight container.
2. When reusing oil check for its color and thickness. Avoid using oil that is darker and greasier or thicker than normal.
3. Use oils that have a high smoke point i.e they do not break down at high temperatures. These include sunflower oil. Soybean oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil.
4. Avoid oils that emit a lot of smoke when heated. This shows that oil has accumulated HNE which is a toxic substance suspected to cause diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke and liver disease.