Fried Food. Smoke Points in Oil. Are You Cooking Something that Might Kill You?
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
With cancer rates on the rise globally, and an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths expected in 2018 and limited understanding exactly as to why, this simple rule might just save your life from a premature death.
Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries
The rule we all need to apply is this:
Stop cooking with oils above their safety temperature rating.
I'm talking about sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, olive oil, grape-seed oil and the newest oil on the block, Avocado oil.
While olive oil is arguably the best to consume when not cooked, they may all be contributing to long term health issues.
Sunflower Oil Substitute: 12 Sunflower Oil Alternatives
Sadly most of us do this, we cook using oils absolutely oblivious to safe temperatures we can cook at.
Unaware that cooking with oils at high temperatures might greatly be contributing to our long term chances of cancer.
So what is a safe temperature to cook with?
And what is the safest oil to cook with?
Checkout the photo below. It turns out Avocado oil is the safest cooking oil. With a 260 Celsius safety rating.
The above photo was taken from the side of an avocado oil bottle purchased from Costco.
Let's translate this info to Fahrenheit, as many of us still cook on that scale:
Avocado Oil: 260C = 500F / Our Rating: SAFE. It's not common for us to cook foods at 500F. Unless you broil.
Canola Oil: 224C = 435F / Our Rating: SAFE-ISH. Use caution. Probably best not to not reuse oil. See below
Virgin Avocado Oil: 204C = 399F / Our Rating: SAFE-ISH. Use caution. Probably best not to reuse oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 190C = 374F / Our Rating: USE ANOTHER OIL FOR COOKING near 375F
Virgin Coconut Oil: 190C = / 374F / Our Rating: USE ANOTHER OIL FOR COOKING near 375F
Cooking any dish at a temperature above the safety ratings listed increases the carcinogenic impacts which may be a contributing factor to cancer.
In addition, be cautious when reusing oil as each additional use reduces that oils “smoke point.”
For a full list of safe cooking temperatures by oil type, including the use of butter, I've also included this article:
‘Smoke point’ matters when cooking with oil
Mmm... that doesn't look so healthy. I 'wonder' if they reused the oil in the batches above?
Sadly I must admit that this is all something I just learned in my now 40 years of life.
Why didn't I know this sooner?
I wonder now how many deep fried dishes and baked or pan fried foods were way beyond the safety rating? Be it fried chicken, french fries or onion rings.
But the more important questions are....
Are restaurants or fast food chains aware of these smoke point guidelines and do they adhere to them?
Are government watchdog groups in place or health and safety guidelines setup to regulate how these restaurants or franchises cook or fry their food?
And I wonder if all the potato chips and crisps in our grocery store isles are regulated in this way?
Chefs, restaurant owners and franchisees are not scientists.
It is up to all of us to do our research on this and ensure we and our families are not unknowingly putting things in us, such as unsafe cooking oils.
And it appears there is still some debate on what levels are deemed safe. But Avocado oil does appear as one of the best options.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with Avocado oil or its production. I share this message in a hope it might prevent some future illness in you or in someone you love, and to help spread awareness on safe food consumption.
With a recent passing of family member with cancer at a young age, I hope we can draw stronger correlations and understanding in what causes such cancer. And that we can bring more awareness on potential foods or ways of cooking, that may be contributing to cancer's rise globally.
It's up to all of us to stay informed in what foods or food preparation may be contributing to needless illness and related cancers. This includes another major culprit in cancer, obesity, and heart disease - processed foods:
Another reason to not eat that bag of chips before bed tonight. Or those candies from the supermarket. The real stuff, mother natures candy, like honey for instance, just tastes better.
I'm at 6 months now without eating potato chips, which was until then, one of my greatest late night guilty pleasures. And I can honestly say I feel better and I think look healthier for it.
With 2019 around the corner, what new years resolutions do you have in the works?
I hope this helps someone out there. Thanks for reading.
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