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More Toxic Effects of Cooking Oils

You may recall a study I posted earlier this month about 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE), a toxin that collects in high amounts in polyunsaturated oils (canola, corn, soybean and sunflower) that have linoleic acid.

Researchers have found a broad range of oils can cause oxidative damage to your food, cooked conventionally at temperatures as low as about 158 degrees (Fahrenheit) and 374 degrees in a microwave. Of course, the cooking method and composition of the oil used affected the speed of the degradation as well as the nature and concentration of the compounds produced.

The degradation of lipids in foods and oils during the cooking process produced toxic oxygenated aldehydes -- markers for oxidative stress in cells and causual agents of degenerative diseases. Of the oils tested, virgin olive oil was the safest, as it took longer to produce aldehydes and a lower concentration of them, according to the study.

Although olive oil -- specifically extra-virgin olive oil -- is one of the "good oils" and doesn't upset the critical omega 6:3 ratio, it's still not the best oil to cook with, as it is highly susceptible to oxidative damage when heated.

An exceptional alternative is coconut oil, as it is abundantly nutritious and useful, not to mention it can help you prevent and fight many diseases and illnesses.

Basque Research May 25, 2005

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