Processed Fats and Seed Oils that are used for Cooking

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Based on the article ‘What oils and fats are best for cooking and frying?’ by Dr Margit Slimakova, here we take a look at the types of oils and fats we should avoid. Can processed oil and fats be used for cooking? Are they healthy? How do we use them? When it comes to cooking, processed fats are best avoided. That makes trans fats, oil and high- grade oil a strong NO!

  1. Margarine

Margarine is an industrially produced fat which contains interesterified fat, which can have an impact on good health. A major disadvantage of margarine is that it is mainly composed of omega-6 fatty acids that create an inflammatory environment in the body, which is present today in many chronic degenerative diseases.

“Margarine is a highly industrialized form of fat and, therefore, I do not recommend its consumption!” -Dr Margit Slimakova, specialist in health prevention and nutrition

  1. Seed oils and heat-treated vegetable oils

Industrial oils from seeds and grains are typically highly processed refined products that contain too much of the harmful omega-6 fatty acids. It is not advised to cook with them. These oils have been misinformed over the past few decades and have been termed “healthy for the heart” by many experts. However, the new data indicate their association with many serious diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

“Oils I recommend to minimize are sunflower oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil and rice bran oil.” -Dr Margit Slimakova

  1. Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil contains a better ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than conventional vegetable oils but its consumption does not solve the excess of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet. In addition, rapeseed oil is also mostly grown using large amounts of agrochemicals.

“It is highly industrialized and can be genetically modified (should be labelled on the packaging in the EU). Therefore, I do not recommend it.”-Dr Margit Slimakova

Practical recommendations

Use butter and cold-pressed oils for greasing. Even butter or spreads of various vegetables, legumes, eggs or fish, which are cold-pressed oils are useful.

For gentle and fast frying of vegetables, use unrefined oils with a smoke point above 160 ºC. This may be, for example, olive oil, ghee fats and lard.

For frying, (e.g. for steak), select fats with a smoke point above 180ºC can be used. These include lard, palm oil and coconut oil.

For a detailed alphabetical list of oils and fats, see the Encyclopedia.

For more information on the same topic, check out the following article: 5 Oils and Fats that can be Used for Cooking.