Here’s an excellent reason for stocking more sustainable Malaysian palm oil in your pantry. Over-heated cooking oils, including sunflower and olive oils, can be far more toxic than trans-fats. That’s the subject of a recent article published by the American Oil Chemists’ Society. The authors warn that common polyunsaturated and monounsaturated cooking oils are unstable at standard frying temperatures, causing them to mutate. The heat can create a long list of toxic chemicals — including poisonous aldehydes — which, the authors say, “may cause damage to essential organs, tissues and cells.”
As an example, they say that the New Zealand Heart Foundation has estimated that eating two pieces of battered fish plus an average serving of fries will result in ingesting a significant amount of potent toxic agents. They add that even inhaling the fumes from these overheated cooking oils, for as little as 15 minutes, could have serious health consequences.
Studies have shown that oxidized oils increased oxidative stress and promote rancidity of the fats in the liver tissues. It has been reported that degraded polyunsaturated frying oils increase risk of hypertension, cancer and heart disease.
An easy way to avoid polluting your kitchen and body
Simply choose a cooking oil, such as sustainable Malaysian palm oil is stable at high temperatures. It doesn’t break down or mutate when used for frying.
Malaysian palm oil is unique in that it contains almost equal amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. In fact, it contains the highest number of polyunsaturated fatty acids of all the saturated fats, e.g. about five times more than coconut oil or butter fat. This healthy balance is the reason why it behaves more like a healthier monounsaturated fat (the type of fat found in nuts, canola and olive oil) than a saturated fat.
Palm oil is also naturally trans-fat free. It can easily be substituted for solid fats such as butter, margarine or shortening, and is delicious when used for cooking and baking.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.