Updated May 16th, 2024 at 23:26 IST

Repeated Heating Of Vegetable Oils May Up Cancer Risk - ICMR Issues Warning

The medical research body emphasised the need for caution when reusing cooking oils due to the generation of harmful compounds during the reheating process.

Avocado oil | Image:Freepik
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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with the repeated heating of vegetable oils, citing a heightened risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In a recent release of dietary guidelines, the medical research body emphasised the need for caution when reusing cooking oils due to the generation of harmful compounds during the reheating process.

Understanding the risks

Studies have shown that reheating vegetable oils can lead to the release of toxic substances and an increase in free radicals within the body, resulting in inflammation and various chronic diseases. The oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) at high temperatures contributes to the formation of harmful compounds, including trans fats, which are known to elevate the risk of heart disease.

Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

ICMR recommendations

The guidelines advise against the common practice of reusing vegetable oils for cooking, both in households and commercial settings. Instead, the ICMR suggests filtering the oil after use and consuming it within a day or two for curry preparations. Prolonged storage of used oils is discouraged due to the accelerated rate of deterioration, which can further exacerbate health concerns.

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

Insights on oil usage

The repeated heating of vegetable oils can lead to the formation of harmful compounds like trans fats and acrylamide, contributing to an increased cancer risk. Furthermore, the accumulation of free radicals and other toxic substances from reheated oils may result in inflammation, cardiovascular issues, and liver damage. To mitigate these risks, it is recommended to use oils with high smoke points and discard them after a single use to maintain optimal health.

In light of these findings, adopting healthier cooking practices and prioritizing fresh, unprocessed oils can significantly reduce the potential health hazards associated with the repeated heating of vegetable oils. By staying informed and making mindful food choices, individuals can safeguard their well-being and promote long-term health.
 

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Published May 16th, 2024 at 23:26 IST