Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Much focus is placed on the foods and drinks consumed and how this impacts longevity. However, little thought is placed on how foods are prepared and how certain oils could significantly be impacting your health in the long run.
The type of oils used to cook foods may contain unhealthy fats that increase cholesterol and blood pressure.
There are, however, many types of cooking oils that contain the healthier fats and these are better for your heart and your longevity.
One way to replace unhealthy fats with a healthier option is by looking for non-tropical vegetable oils.
When heated, corn, sunflower, palm and soya bean oils release chemicals known as aldehydes – which have been linked to various cancers.
Some studies suggest toxic compounds may promote the oxidisation of retinaldehyde, transforming it into retinoic acid.
This in turn could lead to the growth and survival of cancer cells negatively impacting longevity.
Unlike other oils, sunflower oil is able to be heated to higher temperatures before it starts smoking.
According to the American Heart Association, tips to reduce unhealthy ways of cooking with oils include:
- Don’t deep-fat fry as a cooking method
- If your oil smokes when cooking or if it catches fire, get rid of it and start over
- Don’t reuse or reheat any cooking oil
- Buy cooking oils in smaller containers to avoid waste, and store them in a dark, cool place to keep them fresh longer.
Separate research has highlighted an additional risk that comes with reusing cooking oils, warning this can increase the risk of colon cancer.
This is because decomposed oils may increase the risk of cancer by mutation and altering the genes that initiate the spread of cancer.
Oils that consist of monounsaturated and saturated fats, on the other hand, tend to be more heat-stable.
These include rapeseed and olive oil, which both have higher levels of monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid.
The American Heart Association added: “If oil smells bad, don’t use it.
“When an oil is stored too long it can become oxidized or rancid.
“It will have a distinct smell, and you should get rid of it.”
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