Good cooking oil must meet both the following criteria:
1) High Smoke Point
Once you start to see smoke rising from your cooking wok/pan, you have reached the smoke point of the oil. When this happens, the oil has broken down and started to produce toxic and carcinogenic substances.
“Cooking oils must not be used to the point where they exceed their smoke points or oxidization will cause them to become rancid and produce large amounts of harmful free radicals and polymers.” – The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare.
2) 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for our body. Plant oils are usually the main and direct source of our omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Modern diets contain large amounts of oil. This can be seen from the dishes whipped out when we dine out; coupled with the misconception that plant oils are healthy and thus be consumed in any amount. This resulted in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 consumed can often be as high as 30:1. The ideal ratio should be 1:1 and 4:1.
When one consumes too much omega-6 fatty acids, it can be the path to various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Plant-based foods are beneficial to health but when extracted as oil, their molecular structures undergo changes and most of their nutrients are destroyed. As with other oils, plant oils are high in calories and when consumed, it adds stress on the body.
Watch how one can choose a healthier cooking oil based on the above criteria.
13 March 2019.