6 Cooking Oil Myths

Cooking oil is a staple in domestic and commercial kitchens around the world. However, there has been a long-debated argument about which type of oil is healthiest, what each one can be used for and how it can be disposed of responsibly. 

Although, the questions about cooking oil doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of myths that have done the rounds on the internet over the years. So we’re going to be debunking some of those in this article. With that in mind, let’s dive right in and discuss six myths about cooking oil.


1. All cooking oils are unhealthy

Fats have always had a bad reputation. No matter where they’re derived from or what they’re used for, and the same goes for cooking oils. However, cooking oils aren’t actually as unhealthy as society would have you believe. 

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The nutrients we get from oils and fats are a paramount and indispensable part of our everyday diet. As well as supplying us with vital carbohydrates and proteins, cooking oils:

  • Contain basic nutrients our bodies need
  • Can ensure effective absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Serve as flavour carriers, making for more flavourful meals

Despite all of the health benefits that cooking oils provide, like with anything, it needs to be consumed in moderation. Only when eaten in excess can cooking oil become unhealthy. Whether it’s used to roast your potatoes on a Sunday afternoon or drizzled over a salad on a sunny afternoon. Avoiding trans fats is a great way of remaining healthy, as well as using cooking oil in moderation. The use of cooking oil alone doesn’t contribute to an unhealthy diet when used tentatively.


2. The more omega-3 fatty acids the better

Omega-3 fatty acids have several positive effects on the body, according to Cleveland Clinic. They’re considered to be healthy fats that support heart health. The same source claims that one major key benefit of consuming omega-3 fatty acids is that it helps to lower your triglycerides. You’re likely to find omega-3 fatty acids in various healthy foods such as fish, chia seeds and flaxseed. However, where omega-3 fatty acids are healthy for us, like anything, they need to be consumed in moderation.

If you consume omega-3 fatty acids in excess, then there are some negative effects you’ll experience. Medicine Net claims that, when too much omega-3 is consumed, it can cause vomiting, constipation, metabolic disorders and skin reactions. Therefore, it’s paramount that cooking oils, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are used as tentatively as possible. Don’t rely on it for every meal of the day and don’t use it excessively for dips or salad dressings.


3. Olive oil is the healthiest type of cooking oil

It’s a common misconception that olive oil is the healthiest type of cooking oil on the market. However, it’s been proven that olive oil isn’t actually the healthiest type of cooking oil you can purchase. This is simply because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and our bodies need a certain amount of unsaturated fatty acids, like those contained within rapeseed oil, for example. 

When compared with olive oil, rapeseed seems to be the healthiest option, purely because rapeseed oil contains larger quantities of vitamin E and more valuable and higher quality omega-3 fatty acids. However, walnut oil also has health benefits over olive oil. Where no one cooking oil can be dubbed the healthiest, olive oil, when compared with others on the market, isn’t the one to choose if you’re looking to be as healthy as possible.


4. Cooking oils never go bad

Despite only needing a small amount of cooking oil at any one time, there is, in fact, a shelf life on them. However, the period of time you have to use the cooking oil depends on a variety of factors, including the source of the oil and the pre-treatment it has undergone. Generally, refined oils can last anywhere between 6 and 8 months, whereas pressed oils will only last between 2 and four months after it’s been opened. 

If oils are left unopened, then they can last for up to a year, or more than a year in some cases. Despite many people thinking that cooking oil will last for several months, it can become rancid. The signs of rancid cooking oil include unpleasant smells and a change of colour. To keep cooking oil as fresh as possible for as long as possible, you should store it out of direct sunlight and in cool or room temperatures.


5. Cooking oil can be poured down the sink

Under no circumstances should cooking oil be poured down the sink as a method of disposable. Instead, it needs to be decanted into a disposable container and thrown into the bin. You should also take some kitchen towel and wipe out the pan or tray you used to cook with, then place that in the bin also. However, when dealing with large quantities of cooking oil, it’s not possible to dispose of cooking oil in that way. 

As such, you should look to oil collection companies, like us here at Cater Oils. We are pleased to offer waste cooking oil collection services in exchange for either a credit note against a fresh supply of cooking oil for your premises, or we can give you cash for your used oil. We will then recycle it, turning it into biodiesel for use throughout the local community. This is a far better method than pouring waste cooking oil down the sink, which can wreak havoc on drainage and sewage systems.

In 2019, The Guardian reported a fatberg that was found in the sewage system of London that weighed up to 40 tonnes. Fatbergs are made up of a variety of waste products, including fats, grease and cooking oils. The fatberg found in London took three weeks for Thames Water to clear. It was so big, it took up around 80% of the sewer’s capacity, states the same source. To avoid such problems in your area, which could render your drainage systems damaged, useless and incredibly smelly, then don’t pour cooking oil down the drain.


6. You can use any type of cooking oil for frying

Where you might think that any cooking oil can be used for frying food, you’d be mistaken. Different oils have different smoking points. Where edible oils have a wide range of uses, not all of them are suitable for frying food. If you’re looking to fry your food, then look to refined cooking oils as they’re more heat-resistant. Pressed oils, on the other hand, shouldn’t be used for frying as their smoke point isn’t as high. Oils with low smoke points can become burnt if used for frying, in which case, that oil should be disposed of properly (as previously outlined) and should not be consumed.


Cater Oils is pleased to offer cooking oil collection services to domestic and commercial clients alike. If you would like further information about the waste oil collection services we have available, then get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.

Share This Article


More News Stories