You might think that reheating cooking oil is a great idea; it saves money, it means less waste in the long run and you don’t have to dispose of it if you just keep reusing it. But there are actually many reasons as to why you shouldn’t be reheating any type of cooking oil.
From the release of harmful chemicals to an increase in bad cholesterol, reheating cooking oil can pose many health problems and increase certain health risks should you continuously choose to reuse your cooking oil, no matter which one you’re using to make your dishes. With this in mind, let’s delve further into why you should never reheat your cooking oil and, instead, use a fresh drizzle with every new dish you make.
1. It has the potential to release harmful toxins
We’ll discuss this, along with carcinogens and free radicals, in more depth later on in the article, but the first thing you need to know about reheated cooking oil is that it can release harmful toxins, especially when it comes to reusing vegetable oil, sunflower oil or corn oil. The aforementioned oils can release a higher concentration of something called Aldehydes, which are toxic chemicals that have been linked with a series of health issues, such as heart disease, for example.
There is another chemical that reheated cooking oil can give off, and that’s called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nominal, otherwise, and more simply, known as HNE. This is more common when reheating vegetable oil as opposed to any other type of cooking oil, although you should refrain from reheating any type of cooking oil. HNE has been known to disrupt RNA, DNA and protein functions within the body.
2. It becomes rancid over time
Like most foods, oil will go bad, especially if it’s been left out in the open. However, it becomes wholly rancid when reheated thanks to a change in the chemical composition of the oil itself.
Not only can reheating oil produce free radicals, which we’ll touch upon in a moment, it can cause the oil to turn, making it taste bad and it can also give it an unpleasant, pungent odour. Reheating cooking oil can cause health issues when continued over a long period of time, but it can also make your food taste unpalatable.
3. It generates free radicals
Free radicals are considered to be harmful molecules that will affect the healthy cells in our bodies, therefore impairing their function. Every time you reheat your oil, you’re generating those free radicals. Free radicals can have serious health consequences for those ingesting the reheating oil.
In addition to diabetes, obesity and heart disease, it will also significantly increase your levels of bad cholesterol, which will only add fuel to the fire. To be as healthy as possible when using oil to cook with, don’t reheat it.
4. It makes the oil more carcinogenic
5. It’s becomes more acidic
If you’ve reheated cooking oil and are using it to cook with, you may notice that you experience some heartburn afterwards. The very act of reheating your cooking oil could be the culprit. As time goes on, and the more often you reheat the same oil, the more acidic it will become.
Something you should do is avoid reheating the oil altogether, instead opting for a fresh drizzle every time you come to cook something. You should also reduce the amount of fried foods, and deep-fried foods, that you eat if you continue to suffer heartburn and then pay a visit to your GP.
6. It increases LDL cholesterol
Food that is cooked in old, blackened or smoked oil can increase the level of bad cholesterol in the body, which is otherwise known as LDL cholesterol. An increase in LDL cholesterol can have a significant impact on the body in terms of health.
This includes suffering from medical conditions such as chest pain, heart disease and even strokes. If you’re looking to make sure you remain as healthy as possible, don’t reheat and subsequently reuse your cooking oil.