ICMR alerts on CANCER risk from repeated heating of vegetable oils; offers recommendations for proper oil reuse, storage

According to ICMR standards, "reusing" vegetable oils for cooking can release toxic chemicals that could cause health problems.

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) warned against "repeated heating" of vegetable oils or fats in their recently released guidelines, discussing the risks involved. The medical research body states that heating vegetable oils often can result in dangerous compounds that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Research conveys the story

Prior research has also shown that heating cooking oil can cause harmful compounds to be released and raise the levels of free radicals in the body, which can cause inflammation and a number of chronic illnesses. To assist Indians in making better food choices, the ICMR and the National Institute of Nutrition published 17 new dietary guidelines for Indians in various age categories. With the goal of promoting good health and preventing all forms of malnutrition, the guidelines attempt to offer evidence-based suggestions to Indians so they can make educated food choices. 

Cancer and guidelines

The guidelines include advice on healthy weight control, physical exercise, hydration, food safety, and food labeling, in addition to dietary recommendations. The guidelines clarify that the practice of "reusing" vegetable oils for cooking is widespread, occurring in both residential and commercial settings, and they also highlight the potential for the production of hazardous substances that could result in concerning health issues.

"The oxidation of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) caused by repeated heating of vegetable oils or fats results in the production of chemicals that are harmful/toxic and may raise the risk of cardiovascular illnesses and cancer. Some of the lipids in oil transform into trans fats at high temperatures. Trans fats are bad fats that raise the chance of cardiac problems. Reusing oils results in an increase in trans-fat content. The highest authority on vegetable oil advocates reusing it by filtering it and using it for curry recipes within a day or two.

Oil can be worrying 

"At the home level, vegetable oil that has been fried should be filtered before being used again. It is okay to use the same oil for curry preparations. Additionally, these oils ought to be used within a day or two. The paper states that storing "used" oils for an extended period of time is not recommended due to their high rate of deterioration.

Experts break it down on cancer connect

Beyond cancer, heating and reusing oil might have other detrimental effects on one's health. Heat-induced breakdown of the oil can release toxic compounds such as aldehydes and increase its acidity. In addition to irritating the digestive tract, these toxins may be a factor in the development of chronic illnesses. Furthermore, oil that has been reheated may include more trans fats, which are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, says Dr. Mangesh P. Kamath, Additional Director, Medical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bangalore.

The ultimate sollution

It is essential to utilize oils with high smoke points, like avocado or safflower oil, rather than the same oil repeatedly to reduce these dangers. Furthermore, the possible health risks connected to reheated oils can be greatly decreased by maintaining the right cooking temperatures and discarding oil after one usage. Consuming fresh, unrefined oils on a regular basis is also recommended for improved general health.