Experts at Britain's National Health Service (NHS) have found startling evidence that cooking with vegetable oil is dangerous to your health. The researchers found that when cooked the oil releases toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer and degeneration of the brain.
Once thought of as superior to a host of much fattier kitchen oils experts have now completely flip-flopped on using vegetable oil for cooking. It turns out that butter, lard, and coconut oil are all much safer and better for your health, despite being fattier.
Olive oil continues to be the absolute best for cooking, free from toxic chemicals and rich in heart healthy antioxidants.
Corn, palm, sunflower, and soya bean oils, known as "vegetable" oils, release chemicals called aldehydes when heated. These chemicals have been directly linked to a variety of cancers as well neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's.
Martin Grootveld, a professor at DeMontfort University, said that a meal like fried chicken, when cooked in vegetable oil, contains 100 to 200 times more aldehydes than the daily limit given by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Yet the latest findings directly contradict previous advice given by health authorities that butter and lard were bad due to the amount of fat in them. Britains own NHS has long warned against cooking with butter and lard. Their website even still currently advises the public to:
"Try to cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat and have smaller amounts of foods that are rich in unsaturated fat instead.
"For a healthy choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee."
Yet the latest research confirms earlier findings that vegetable oil causes heart disease, inflammation, cancer, high blood pressure and affects mental health.
While lower in fat, vegetable oil is rich in omega 6 fatty acids. These acids push out the more important omega 3 fatty acids that are shown to keep the brain healthy, according to John Stein, professor emeritus of neuroscience at Oxford University.
"If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3,” Prof Stein said.
“I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia.”
But a powerful industry lobby, underpinned by chemical giant Monsanto, continues to advocate for soybean oils. The chemical giant makes genetically modified variants of each plant that work well with its cancer-causing herbicide RoundUp. Paired together the combination produces stunning crop yields. All those crops need a use and oils are one of the more popular.
But experts are increasingly advocating for health organisations or the food industry to pay more attention to the negative health effects of these once-popular kitchen staples.