If there’s one place in Indian households where the reusing practice happens without fail, it’s the kitchen! We do everything we can to minimize wastage and costs in the kitchen. So, reusing cooking oil is like a natural instinct for us.
Oil is an expensive commodity and therefore it isn’t practical to throw it away after a single use. For this reason, most restaurants, office canteens, and street food vendors also reuse cooking oil.
However, after a point, reusing cooking oil can be hazardous to health. It is important for us to understand the potential health risks of this common practice to be able to lead a consciously healthy lifestyle:
Health Hazards of Reusing Cooking Oil
Reusing cooking oil can pose several health hazards. Here are some of them:
- Decreased Nutritional Value: Reusing cooking oil can degrade the beneficial components of the oil which further reduces the nutritional quality of the food.
- Reduced Flavour: Reusing cooking oil can also reduce the flavour of the food, making it less palatable and pungent.
- Increased Risk of Health Problems: Reusing cooking oil can lead to generation of harmful compounds which can be deleterious to health. Regular usage of such oils can pose serious health issues like cardiovascular diseases or even cancer.
It is recommended to use fresh cooking oil for each cooking session to avoid these health hazards.
Reused Cooking Oil is Dangerous: Why & How to Avoid it
The most common issue that arises with reusing cooking oil is that the oil gets deteriorated, turns rancid or spoiled. Such oils have a foul smell, flavour and may also contain certain harmful by-products.
Reusing cooking oil can affect the smoke point of oils, as well as lead to the production of harmful by-products. Hence, to avoid health problems, it is essential to be aware of the smoke points of different oils. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to emit smoke, indicating that it is no longer suitable for cooking. When deep-frying, it is recommended to use oils with high smoke points, such as, rice bran oil, safflower, corn, and groundnut oils. However, it is also important to avoid overheating any oil, as this can lead to a reduced smoke point. By using fresh oil for cooking and avoiding overheating, you can help ensure that the food you eat is both safe and healthy.
When To Stop Using A Cooking Oil (source)
If you’re wondering how you will know when it’s time to discard the oil, you can look for signs of foul odour or taste. Moreover, if the oil has turned dark and thick, it is visible that the oil has deteriorated and is low in nutritional value and it is time to discard it.
If you’re looking for a cooking oil that has a high smoke point, you can opt for Saffola Gold. With a high smoke point, Saffola Gold can be used for deep frying items. However, reheating or reusing cooking oil is not advised as it can impact your health.
Things to be Mindful of While Re-using Your Cooking Oil
So, here are a few points to remember when storing or reusing oil: ways you can extend the lifespan of your oil:
- Heat the oil only for as long as required. Fry the items as quickly as possible and avoid letting the oil heat on a low flame while carrying on with other activities.
- Avoid storing frying oil in iron or copper utensils as they quicken the deterioration process.
- Ensure to strain the oil of any food particles before storing it.
- Store oil in an airtight, preferably amber-coloured, inert container in a cool, dry place since oil is sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.
When it comes to finally discarding the oil, avoid draining it down the sink as oil severely pollutes water. An effective method to dispose of cooking oil is to solidify it. The oil will take approximately 24 hours to freeze, making it easy to discard in the trash bin.
Despite being a common practice in most households and kitchens, people are unaware of the health risks they are exposed to as a result of reusing cooking oil. We hope this article provided you with the information you were looking for and will help you lead a healthier lifestyle!