Vegetable oil sounds good. Canola rhymes with granola. But are the oils you cook with are actually much more dangerous than their names suggest?
The short answer is yes. If you are not careful about choosing the right cooking oil, you can easily use GMO products that contain harmful chemical residues.
What’s in the cooking oil nutrition facts?
Many cooking oils that have been promoted as “healthy” are in fact incredibly processed. And although some processing is needed to extract the oil, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do it.
Unfortunately, the cheapest and easiest way to use a neurotoxin called hexane is a cheap by-product in the production of gas. Many oils are actually bathed in hexane, which has been shown to leave a residue and for which the FDA does not have to test manufacturers. So there is no way to know for sure if you eat hexane and do not know its effects.
The other big concern is GMO ingredients. Large brand names such as Mazola Corn Oil, Wesson Vegetable Oil, Crisco Vegetable Oil and Smart Balance Oil have all admitted that their oils are made from GMO ingredients.
Kinds of Cooking Oil to Avoid
Soybean or “Vegetable” Oil – the vegetables in “vegetable” oil are almost always soybeans and are almost always genetically modified. Name brands such as Smart Balance use chemicals in their extraction process, while Wesson Vegetable Oil helps to finance the fight against the right GMO labeling legislation.
Canola Oil – is made from GM rapeseed and has been shown to contain trans fat and has been linked in studies to a shorter life span. Crisco and Mazola have openly admitted that they use hexane in their production. In addition, it may contain trace amounts of erucic acid, which can damage your heart.
Corn Oil – is extracted with hexane from GM corn. Worse still, the polyunsaturated fatty acids can oxidize when they are heated, leading to the creation of free radicals, which can cause cell damage, cancer and liver disease.
What Expeller Pressed Means
The more old-fashioned and chemical-free way to extract oil is to use a screw press. It is more expensive and less efficient, which is why most large companies prefer the chemical method.
Another disadvantage of the use of a screw press is that a lot of heat is produced, so that the oil can become poor. As a result, the best method is called cold pressing, which is the most labor-intensive, but produces the oils of the best quality.
You should look for cold-pressed oil whenever possible, even though the label is not strictly regulated in the US.
What Are The Safest Oils to Use?
Coconut Oil – as organic and expeller cold pressed, coconut oil is full of healthy fats and is great for baking and cooking on the stove.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – although you have to be careful with which brand you buy, organic olive oil has a number of health benefits and is excellent for salad dressings.
Extra Virgin Sesame Oil – is full of healthy nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and iron, and is best used as a condiment or only with a low heat.