Is it Safe to Reheat Cooking Oil?

List: Posted: 08/15/11

Eating healthily involves more than simply choosing the right foods at the supermarket.  Improving your eating habits also includes challenging the ways in which you prepare foods.  Cooking oil has been a source of some debate; specifically if it is healthy to reheat or reuse cooking oil that has already been used once.

 

Although many fast food restaurants freely reheat cooking oil on a regular basis, it isn't necessarily a healthy habit.  There are many studies that suggest reusing cooking oil can expose you to many dangerous toxins and by-products, which could lead to serious health problems. 

 

In particular, it has been shown that reheating oils like canola, corn, soybean, and sunflower releases a toxin called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE).  HNE has been linked to increased risk of many health problems, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, liver disorders, cancer and cardiovascular problems. 

 

Being aware of these risks before using reheated cooking oil might change your mind about these eating habits.  Particularly dangerous in restaurants, reheated oil can be harmful if ingested long term, and should be avoided in most cases if at all possible.

 

If you have an interest in finding out how to safely reuse cooking oil at home, there are a few tips that can make reheating the oil a little safer. 

 

The most important thing to remember when reheating cooking oil is that you must strain it first.  Using cheesecloth to catch any food particles, you must strain the oil before reusing it.  This is your best bet at making the oil safe for reuse, as these particles can be carcenogenic and toxic in large doses. 

 

Although there is a risk of exposure to toxins, reheating cooking oil can be done safely with the proper precautions taken.

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