The Lurking Danger of Reheating Cooking Oils: ICMR's Wake-Up Call

It often happens that we keep using the leftover oil while cooking until it is completely finished. But this can be harmful for you. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently issued guidelines advising caution against 'reheating' vegetable oil or any type of oil. The medical research body said that reheating vegetable oils can produce toxic compounds that increase the risk of life-threatening diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Previous studies have also shown how reheating cooking oil leads to the release of toxins and can also increase free radicals in the body, leading to inflammation and various chronic diseases. ICMR, in collaboration with the National Institute of Nutrition, released 17 new dietary guidelines for people of different age groups to help them make better food choices.

The guidelines aim to provide Indians with recommendations for healthy food choices to maintain good health and prevent all forms of malnutrition.

Re-heating oil can cause cancer, heart disease

The guidelines state that the practice of reusing vegetable oils for cooking is very common both in homes and outdoor food preparation venues. According to the report, re-heating vegetable oils/fats leads to the formation of compounds that are harmful/toxic and can increase the risk of heart diseases and cancer. At high temperatures, some fats present in the oil turn into trans fats. Trans fat is a harmful fat that increases the risk of heart disease. When oils are reused, the amount of trans fat increases.

What does ICMR say about reusing vegetable oils?

ICMR said that you can use this oil to make things like vegetables. But after frying in oil, do not use that oil for frying again. Apart from this, the institute has suggested consuming the remaining oil within a day or two after frying once.

Experts also warned

Reheating vegetable oils repeatedly can lead to the formation of harmful compounds such as trans fats and acrylamide, which are linked to an increased risk of cancer. Additionally, reheating and reusing oil can lead to the accumulation of harmful free radicals and other toxins that contribute to inflammation, heart disease and liver damage. To avoid these risks, it is important to avoid using the same oil multiple times and instead use oils with high smoke points such as avocado or safflower oil.

In addition, maintaining proper cooking temperatures and not reusing oil after one use can significantly reduce potential health risks. To take care of health, it is advisable to consume fresh, unprocessed oils regularly.

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