We are readily told to avoid deep-fried foods due to their high oil content. However, new research is uncovering that it is not just the excess oil which poses a concern to health, but also the temperature we are cooking at.
A recent study has looked at how South Asian foods have high trans fat content through the use of partially hydrogenated fats, reheated oils, and high-heat cooking. In comparison, Chinese cuisine which involves mostly braising, steaming, and boiling rather than frying has lower trans fat content.
The study found, when food is heated to a high temperature; new compounds harmful to health are created. These compounds are called ‘neo-formed contaminants (NFCs) and are a form of trans fatty acids. This means when the temperature we cook at is high; trans fats are produced at a rapid rate. And as we know, trans fatty acids are tied to an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and weight gain.
What does this mean?
This study essentially says if you are cooking at high temperatures day in day out it may be bad for health. You may think sitting down to a huge plate of roasted cauliflower is ‘healthy’ but in actual fact, the cooking method you use, may make this typically healthy dish not so healthy! Instead, we should be looking at cooking at lower temperatures such as poaching, steaming or a gently stir-fry – cooking methods which don’t allow oil to burn. Boiling can release 1000 advanced glycation end products (harmful compounds) whereas frying releases 9000. Of course, just like everything else, a few meals here and there won't pose concern to health. It is when our daily diet is make up of high-temp fried/roasted foods that maybe we should think twice and look for ways to balance out the diet a bit better.
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance