Reusing Cooking Oil Increases Blood Pressure

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Health experts say that different types of cooking oils are
better for you than others, and a new study suggests that the
number of times you reuse cooking oils can also affect your

Spanish researchers found that people whose kitchens contained
any type of oil that had been reused many times over were more
likely to have high blood pressure than people whose cooking oils
were changed more frequently.

People who ate foods cooked with sunflower oil also showed a
higher risk of high blood pressure, while consuming more olive
oil appeared to protect people from high blood pressure.

The researchers recommend that people cook with olive oil
whenever possible, and discard any oils after using them up to
two or three times.

Although olive oil is generally considered to be a healthy
addition to meals, the findings suggest that repeatedly reusing
the oil in cooking may invalidate its favorable effects on

Followers of the Mediterranean diet often use an “oil bath,” or
deep fryer, to fry foods. However, when the same pot of oil is
repeatedly reheated, the oils begin to degrade, releasing toxic
substances known as polymers and polar compounds that can become
absorbed by food.

The more polar compounds and polymers present in oil samples
taken from a participant’s house — a sign the oil had been
reused repeatedly — the more likely it was that participant had
high blood pressure.

Our recommendations:

  1. NEVER re-use cooking oil, and NEVER deep-fry your foods.
  2. When you are eating out, be sure to avoid deep-fried foods
    such as French fries. You can be assured that restaurants re-use
    their cooking oil many times.
  3. When cooking with oil, use low heat.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2003