Reusing cooking oil raises blood pressure

January 14, 2004 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Reusing cooking oil raises blood pressure

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 health. 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.

Based on the findings, the researchers in Malaga 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 may invalidate its favorable effects on health.

Many of the study participants consumed the so-called Mediterranean diet, which features liberal use of olive oil and has been linked with numerous health benefits. 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 substances known as polymers and polar compounds that can become absorbed by food.

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