Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cooking Oil
Cooking oils are used in the preparation of various kinds of recipes such as frying, deep frying and sautéing. There are a number of oils found in the market today but the claims on health effects and scrutiny related to these are confusing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cooking Oil
Except for butter, fats and oils don’t have protein or carbohydrates. The discussion on the health-related effects of cooking oils is mostly focused on the fats they contain and the plants they were extracted from.
Cooking oils extracted from vegetables, seeds, and nuts contain fatty acids essential for brain and nerve function optimizations.
Majority of the vegetable oils undergo refining processes with added preservatives that degrade the oil quality causing free radicals to form.
In this article, the top five common types of cooking oil will be discussed along with the advantages and disadvantages of each, especially the health-related ones.
5 Common Types of Cooking Oil and the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each
1. Olive Oil
This is one of the most popular types of cooking oils with various uses aside from kitchen use. It is considered as a superfood associated with a healthy heart but is not ideal for all situations.
- High content of mono-unsaturated fats that help lower heart disease risks.
- The extra virgin olive oil is abundant in essential fatty acids and antioxidants which helps in fighting free radicals, weight management, and inflammation.
- Lowers blood pressure and reduces breast cancer risks.
- Contains high amounts of saturated fat that is considered as bad fat.
- Not suitable for frying due to its low smoke point. Heating the oil beyond its smoke point modifies the oil and is harmful to the health.
- Can cause dermatitis, weight gain, and respiratory complications to those who are allergic to it.
2. Canola Oil
Canola oils are extracted from rapeseeds and used in most kitchens for frying in medium heat.
- An inexpensive source of healthy cooking oil.
- High content levels of mono-unsaturated fats.
- Low content of saturated fat.
- Contains Omega-3 fatty acids good for the heart.
- Subtle taste that won’t affect the flavor of the dish.
- Easily spoils.
- Can emit toxins when subjected to high temperature.
- Contains high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids that are associated with inflammation – the primary cause of chronic diseases.
3. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oils are usually made from the combination of various oils such as corn, palm, soybean, and sunflower.
- Inexpensive and longer shelf life.
- Contains high levels of good fatty acids.
- Heavily processed from ingredients extracted from genetically modified organisms (GMO).
- Some are partially hydrogenated which can destroy the good fatty acids in the oil. Trans fatty acids can be formed which increases the risk of weight gain and heart diseases.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oils are full of flavor and are regarded as healthy by most. But it has stimulated controversies because of its high content of saturated fat.
- High levels of antioxidants.
- High smoke point.
- Some studies show that coconut oil can improve the brain health of elderly people susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.
- The natural flavor of coconut oils might overpower the desired flavor of specific dishes.
5. Corn Oil
Corn oils have a golden yellow color extracted from maize kernels. It is suitable for baking and frying but must be only cooked under medium temperatures.
- Less smoke is produced.
- Does not discolor easily.
- Low saturated fat content.
- High omega-3 content.
- Easily becomes rancid.
General Advantages and Disadvantages of Cooking Oil
Now, let us discuss some of the general advantages and disadvantages of cooking oil including the ones related to the environment.
Used oil can be recycled. Recycling used cooking oils does not only benefit you but also the environment.
- They can be used as renewable energy in the form of biodiesel which is environmentally friendly. Used cooking oil can be used to power machines in engines and vehicles designed to run on diesel. Because it is clean, it can help in minimizing pollution. Thus, reducing the number of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
- Recycling used cooking oil owers cleanup costs. When establishments recycle used oil instead of draining them down to the sink, cleanup costs are lowered tremendously. As solidified chunks of cooking oils can clog the sewage system causing the drainage pipes to fail. When this happens, the establishments will incur greater costs.
As mentioned earlier, draining used cooking oil down your sinks can clog your sewage pipes.
The majority of establishments and households discard used cooking oils through their kitchen drains. Their reason for doing this method is because it is the most secure way of disposing of used cooking oils.
As it is similar to wastewater which is disposed of the same way.
But they lack the knowledge that cooking oil and water have differing properties.
Used cooking oil will solidify into chunks under low temperatures. This will end up clogging drain pipes and sewage systems.
Your drain will stop working properly and the sewage pipes on your streets will start spurting smelly contents containing disease-causing organisms.
Furthermore, clogged pipes can cause backflow of water which can flood your basement and other areas. Although this can be prevented if a backflow prevention valve, commonly check valves, is pre-installed in local drainage systems. But not all check valves can handle harsh environments.
Your local community should make sure that they purchase the appropriate check valve from a reliable check valve supplier.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of cooking oil is beneficial in deciding which one you should be using.
To wrap out discussion up, here are our key takeaways:
- There are various types of cooking oil sources and you need to investigate each to find the right one for your cooking situation and nutritional needs.
- Choose unrefined, organic cooking oils extracted from plants that are not genetically modified (non-GMO).
- No matter what is shown in the media, no cooking oil that is a hundred percent healthy exists. You should use any type of cooking oils in moderation.
Finally, remember that you do not drain used cooking oil down your sink. This clogs your sewage system causing an overflow of contaminated water in your house.