Is Cooking Oil Safe?

Cooking Oil in Kitchen

Cooking oils are highly processed, using manufacturing methods that are destructive to oil molecules. These practices are utilized primarily to lengthen and stabilize the shelf life of oils. Because many people are unaware of the methods used to make these oils, I thought I would offer an explanation of the cooking oil industry's manufacturing secrets.

After oils are pressed or solvent extracted from seeds and nuts, they are degummed, refined, bleached, and deodorized. The result is known as an RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized oil) and these oils, as a result, become colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Sellers recommend these oils for salads, baking, and frying.

What many people don't know is that valuable 'minor ingredients' including antioxidants, phytosterols, chlorophyll, flavor molecules, color molecules, lecithin, and other oil-soluble beneficial molecules are removed during refining process.

Oil in SupermarketOne very basic difference between our way of looking at vegetable oils and the industrial oil technician's viewpoint should be understood. When he sees dark color, it represents the presence of "impurities"—material that prevents the oil from being light colored, odorless and bland in taste. From our viewpoint, those "impurities" look desirable—the things which impart color, odor and flavor are NUTRIENTS. It is both tragic and ironic that the removal of nutrients should be equated with "purity". Tragic because if those nutrients were present they would contribute to the health of the consumer. Ironic because establishing the desired "purity" really results in producing poor quality food.

Dr Budwig discovered that when unsaturated fats have been chemically treated that their unsaturated qualities are destroyed and the field of electrons removed. This Commercial Processing of fats destroys the field of electrons that the cell membranes (60-75 trillion cells) in our bodies must have to function properly.


The fats ability to associate with protein and thereby to achieve water solubility in the fluids of the living body---all this is destroyed. As Dr Budwig put it, “the battery is dead because the electrons in these fats and oils recharge it." When the electrons are destroyed the fats are no longer active and cannot flow into the capillaries and through the fine capillary networks. This is when circulation problems arise. Without the proper metabolism of fats in our bodies every vital function and every organ is affected.

There are three methods of extracting vegetable oils from nuts, grains, beans, seeds or olives. The first is by use of a hydraulic press. This is an ancient method and yields the best quality oil. The only two materials that will yield enough oil without heating them first are sesame seeds and olives. Therefore, sesame oil and olive oil from a hydraulic press are the only oils which could truly be called "cold pressed". The terms "cold pressed" as applies to all oils and "virgin" as applies to olive oil are meaningless to the consumer. They have no legal definition, mean whatever the manufacturer wants them to mean, and do not give a true description of the product behind the label. Organic Merchants will not condone misleading labeling. The term "virgin" for olive oil will refer only to the first pressing by a hydraulic press without heat. The term "cold pressed" will refer only to hydraulic pressing without heat. These oils are the closest possible to the natural state, therefore have the most color, odor and flavor—in a word, the most NUTRITION—but they will often be unavailable because so little is produced this way.

If an Organic Merchant has an oil which has been extracted by hydraulic press but has been heated prior to pressing, he will refer to it as "pressed", not "cold pressed".

The second method is by expeller, described in "The Low down on Edible Oils" as follows: "This uses a screw or continuous press with a constantly rotating worm shaft. Cooked material goes into one end and is put under continuous pressure until discharged at the other end with oil squeezed out." Temperatures between 200 and 250 degrees are normal. Obviously, this type of extraction does not qualify as "cold pressed" either. Organic Merchants will refer to it as "expeller pressed."

What About Fried Food?

The frying process adds tons of calories and fat grams to meals, and it’s easy to overeat when you snack on unhealthy fried foods. A study in rats that was conducted out of Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, showed high-fat foods affect the brain the same way as heroin and cocaine. At a most basic level, fried foods are unhealthy because they tend to be very high in fat and calories. But, deep frying also robs food of nutrients. For example, a large baked potato contains 220 calories and less than 1 g of fat. But, if you take that same potato and turn it into French fries, you end up with nearly 700 calories and a whopping 34 g of fat. Bible says "he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich." (Proverbs 21:17). Beacause they will end up in Chronic diseases.

Fried food are DangerousIt might not surprise you to hear French fries and mozzarella sticks, both fried foods, are unhealthy. But, the same holds true even for fried zucchini and other fried vegetables because the frying process robs the vegetables of their natural nutritional value. To make matters worse, many restaurants and chefs prepare fried foods using unhealthy artificial oils that contain trans fats.

Another important thing issue is, deep frying may trigger formation of carcinogens in food Possible mechanisms behind the increased cancer risk, Stanford hypothesizes, include the fact that when oil is heated to temperatures suitable for deep frying, potentially carcinogenic compounds can form in the fried food. They include acrylamide (found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as French fries), heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (chemicals formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures), aldehyde (an organic compound found in perfume) and acrolein (a chemical found in herbicides). These toxic compounds are increased with re-use of oil and increased length of frying time. Foods cooked with high heat also contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, which have been associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Deep-fried foods are among the highest in AGE content. A chicken breast deep fried for 20 minutes contains more than nine times the amount of AGEs as a chicken breast boiled for an hour, for example.

Dangers of Trans-fats

Many restaurants fill their fryers with partially hydrogenated oil as a cost saving measure. Cooks can reheat and reuse partially hydrogenated oil many times, meaning they can fry more food with less oil. But, partially hydrogenated oil contains trans fats, and consumption of trans fats could lead to heart disease. While healthy fats, like olive oil, flaxseed oil, can be consumed in moderation as a part of a healthy diet, you should avoid foods containing trans fats completely. Trans fats are simply too destructive to your heart.

The above story is based on materials provided by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The project was supported by the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2013, January 28).

Marni Stott-Miller, Marian L. Neuhouser, Janet L. Stanford. Consumption of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer. The Prostate, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/pros.22643

Retrieved December 9, 2013, from­ /releases/2013/01/130128142849.htm