Fats and oils may be destroyed by being heated to high temperatures.

Polyunsaturated fat-rich oils, such as soybean and canola oils, are especially dangerous.

Overheating may lead to the formation of lipid peroxides and aldehydes, both of which have been linked to cancer. Inhaled carcinogenic chemicals from these oils while cooking may lead to the development of lung cancer. The mere presence of these oils in a kitchen might cause damage. Using fats that can withstand high heat is the best way to avoid possibly hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals.

Among the most important characteristics of cooking oils are the following:

  • Olive oil smoke point: Fats begin to decompose and emit smoke at this stage in the cooking process.
  • Oxidative stability: The lipids’ capacity to withstand the effects of oxygen.

Both categories are strongholds for olive oil. In the process of oxidation a variety of hazardous chemicals are formed.

A similar reaction occurs when oils are heated to the olive oil smoke point, but it happens faster when they are kept at a high temperature. Olive oil, on the other hand, has a high antioxidant and low polyunsaturated fat content, making it a good choice for cooking. Extra virgin olive oil was shown to be the most resistant to oxidation in a deep-frying experiment including many kinds of olive oil. Cooking using olive oil is unlikely to cause it to oxidise or otherwise degrade over time. However, some of the antioxidants and vitamin E, which are heat-sensitive, may be degraded. Heating olive oil to 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for 36 hours resulted in a loss of antioxidants and vitamin E, while most trace components remained.

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