Did you know the oil you're cooking with may be aging you?
There are some oils you can fry in and then others are best for a quick sauté and then others should never be heated at all.
This all depends on how the oil is processed and its smoke point.
An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it starts to smoke. When an oil smokes, it is breaking down and oxidizing and when it oxidizes it breaks down into free radicals and releases harmful compounds that have been linked to cellular damage.
What this means for your skin is lines, wrinkles and sagging.
Every oil has a different smoke point, and this depends on a number of factors that are extremely technical and beyond my comprehension, but I’ll share the overlying information.
Oils are extracted from nuts and seeds of plants by crushing and pressing them. If they are bottled immediately, they are labeled as cold-pressed raw, or virgin and are considered unrefined. These oils retain their natural flavor and color, as well as their minerals, enzymes and other compounds that are susceptible to rancidity when heated.
They have a shorter shelf life and extremely low smoke point,
They are best used for drizzling or dressings and should never be heated. They impart their amazing flavors and nutrients to our food and should be stored in a cool, dark place.
To produce an oil with a high smoke point, these healthy, nutrient rich oils are refined and processed using techniques such as bleaching, filtering and high-temperature heating to eliminate all the nutrients that will become rancid with heat.
What you have left is a neutral-flavored oil with a longer shelf life and a higher smoke point and very little nutritional value.
The higher the smoke point of an oil, the more higher heat cooking techniques it can be used for.
I can sit here and give you a list of oils and their smoke points, but really what’s the point in that since you’ll never know the heat of your skillet.
So, here’s the bottom line, when you are heating an oil, make sure it’s refined, I use avocado and coconut.
If you’re not heating an oil, go for something flavorful and unrefined. I love to use macadamia nut oil to either drizzle over veggies or in a salad dressing.
When purchasing unrefined oils, buy a small bottle because, as I mentioned, they still have all their nutrients and this is the part that of the oil that goes rancid, so go for a small bottle over a larger bottle.
Also, store them in the cabinet, away from light, this will also keep them from going rancid.