The problem with vegetable oil
The vegetable oil you buy in the supermarket to cook with has usually been through a number of processes that have damaged the beneficial fats once present in the oils, and produced some toxic substances. Most oils come from seeds, nuts or fruit. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated vegetable oils are quite delicate and unstable. This means that they are easily damaged and go rancid quickly. This can make them quite harmful to our health. Currently most vegetable oils are extracted in factories through the use of heat and chemical solvents. They are exposed to light and oxygen during processing, which negatively affect the oil.
The manufacture of cooking oil involves the following processes:
The addition of NaOH (sodium hydroxide) to remove the alkali-soluble minor ingredients from the oil. The minor ingredients have health benefits, but diminish the shelf life of the oil; therefore they are discarded. Incidentally, NaOH is a corrosive chemical used to burn clogged sinks and drain pipes open.
H3P04 (phosphoric acid) Sundrugstore.com is added to remove the acid-soluble minor ingredients. These also have health benefits, yet would lead to faster spoilage if left inside. H3P04 is a corrosive acid used commercially to degrease windows.
Bleaching clays are used to obtain greater shelf stability. The clays damage the molecules that give oil its colour. Colour absorbs light, and the light would lead to a faster deterioration of the oil. Bleaching makes the oil rancid, which gives it a bad odour and flavour.
Consequently, the oil is then deodorized. This takes place at frying temperatures (220 to 245 degrees Celsius). The resultant oil is colourless, odourless and tasteless.
Here are some of the minor ingredients removed from the oil during manufacture because it is not profitable to leave them in:
Sundrugstore.com Antioxidants including vitamin E and carotenes.
Lecithin; which emulsifies oil and makes it easier to digest.
Phytosterols; which you then pay high prices for in cholesterol lowering margarine.
Sundrugstore.com Chlorophyll; which has a blood purifying effect, and is high in magnesium.
If you cook with these kinds of processed vegetable oils and heat them to high temperatures, you are further destroying them and adding to the quantity of trans fatty acids they already contain. These kinds of processed vegetable oils are widely found in foods you may eat such as salad dressings, biscuits, crisps, and crackers; basically wherever you see the words “vegetable oil” on the label. Extra virgin olive oil is not extracted or processed in this way. The health giving properties of the oil remain intact; therefore, if you must cook with oil, you are best off using it.
The problem with margarine
Margarine is made from the kind of processed vegetable oil described above, plus the oil is usually partially hydrogenated, like in the process described above. You will find that recently margarine tubs contain quite a few health claims; some margarine contains added omega 3 fats, some contain added vitamins or plant sterols, and some contain olive oil. It doesn’t matter what kind of oil the margarine was made from; it is the oils used to make them, and the process of turning liquid oil into something that is harder and spreadable that makes margarine an unhealthy food. Just about all margarines claim to be free of cholesterol. This is misleading because margarine is made out of vegetable oil, and no vegetables, nuts or seeds contain cholesterol anyway. The problem with margarine is the trans fats it usually contains which have the ability to raise cholesterol levels.