Use only expeller-pressed, unrefined oils (usually found in health-food stores). Do not use typical grocery store vegetable oils – processed with high heat, they contain harmful transfats. Light, heat and Air will damage fatty acids in seed, bean and nut oils. Additionally, most vegetable oils contain TBHQ. .
This synthetic anti-oxidant is added to foods to prevent or delay oxidation. Oxidation causes food to lose flavour quality, colour and even cause foods to become toxic. In addition, oxidation causes vitamins to break down, causing food to lose some of its nutritional value. TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) is commonly used in foods such as crackers, microwave popcorn, butter, chicken nuggets AND is added to most vegetable oils.
Whilst TBHQ is a tertiary butyl group, it is NOT made from butane as some websites will advise one – follow these links which offer more insight into the chemical makeup of TBHQ and the mistaken connection to butane: Scienceblogs.com and Livestrong.com.
NEVERTHELESS, despite all the placations by various websites, and the fact that one would have to eat a LOT of chicken nuggets to reach the ‘overdose’ point, it does still ring alarm bells for us when the FDA has to regulate the amount of TBHQ that can be added to the stuff most of us call food. It should be noted that TBHQ is banned in some countries, but not in the USA or South Africa. Studies are currently underway at a Michigan State University, to try and establish a possible link between TBHQ and food allergies. We prefer to err on the side of caution especially since there are NOT that many studies to PROVE that the additive is not harmful.
The question you need to ask yourself is, the additive delays the oxidation and extends the shelf-life of oils – how old IS that oil? Also, ask yourself the question as to whether or not you are willing to continue to add these toxins (how little they say it affects us) to an already over-burdened body?
Best Frying/Baking Fats/Oils
These contain a high percentage of saturated fat and are not easily damaged by high temperatures.
- Organic coconut oil (92% saturated) is a very stable oil for frying temperatures. Coconut oil has a medium smoke point of 350° F (180°C approx.) which is under the usual sautéing temperature. If you see smoke, pull the pan off the stover and let it cool down a bit, because at that temperature the oil will begin to oxidize (go rancid)
- Almond oil – is good for baking at temps around 400° F (200° C).
- Palm Oil (50% saturated) and Palm kernel oil – are stable frying oils, but not easily obtained in the Western world; has a strong flavour. Whilst this oil is stable and is used in many African countries – usually harvested by the locals and crushed themselves – you need to understand that the havesting of this oil in Borneo and Sumatra for large scale manufacturing is exceedingly detrimental to wildlife. in fact, the decimation of rainforests in this area is frightening. There are other sustainable oils one can use, so we would prefer that you not use this oil nor do you purchase ANY foods that contain palm oil – not only for your health, but for the life of the animals in that rainforest.
- Do NOT use olive oil or polyunsaturated fats (e.g. corn, canola, sunflower, soybean oil) for frying – they are too easily oxidized by heat. It must be noted at this point that NONE of the oils mentioned above are used in any DBM program as we prefer steaming, poaching, boiling (in as little water as possible), stir-frying (using coconut oil) and even better RAW.