Cooking with vegetable oils could be more dangerous than using butter or lard, according to leading scientists
A group of nutritional experts are now recommending that when we are frying food, we should do so in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.
Previous Government advice suggested the use of oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as corn oil and sunflower oil.
This was because they were thought to be better for our health than the saturated fats in animal products.
But new research has found that heating up vegetable oils could led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.
Experts from De Montfort University in Leicester say fish and chips fried in vegetable oil could contain 100 to 200 times more aldehydes than the daily safe limit recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Professor Martin Grootveld who has researched the chemical reactions said: “For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was.
“Coconut oil is my first number one. It is high in saturated fats but 90 per cent of them are health friendly.”
The concerns over toxic chemicals in heated oils are backed up by separate research from the University of Oxford.
Professor John Stein claims that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are also contributing to other health problems.
Current NHS advice is to replace “foods high in saturated fat with lower-fat versions”.
It also warns against frying food in butter or lard, recommending instead corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.
It can be hard for parents to know what to do for the best when it comes to making sure they are providing their children with a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Mums and dads are always advised to avoid sugary and fatty foods such as cakes, biscuits and sweets and to make sure their children eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
For more information on healthy eating visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell