Overheating cooking oil can cause hypertension and stroke – Nutritionist

Ignatius Onimawo, a Professor of Public Health Nutrition, has stated that overheating cooking oils is dangerous, warning that eating foods cooked with such oil increases the risk of heart attack, hypertension, and stroke. 

Prof. Onimawo, former Vice-Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, stated that heating vegetable oil converts it to trans fat, which is harmful to one's health. 

Trans fats, he claims, are the worst type of fat an individual can consume, emphasizing that they have no known health benefits and are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and stroke worldwide. 

In an interview with nigerianwatch HealthWise, the nutritionist stated that when vegetable oils are continuously overheated, they are converted into trans fatty acids, which cause inflammation. 

"When you reuse vegetable oil or any cooking oil for that matter more than twice, the tendency is that, if you are continuously heating the oil, the fatty acid composition of the oil can be transformed into trans fatty acid," the former Nutrition Society of Nigeria President explained. 

"The temperature of the oil when frying is high. The same oil is then used again, and the temperature is high. 

"By the third or fourth use, the fatty acid will have changed. They will be transformed into trans fatty acids. 

"These trans fatty acids are to blame for cardiovascular disease. They are even more responsible for cardiovascular disease than saturated fats. 

"That is why we usually recommend that if you have used oil more than once or twice, you throw it away." 

According to the Mayo Clinic, a medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research, trans fat is the worst type of fat to consume. 

"Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats, also known as trans-fatty acids, raise "bad" cholesterol while decreasing "good" cholesterol. 

"A diet laden with trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, the leading killer of adults. "The more trans fats consumed, the higher the risk of heart and blood vessel disease," according to the clinic. 

"Because the body cannot handle them, they are the ones that normally form plagues or deposits along the arteries," the don continued. 

"Sometimes, these plagues form along some of the organs. So you discover that trans fats are more dangerous than saturated fatty acids. 

"The majority of saturated acids cause fat deposition in the tissues. This causes pressure to build up in the arteries and veins. 

"They deposit fats inside and sometimes outside the arteries through which blood flows." 

According to Prof. Onimawo, the accumulation of fats around and inside blood vessels can lead to hypertension. 

"They (trans fatty acids) hardened the arteries, which should be flexible. So, when plagues are present, that specific blood vessel becomes non-flexible." 

"As a result, if it is not flexible, it cannot expand to accommodate." 

If this happens on a regular basis, blood pressure begins to rise, and this is sometimes the cause of high blood pressure. 

"If this continues, you know that high blood pressure is a precursor to a lot of things related to heart disease," the nutritionist explained. 

According to the World Health Organization, there is evidence that heating and frying oil at high temperatures increases trans fat concentrations. 

Trans fat, according to the WHO, increases the risk of heart disease and death from heart disease by 28%. 

"On average, the level of trans fat has been found to increase by 3.67 g/100g after heating, and by 3.57 g/100g after frying. 

"Approximately 540,000 deaths each year can be attributed to the intake of industrially produced trans-fatty acids. 

"High trans fat intake increases the risk of death from any cause by 34 per cent, coronary heart disease deaths by 28 per cent and coronary heart disease by 21 per cent. 

"This is most likely due to the effect on lipid levels: trans fat raises LDL ("bad") cholesterol while decreasing HDL ("good") cholesterol. "There are no known health benefits to trans fat," according to the WHO.

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