Why you should never cook with sunflower oil

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Sunflower oil created cancerous aldehydes when heated. Source:  Valdemar Fishmen, Flickr.
Sunflower oil created cancerous aldehydes when heated. Source: Valdemar Fishmen, Flickr.

First, let’s understand vegetable oils. These are oils that are called vegetable, but are in fact obtained from an array of plants, such as seeds, nuts and fruit. Examples are corn, canola, olive, palm, coconut, peanut, sunflower, sesame, soybean, avocado and coconut oil.

For years, the general perception was that vegetable oils such as sunflower or corn oil were healthier when used for cooking, than saturated animal fats such as butter and lard. Now the results of a study [the only one study so far] have prompted UK scientists to recommend the opposite.

As part of the BBC TV series Trust Me I’m a Doctor, lead study author Professor Martin Grootfeld of the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in the UK was asked to put the oils to the cooking test to find out which ones were healthier when heated.

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