As we come into the holiday season keeping healthy seems to be the last thing on our minds. Though it’s imperative we don’t completely succumb to the silly season’s antics!

Health myths surround us all the time and with a little help from trained professionals they are able to most of the time be debunked!

The health myth I want to put the spotlight on is:

It’s healthiest to cook with vegetable oils


Nutritionists have been saying for years that vegetable oils are not safe to cook with. Recently scientists have now backed this motion and found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, and contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.

Because vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 acids, they are contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain by replacing them, he believes.

“If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3,” said Professor Stein. “I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia.”

In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.

Coconut oil especially contains MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which convert into energy into the body, thus making coconut oil a good fat metaboliser! Benefits of coconut oil also include: Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Studies are also showing that it been linked with helping the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

So it’s settled- instead of using the canola, oil, corn, sunflower and safflower oils this Christmas, use coconut oil, butter or even ghee!