All sorts of health problems arise when fats are heated. Heat breaks fat down chemically into fatty acids, which are not usable by the body and are carcinogenic. Heat interferes with cell respiration leading to cancer and heart disease. The average American diet consists of about 37% fat, most of it heated at high temperatures, so you can see the correlation of fat and cancer, which is the number two cause of death in this country!
Once fats have been cooked they quickly go rancid, meaning spoiled or rotten, then become carcinogenic. The longer they sit out the more they become harmful to us. One example of this is roasted nuts.
Heating unsaturated fats at high temperatures creates trans-fatty acids, which produce toxic free radicals in the body and are very dangerous to our health. When oils are repeatedly reheated, such as in fast food franchises, trans-fatty acids are created causing cancer and aging. Deep-frying, barbecuing to the point of charring the food, roasting, etc., cause fats to produce some of the most poisonous carcinogens out there.
So what healthy changes can you make in cooking? Instead of sautéing or frying your vegetables, try lightly steaming them, then when done add a little bit of good quality oil. It is a very tasty alternative! This way you get to have your cake and eat it too…or should I say veggies? 🙂