Before understanding the disadvantages of refined oil, we must understand the term ‘Refining’.
What is Refined Oil?
The term ‘Refining’ means removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. Purifying the substance.
Although, the process of oil refining only seems to be the same.
Oil Refining, while being processed on the seeds, adversely affects the characteristics of oil – taste, flavor, odor, appearance, etc
To prevent the adverse effects, oil refinery processes that are harmful such as bleaching, steam distillation, hydrogenation, acid treatment, solvent extraction, etc are used.
The term ‘Refining’ does mean purification but what it does is far from the process of purifying.
It includes the usage of chemicals that could be considered dangerous for one’s health. The process even damages the essential nutrients of the seeds.
How is Refined Oil Made?
The oil seeds are crushed to extract oil. For this part, seeds are pressed by the pressure of heat using processes like hydrogenation or steam distillation, or the worst one – solvent extraction.
The process contributes to the added temperature increasing the quantity of oil produced but degrading the oil quality.
Solvent extraction is a process that includes the treatment of oil extraction with a low boiler solvent. The solvent is further removed by the evaporation process but it causes evaporation of major nutritional elements of the seed as well.
Contrary to major belief, a part of the solvent doesn’t evaporate and dissolves with the oil. The most common solvent used is the chemical Hexane, a substance of petroleum leading to health issues like dizziness, nausea, headache and causes damage to the nervous system.
Further, processes like Degumming and Neutralization are done that include the mixing of alkali and acid elements.
By the end of the refining, the odor of the oil becomes so rancid that processes like bleaching and deodorization are used on it to improve the appearance and fragrance of the oil.
In an attempt to make the oil look like its edible, it is again heated at high temperatures worsening the effect of hexane and leading to the formation of harmful fatty acids in the oil.
Side Effects of Refined Oil
After going through the process of making refined oil, it could be concluded that refined oil contains various chemicals that are harmful to human health.
These chemicals are certain to cause several diseases, infections, and side effects to the human body.
- A chemical called Nickel is used for the processing of refined oil that is known to cause negative effects on the respiratory system, liver, and the skin of the human body. It is also known to increase the chances of cancer.
- Sodium hydroxide is added during refining that may dangerously affect the digestive system of the human body.
- The processes used in refining like degumming, neutralization, deodorization, etc not only reduce the natural content, taste, and essential elements but could also cause respiratory problems.
- Fatty acids are formed due to the refining process causing blockages in the arteries that could lead to heart attacks.
- Preservatives that are added at the time of refining are not at all good for the human body and could cause problems like ulcers, gastroenteritis, and tumors.
- Other major diseases that might be caused by the consumption of refined oil are diabetes, renal problems, different allergies, premature aging, emphysema, infertility, hypoglycemia, and arthritis.
Which Oil to use if not Refined Oil?
Cold pressed oils! A much healthier option than refined oil.
Cold pressed oils are also known as Kachchi Ghani oil.
The process used to make cold-pressed oils does not require the torturing of seeds at high temperatures. Instead, it uses traditional ways or kinds of machinery that limit the temperature not affecting the quality of seeds.
Harsh chemicals aren’t used in the process of retaining the flavor and nutritional value of seeds.
Refined oils are deteriorating our health in ways one can’t imagine. They are taking a toll on our health in a manner one should not ignore.
It is, therefore, the time to make the correct choices for yourselves and your family. Make health your priority and flourish it with cold-pressed oils.