So, why is the smoke point important? For starters, low exposure to acrolein, the byproduct found in smoke from burnt oil, can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. And while that’s acutely unpleasant, the bigger problem is repeated exposure.

“Unfortunately, there is more harm from heating an oil past the smoke point than the irritating smoke it produces,” says Lindsay Wengler, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, registered dietitian at Olive Branch Nutrition in NYC. “Not only can an oil heated beyond its smoke point catch fire, but the oil’s molecular breakdown can create pro-inflammatory free radicals and a carcinogen, acrolein, that can be harmful to your health.”

Ferira further explains the mechanisms of this problematic aldehyde compound: “Acrolein is highly reactive and can tamper with DNA over time by cross-linking it. It also has the potential to interfere with essential detoxifying enzyme systems in the liver, such as cytochrome P450.” and throughout the body by inhibiting the glutathione pathways.”

Regular exposure to acrolein has also been linked to heart disease and several other diseases. But the keywords here are ‘regular exposure’. Burnt oil every now and then is okay, but you don’t want to make a habit of it.

And never reuse heated oil. Heating oil can create several carcinogenic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to various types of cancer.

This post Cooking Oil Smoke Points and Why They Matter, From Experts was original published at “”


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