How Does Reheating Oil Tie Back to PCOS?
How Does Reheating/Refrying of Edible Oil (Especially in Fast Food Chains) Tie Back to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Deep fat frying is the most common method of cooking food in India, especially fast food or roadside food. Popular Indian foods like samosa, kachori, pakodas, bhajia, vadas, etc., are generally deep-fried. Due to the high prices of cooking oils, vendors and even individuals cooking at home tend to reuse cooking oils multiple times to fry or cook their food instead of discarding the oil.
How does deep-frying affect oil?
During the process of frying, cooking oil is exposed to extremely high temperatures in the presence of air and moisture from the food. Under such conditions, complex reactions like oxidation, hydrolysis, polymerization, and isomerization occur and eventually result in lipid peroxidation in the oil, which is the production of compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketone, trans fats, cyclic and epoxy compounds. Due to these compounds, reused oil looks darker in colour, has a higher viscosity, is off-flavour and foams. This shows that the repeated heating of oil leads to its degradation both physically and chemically.
Excessive generation of reactive oxygen species along with reduced availability of antioxidants predisposes the cells to a state of oxidative damage. These oxidative radicals also decrease the nutritional quality of foods.
How does reusing deep-fried oil affect our body?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a state of insulin resistance that affects the cardiovascular system. Reheated oil affects the inner lining of the blood vessels (endothelium), thereby affecting the tone of the blood vessels, cellular adhesion (the interaction and attachment of cells to each other), and platelet aggregation (platelets adhering to each other at the location of a blood vessel injury). The endothelium is responsible for oxygen perfusion in the tissues of an organ; thus, when the endothelium is affected, it leads to reduced function of the organ. The products of lipid peroxidation also impact the production of nitric oxide, which is an endothelium-derived relaxing factor. This leads to vascular diseases associated with PCOS, like hypertension and hyperlipidaemia (high lipids in the blood). All the trans fats generated during the process of frying increase insulin resistance, thus increasing the propensity for PCOS.
Oxidative damage to lipid architectures can lead to the disruption of cell membranes, enzymes and protein activities. When receptors are bound to damaged membranes, they become ineffective, thus affecting cell permeability and fluidity, eventually leading to change in membrane function and rupture. Most products of lipid peroxidation are detrimental to cell viability. Lipid peroxidation provokes alteration in gene expression and immunogenic responses, leading to various inflammatory and autoimmune disorders like PCOS.
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