Choosing safe cooking oil: Here's what to look for in refined oils to safeguard kidney health | Health - Hindustan Times
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Choosing safe cooking oil: Here's what to look for in refined oils to safeguard kidney health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
May 29, 2024 04:33 PM IST

Choosing safe cooking oil is important for kidney health. Watch out for these hazardous contaminants and check these expert tips on how to choose refined oils

3-MCPD and GE are hazardous contaminants that can potentially be found in all types of cooking oils but these contaminants are a concern because they have been linked to adverse health effects in animal studies. These contaminants are classified as potentially carcinogenic compounds by Codex and Europe has set limits on these contaminants, acknowledging their health risks.

Choosing safe cooking oil: Here's what to look for in refined oils to safeguard kidney health (Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty) on Unsplash)
Choosing safe cooking oil: Here's what to look for in refined oils to safeguard kidney health (Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty) on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ravindra Gupta, Head of Department - Internal Medicine at CK Birla Hospital in Delhi NCR, shared, “It is important to recognise the health risks posed by glycidol esters (GE) and 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) contaminants in cooking oils. It's vital to highlight the alarming health risks posed by these contaminants in Refined oils and products made from these refined oils. The European Union (EU) has already set maximum limits considering the safety and health of consumers.”

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He revealed, “Exposure to 3-MCPD and GE is linked to severe health issues, including kidney damage and various cancers. Government authorities in India should also make regulations to control and minimise these contaminants in refined oils. For good health, choosing cooking oils that are compliant with EU safety regulations of 3-MCPD and GE is important. Food manufacturers should take measures to prevent and reduce the contamination as much as possible to protect public health.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Anupam Roy, Associate Director and Head - Dept Of Nephrology and Renal Transplant at Venkateshwar Hospital in New Delhi, said, “The kidneys play a vital role in filtering toxins and waste products from the body, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and regulating blood pressure. Any compromise to their function can have severe repercussions on overall health. GE and 3-MCPD are toxicants induced as a result of food processing, with the kidney as their major target organ.”

She explained, “In animal experiments, both 3-MCPD and GE, led to a dose-dependent increase of serum urea, creatinine and uric acid indicating renal impairment. These compounds have also been associated with an increased risk of cancer. The European Union has taken proactive measures by implementing regulations to limit the presence of GE and 3-MCPD in food products, including cooking oils. These regulations set maximum limits for these contaminants, aimed at safeguarding public health.”

Dr Anupam Roy asserted, “India, too, should consider adopting similar regulatory frameworks to mitigate the risks associated with GE and 3-MCPD contaminants in cooking oils. By enforcing strict standards and monitoring processes, we can reduce the exposure of our population to these harmful compounds, thus protecting kidney health and overall well-being.”

While India has made strides in controlling trans fats, guidelines for 3-MCPD and GE are lacking hence, aligning with European standards will ensure that oils in India meet safety criteria. As consumers, we must make informed choices when selecting cooking oils.

By checking labels to ensure that the oil is both trans-fat-free and compliant with European safety criteria regarding 3-MCPD and GE, we can make healthier decisions. Fortunately, these compliant cooking oils are readily available on store shelves and simply by examining the labels, we can confidently make the right choice for our health and well-being.

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