How-To: Change Your Oil
Posted on Nov 4, 2014
If you’ve ever owned a car, you know that oil changes are an important part of your regular vehicle maintenance. Investing in new, quality oil helps your car to run more efficiently and saves you trouble later on down the road. The surprising thing I’ve found in my practice is that most of my patients think more about the motor oil they’re putting into their cars than the cooking oil they’re putting into their bodies! The reality is that the freshness and quality of the oil you consume is an incredibly important (and often overlooked) factor in your overall health. Poor-quality cooking oil can cause a lot of distress and discomfort throughout your system, such as neck pain, sluggishness, bloating, drowsiness and stomach pain. If you want your body to run as efficiently as your car does throughout the holiday season, it’s way past time time to step up the quality of your oil.
Here are some important things to consider when it comes to your cooking oil:
- Oil can go bad! It’s certainly not as immediately noticeable as the cheese that turns blue in your fridge, but I promise you, your body will be able to tell the difference. Rancid oil that has gone bad from exposure to heat or simply from old age will put extra stress on your liver and gallbladder. One of the liver’s jobs is to produce bile in order to help process whatever toxins you have in your system (whether from drinking alcohol, taking medications or just being exposed to environmental toxicity). The gallbladder then secretes this bile throughout your system. Rancid oil puts the liver and gallbladder under unusual stress. One “sneaky” way old oils get into your system is through restaurant food. Many restaurants reuse oil repeatedly, especially in frying machines. Those french fries may taste delicious, but they could be making things rough for your internal organs. The easiest way to tell if this is the case is to pay attention to your body. Do you find yourself getting sleepy during or after your meal? That’s a sign of bad oil. Another common symptom is moderate to extreme pain on the right side of the neck. Believe it or not, this is referred pain coming from — you guessed it! — the gallbladder and liver. I once had such a bad experience with restaurant oil that I couldn’t even turn my head because of the terrible pain in my neck.
- If you’re cooking for yourself, it’s important to consider which oils you’re using for which purposes. High-heat methods of cooking like stir-frying or baking in the oven quickly break down certain oils, which can be harmful for your long-term health. Olive oil is actually meant for low- to no-heat. If you want to turn up the temperature, reach for coconut or grapeseed oil instead. These oils can tolerate higher temperatures without a problem.
- Oils can be processed in several different ways. Unfortunately, one of these ways relies heavily on the use of harsh and toxic chemicals. If your goal is to reduce the toxins in your body and improve your general health, reach for oils that are clearly marked as cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. Anything else has been industrially processed, which involves high heat and toxic chemicals (such as the toxic solvent hexane).
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare food for yourself, your family and your friends, so that you can keep your body functioning at peak performance and truly enjoy the season!
Filed in Diet & Nutrition
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