Ok, this will be a hard one for some, but we
would not have your better interests at heart if we held back on
the truth. We believe that frying and deep frying are major
causes of cancer - and there is plenty of scientific evidence to
As you consider the following, may we again
remind you that you do not have to give up anything - you only
have to switch to using better alternatives. Whatever you have
fried in the past can be baked and, because your taste buds will
not be coated in oil, your food will taste so much better -
especially if you bake at a temperature not exceeding 160C.
Whatever you have sautéed in the past can be sautéed in cold
processed/cold pressed sesame oil provided you do so at a low
temperature - and only if you have a glass Vision frying pan.
You do not want to sauté in any metal pan. Also see the
"Safe" Frying suggestions below.
Whether you take this advice seriously or
not, and we urge you to do so, do read the warnings regarding
cookware and pop-corn vendors.
Frying - Be Warned?
`What happens in frying? Temperatures up to
600-700 degrees F. may be obtained. If fried foods become burned
or scorched, temperatures up to 1000 or 1100 degrees F. may have
been reached. At these temperatures ``cis'' fatty acids are
converted to ``trans'' fatty acids . . . in other words, the
unsaturated fats behave as if they were saturated. Thus, fried
foods are more likely than un-fried foods to increase the
likelihood of hardening of the arteries. When fat is reheated to
frying temperatures the second time, as in a deep fryer [or a
popcorn vendor], the fat is more likely to develop the cancer
producing agent acrolein.' (Dr Agatha Thrash, Nutrition for
Vegetarians, p. 46)
`The dangers to health of frying and
deep-frying result from rapid oxidation and other chemical
changes that take place when oils are subjected to high
temperature in the presence of light and oxygen.
First, antioxidants in the oil (vitamin E and carotene) are used
Then, frying and deep-frying produce free radicals that start
chain reactions in oil molecules.
`Under these conditions, many chemical
changes take place in oils. Frying and deep-frying produce some
trans- fatty acids. These are the least harmful of the altered
molecules produced by these processes.
Other oxidation products are far more toxic than trans- fatty
Scores of unnatural breakdown, dimer, and polymer products with
unknown effects on health are produced by frying and
`Frying with oils once will not kill us, and
so [this practice] seems harmless. Our body copes with toxic
substances. But over 10, 20, or 30 years, our cells accumulate
altered and toxic products for which they have not evolved
efficient detoxifying mechanisms. The altered and toxic
substances interfere with our body's life chemistry, our
`bio-chemistry'. Cells then degenerate, and these degenerative
processes manifest as degenerative diseases. (Udo Erasmus, Fats
that Heal, Fats that Kill, pg. 125,126)
`Frying is not recommended, because safe
frying is a contradiction in terms. Frying temperatures are too
high. When foods turn brown, they have been burned. The
nutrients in the browned material have been destroyed. Proteins
turn into carcinogenic acrolein. Starches and sugars are browned
(caramelized) through molecular destruction. Fats and oils are
turned to smoke by destruction of fatty acids and glycerol.
(Udo Erasmus, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, pg. 126)
`There is a way of frying with oils that
contain EFAs that is less damaging than common frying practices,
but this way of frying requires more care on our part than we
ordinarily take in our frying operations.
`Traditional Chinese cooks first put water in
their wok, not oil (North American Chinese cooks have largely
abandoned this wise practice). Water keeps the temperature down
to 100ºC (212ºF), a non-destructive temperature.
`In European gourmet cooking, vegetables
placed in the frying pan before oil is added protect the oil
from overheating and oxidation. The food tastes less burned,
retains more of its natural flavorss and nutrients and, most
important, supports our health better.
`It requires care to fry foods in this way,
because we cannot be away doing something else at the same time.
It would be best to not fry at all, and to eat our fresh oils on
salads or get them from eating seeds. We are creatures of habit,
but a small change in the way we fry with oils pays large
dividends in health and wellbeing.
`In frying, our usual custom is to pour oil
into an empty frying pan, and to let it heat, shimmy, and smoke
before adding the foods we want to fry. During this time, the
oil is being destroyed. The temperature is too high.
Light-catalyzed free radical oxidation reactions occur extremely
`Oil kept at 215ºC (419ºF) for 15 minutes or
more consistently produces atherosclerosis when fed to
experimental animals. In commercial deep-frying operations, the
same batch of oil is often kept at a high temperature constantly
for days. Many altered substances have been isolated from such
oils. Some are known to be toxic; the effects of many others are
not known; and we can be fairly confident that none of them will
`Oils least damaged by high temperatures and
oxygen include (in order of preference):
high oleic sunflower (not regular
high oleic safflower (not regular
canola oil; and
[the latter 6 oils are all distributed by
Nature's Choice in a cold pressed and cold processed form - but
we still suggest that you switch to baking wherever possible
rather than frying.]
`These oils are EFA-poor, and produce the
lowest amount of toxic molecules when heated. The EFAs required
for health must come from other sources.
`Frying and deep-frying are completely
prohibited if optimum health is what you are after, or if you
are attempting to reverse cancer or any other degenerative
condition using natural means. (Udo Erasmus, Fats that Heal,
Fats that Kill, pg. 125-128)
[Have you ever looked inside the frying pot in a popcorn vending
machine? It is usually black and caked with very old grease. The
oil will have been heated hundreds of times over and must
constitute one of the greatest dangers to health. When next you
have a cold or the flu, think back on whether you ate popcorn
from a vending machine over the past few days. (If you did not
do so, then you probably consumed an unhealthy dose of
sugar over the past few
Frying In Cream:
Some people get the idea that because we sometimes recommend the
use of cream in place of oil in recipes, they can safely fry in
cream. This is not so. While cream from a healthy cow is a
better alternative to any free fat, when we heat cream, the fat
in the cream will be converted into a damaging fat. One symptom
of eating food that has been fried in cream is the inability to
fall asleep at night.