A food health expert said palm oil was majorly used by restaurants, which was not good for health if consumed regularly. (Representational image: iStock Photo )
HYDERABAD: Rise in prices of edible oil is reportedly forcing the poor and middle-class families to opt for cheaper and low-quality oils, which leads to health complications in the long run.
Children and teenagers are among the most affected due to the use of substandard oils, putting them at the risk of developing ailments including thyroid, stomach cancer and weaker intestines, according to health experts.
Several smaller food joints purchase oil used by bigger restaurants in the city at a cheaper price. Major restaurants in the city prepare gravy for curries in bulk up to 15-20 kg and serve them throughout the day, according to food inspector Kasturi Niharika. She said restaurants and food joints that sold fried items used the same oil to fry food for a whole day which crossed the minimum oil temperature.
Every oil has a specific smoke point and when it is heated beyond its smoke point, then the oil becomes carcinogenic which can cause cancer. It is always good to cook food on low to medium heat and for high heat cooking, it is advisable to use oils that have high smoke point, say food health experts.
"Cheap oils are more dangerous than sugar. When a person consumes excess sugar, he can at least burn it out by doing workout. It is not the same when one consumes cheap oils, these oils will not be metabolised properly and increase inflammation in the body leading to cardiac issues. It also affects hormonal health which leads to diabetes, PCOS, thyroid, fatty liver and obesity," said Ali Mohammed, nutritionist and hormonal health coach.
A senior employee who works with a well-known edible oil company in the city said, "Edible oil prices increased up to 30 to 40 per cent. As per my understanding, local restaurants mix different oils for use as they cannot purchase good quality oil," he said.
A food health expert said palm oil was majorly used by restaurants, which was not good for health if consumed regularly. "The food quality in the city has been getting worse day by day. There are many oil manufacturers in the city, and as there is no inspection taking place, they sell cheap quality oil at lower price. This has not only increased sale of adulterated oil in the market, but also led to diseases like increased obesity, intestine issues, stomach cancer and gastric cases. The government must strictly monitor the quality of food sold," said Sujata Stephen, food health expert in the city.