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how does cooking affect ALA essential fatty acid

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Commented on January 30, 2014
Created January 29, 2014 at 6:08 AM

I would like to know if the omega 3 ALA and omega 6 LA oils in vegetables, nuts and seeds are destroyed when cooked, and if so to what degree? I understand that refined sources of omega 3 should not be heated such as flax seed oil but I was wondering if there is any damage done with whole foods like vegetables or nuts and seeds when cooked.

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15 · January 30, 2014 at 3:20 PM

@glib What about very low-temp (210-230 F) "sauteeing" of vegetables?

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2 Answers

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e
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1507 · January 30, 2014 at 12:52 AM

In general, fats degrade the most upon cooking (cmp to carbs and proteins). It not just PUFA, also MUFA and SFA. Solution: forego fried foods in particular and even sautéed foods. Eat baked, boiled, long simmered and raw foods. BBQ foods are probably OK. IMHO, the damage to fats in broth in particular is zero.

Cce653018976b0b26924c59aa94e5579
15 · January 30, 2014 at 3:20 PM

@glib What about very low-temp (210-230 F) "sauteeing" of vegetables?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
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41712 · January 29, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Destroyed, no. Damaged, yes. But! All food degrades to some degree when cooked. Fats go rancid, carbohydrates burn/char and are chemically converted to various nasties, proteins also are chemically transformed into nitrosamines and such that cause disease.

Cooking food often does more good than bad, so do not fret too much. Best guideline is to simply not burn your food.

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