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How does cooking or storage affect omega-3 fatty acids?

Polyunsaturated oils, which include omega-3 fatty acids, are very sensitive to heat, light, and air. If exposed to any of these elements for too long a period, they can become rancid. The scientific term for rancid is oxidation. If fatty acids turn rancid, they not only develop a smell and a different taste, but the nutritional value is also diminished. In addition, oxidation of fatty acids creates free radicals. These free radicals are thought to play a key role in degenerative diseases and the risk of developing cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.