Real Oil vs Spray on Oil


I was given a SCANPAN for Christmas (see picture above), but the booklet that came with it was only recipes nothing about oil or butter and maintenance. One of the many tips was: Using an aerosol spray is not recommended on non-stick cookware as oil from aerosol cans burns at lower temperatures, and thereby increases the risk of damage to your non-stick product.
This prompted me to search whether I ought to stop using 1 Kcal sprays and/or oil aerosol sprays. And the result was astonishing.
When cooking sprays came on the food scene, I was thrilled. Since they claimed to add no additional calories and to make cooking surfaces non-stick, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to “have my cake and eat it, too.”
Sometimes I read the food label. This is what I found in my harmless little 1 kcal sunflower cooking spray, that is using a pump action push button.
53% Sunflower Oil, Water, Emulsifier. Lecithin (rapeseed); Acidity Regulator. Citric acid; thickener: Xanthan Gum. Preservative: Potassium Sorbate. Contains 35% less calories and 45% less fat than standard sunflower oil.

Potassium Sorbate (banned USA): A preservative used to suppress formation of moulds and yeasts in foods, wines and personal care products. In-vitro studies suggest that it is toxic to DNA and has a negative effect on immunity.
Is cooking spray bad for you? Most conventional cooking sprays do not just contain oil; many are loaded with questionable additives. Let’s take a look at the additives most commonly found in these sprays.

Additives, GM

  • Dimethyl silicone is an anti-foaming agent. It is also used as a textile finishing agent, paint additive, and an ingredient in cosmetics. The health implications of ingesting dimethyl silicone have not been extensively researched and therefore are not well understood. Our best advice for this ingredient…eat at your own risk.
  • Soy lecithin is a waste product produced by the refining of soybean oil. In conventional cooking sprays, it serves as an emulsifying agent. In other words, it prevents ingredients from separating. Critics claim that consumption of soy lecithin is harmful to our health and likely contains varying amounts of pesticides and solvents leftover from the growing and refining of soybeans.
  • Glyphosate, an ingredient found in the herbicide extensively used in GM crops, is speculated to be linked to digestive disorders, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases, and cancer, to name a few.
  • To avoid the potentially harmful effects of cooking oils derived from GM crops, look for the non-GMO Project verified seal on your next purchase.

That’s enough negativity. I can only emphasize that you check the labels of your spray oils. don’t believe that it’s healthy just because it only contains one kcal.

I have binned my “1 kcal” spray and switched back to my Oil Bottle Brush (from Amazon).


“What’s the healthiest cooking oil to use?” You’ve probably asked this question at least once in your life. With many varieties of cooking oils dominating the grocery store shelves, it can get overwhelming when selecting the right oil for everyday cooking. The truth is, all cooking oils are not created equal and understanding the basics will put you ahead of the game. From its specific uses to distinct characteristics, nutrient composition and flavour, the oil you choose can be used to either enhance your cooking and dishes in a multitude of ways or do the total opposite.

Oils play an important role, both in our day-to-day cooking and as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but when it comes to heating, not all oils are created equal. For more info check out what BBC Food has to say about cooking oils and oils in general.