Should You Use Oil For Cooking?

18th January 2018, Dietitian Marcus Lee, Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital

Many patients are afraid to use oil for cooking.

Back in the 1980s, studies stated that a diet high in fats could be a factor that led to heart disease. As time progressed this information became widely accepted and the public began to avoid fats altogether. However, recent studies showed some clearer data now — fats are not bad for the body. You need fats because they provide energy, build healthy cells and help your body to use vitamins.

When fighting cancer, your body needs more nutrition than normal, especially energy and protein, in order to recover rapidly from the side effects of treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Fats are actually a good source of energy for you.

Below is an example how to use fats smartly to prepare a meal for cancer patients:

Chicken Bee Hoon Stir-Fry

(serves 1-2)


  • Bee Hoon, 250g
  • Sunflower oil, 2 tablespoon
  • Fresh button mushroom, 6 medium size, cleaned and sliced
  • Bok choy (sawi), 100g
  • Capsicum, 1, sliced
  • Chicken breast meat, 250g, sliced into thin strips
  • Bean sprouts, 150g
  • Oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 2 pips, finely chopped
  • Shallots, 2 bulbs, sliced
  • Spring onion, 1 bulb, chopped
  • Water, 1 cup


To increase protein: When the chicken is cooked, break an egg into the pan and stir it.


  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring water to boil. Add Bee Hoon and cook until soft.
  2. Transfer the cooked Bee Hoon to ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to heated pan.
  4. Add garlic and shallots. Fry until fragrant and dish out for garnishing.
  5. In the same pan, add the mushrooms and capsicum. Cooked for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add in bok choy and fry for another few seconds, remove the vegetables and transfer into a bowl.
  7. In the same pan on medium heat, add in the remaining of the oil.
  8. Once the oil is hot, add in chicken and fry until it is cooked.
  9. Add in bean sprouts and stir for 1 minute.
  10. Add in the cooked vegetables and oyster sauce. Pour in 1 cup of water and cook until boiled.
  11. Add in the cooked Bee Hoon and stir for about 1 minute.
  12. Sprinkle fried garlic, shallot and spring onion.
  13. Dish out and serve hot.