Deep fried foods are staple of traditional cuisines and have been popular in the fast-food industry. But, deep fat frying is deemed to be an unhealthy method of cooking as it uses great amount of oil. We know that oil contains fat that can block the arteries.
Foods that are cooked in a deep fat contain high calories as well as trans and saturated fat making the food unhealthy.
This makes sense of using the type of oil appropriate for deep frying without compromising the taste, quality and nutritional value.
Things to Consider When Choosing Healthy Oil for Deep Frying
It is important to consider the smoke point of the cooking oil. If the oil reach beyond its smoking point, most likely it starts to smoke thus producing substances that are bad for health.
Each type of oil has different level of smoking point and it’s recommended to use oils that have higher smoking point including avocado, almond, olive oil and sunflower oil.
The oil temperature is a big factor to cook delicious and healthy fried food. Otherwise, the food will absorb the oil if it does not have the required temperature.
You can use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature. If you don’t have thermometer, you can add small piece of food. If it rises up immediately, then the oil reaches the proper temperature.
Fry your food with minimal coating. It’s because too much coating increases oil absorption that can make the food greasy. If you will use breading, try cornmeal as it does not absorb too much oil.
What is the Best Oil for Deep Frying
Coconut oil – Using refined coconut oil is recommended for deep frying. It has temperature ranges from 325 to 375 degrees perfect for deep frying (1). Coconut oil also contains high level of saturated fats that have higher smoking point as compared to poly or mono unsaturated fats. The good thing about using coconut oil is that it is also beneficial for losing weight as it contains medium chain triglycerides.
Peanut oil or groundnut oil – These oils contain higher level of monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart. That’s why they are recommended for deep frying as they can withstand high temperature (2).
Avocado oil – Avocado oil is rich in various nutrients and high smoking point reaching more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of oil is perfect for deep frying, but you allot a budget since it is expensive and hard to find in local grocery stores.
Olive oil – Another type of healthy oil that is recognized as healthy choice for deep frying. Olive oil contains antioxidants that’s why many diet plans include olive oil. Olive oil has high level of monounsaturated fatty acids that can withstand higher temperature. However, if you will use olive oil for deep frying, make sure to maintain 375 degrees and never go beyond such temperature. The taste and smell of olive oil are not preserve when heated continuously (3).
It is good to know the type of oils that are recommended for deep frying, but it also makes sense identifying those that are not suitable for deep frying. Although soy, canola, corn and vegetable oil have higher smoking point, but they are not recommended for deep frying due to some other reasons.
They may have low saturated fats, but they have higher content of omega-6 fatty acids that can aggravate inflammation in the body. Using these oils may result to accumulation of harmful compounds and oxidized fatty acids.
Using healthy oil for deep frying doesn’t guarantee that you can do it often. Apparently, deep frying adds calories coming from the oil and coating used. Thus, if you don’t want to gain weight, you should not consume deep fried food too often.
As long as you’re using inappropriate oils for deep frying like vegetable oils, you can’t expect that you’re eating healthy deep fried food. Therefore, if you want to satisfy your craving without guilt, the best thing to do is to use the right type of oil.
Deep fried foods are always present in most dining places. If you’re fond of consuming fried chicken in restaurants, most likely you don’t know what kind of oil they have been using. Thus, to ensure that you’re eating the healthy options of fried foods, you must cook at home.