Deep frying food is one of the major methods people use in preparing foods. Some oils are better suited for deep frying food than others. Such oils are preferred and used in others because they possess a low risk of heart diseases. Deep frying is mostly used in preparing fast foods. These foods have high unhealthy factors to them, especially if used regularly. The type of oil used also determines how risky the food is. Today, most people live busy lives and therefore rely on fast foods to keep going. They do not have time to prepare healthy meals that are mostly cooked at home, so it is vital to consider the type of oil used in deep frying foods to be safe. That said, let’s highlight some of the best oils for deep frying.
Qualities of healthy oil.
Healthy oils for deep frying are supposed to be saturated. The stability makes the oil not react with oxygen when heated. When oils undergo oxidation, it produces harmful compounds. These compounds are toxic and form radicals in the body and also interfere with the food taste.
More saturated oils are best in deep frying. They are usually solid at room temperature—high smoking point. Oils with a high smoking point of about 400 degrees are more suitable for cooking high temperatures.
What is Deep Frying?
Deep frying is a method of cooking that involves submerging food fully in hot oil. The oil is often heated at a high temperature of about 170 degrees. Once the food is put into such oil, the food’s outer part instantly prevents oil from getting in. The inner part of the food is cooked by steam. However, the oil should not be too hot as it makes the food very dry, and sometimes the inner part may not have enough time to cook. Ensure your oil is not too low in temperature as it may find its way into the food, making it very greasy. Different foods can be deep-fried such as fish and chips.
Why deep frying food is risky.
Deep-fried foods contain a lot of calories. Some oils usually stick on the surface of food, making it have more calories. Deep frying food with oil at low temperatures makes more oil stick on the food. Consuming foods such as chips and deep-fried chicken has been linked to weight gain. Excess weight gain can lead to diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure.
The oil used for deep frying is usually at very high temperatures. Those working in the kitchen are at risk of getting burnt. They should be extra careful since one can get serious burns that may cause death. Foods cooked at very high temperatures may contain a toxic substance known as acrylamide. This substance forms from a reaction between sugars and amino acids. Acrylamide is linked to causing different types of cancer, such as kidney cancer and ovarian cancer. Therefore, it is risky to feed on such foods regularly.
This oil has a high smoking point making it good for deep frying. It contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It posses a nutty, sweet aroma. Avocado oil contains high antioxidants.
It is also known as peanut oil. It has a high smoking point of about 230 degrees. It has a special taste and smells that makes food delicious. It contains more unsaturated fats compared to avocado oil. Therefore, at very high temperatures, it can be oxidized. Peanut oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, which may cause inflammation if used in high amounts. However, it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E.
This oil contains high saturated fats. It has a high smoking point of about 180 degrees that makes it good for deep frying. This oil leaves a smell on food that irritates some people. However, different brands in the market have managed to eliminate the smell. It is rich in antioxidants. Research has shown that coconut oil can help in decreasing fats that accumulate on the belly.
Olive oil has a high smoking point. It can be used to deep fry food for 24 hours continuously before becoming oxidized. Many people like its flavor. Unfortunately, continuous heating makes this flavor disappear. It contains monounsaturated fats.
This oil is derived from sesame seeds. It has a sweet flavor that does not disappear in high heating. It has monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sesame oil has a high smoking point, making it good for high heat recipes such as deep frying.
Animal fats. These fats include lard and ghee. They have a high smoking point that makes them favorable for deep frying. Animal fats have an original flavor that makes food sweet. Most of them are monounsaturated. These fats are derived directly from meat.
Palm oil, just like olive oil, is high in smoking point. It is derived from palm trees. It contains saturated and monosaturated fats. Its flavor does not interfere with the foods being deep-fried. However, the production of this oil is unfriendly to the environment as it encourages deforestation by cutting down palm trees.
Unsuitable oils for deep frying.
There are some oils and fats that are not suitable for deep frying. These oils have low smoking points. They also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. It makes them be easily oxidized, forming harmful and toxic compounds. Such oils are usually in liquid form at room temperatures. They include:
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Safflower oil.
The bottom line
Deep frying food is a common way of cooking. Foods cooked using this method are sweet and attractive, and it is also a flexible method of preparing food. However, it has always been linked to unhealthy results. Choosing good oils can reduce the risk. The best oils to be used with this method should be the unsaturated ones as they are not easily oxidized. Oils have different nutritional compositions depending on where they are derived. Choose the most nutritious and fit for a specific method of cooking.
We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article:
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