In recent decades, there has been a lot of ink burned over fried foods. With stacks of doctors’ reports, advice from nutritionists’, and head shaking from fitness trainers, conventional wisdom agrees that consumers should avoid deep fried foods like Superman avoids Kryptonite. Or should we? New findings detail how a diet containing fried foods may not be as detrimental to our health as we once thought. Although some research studies in the past have related fried foods to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, more recent long-term studies have shown that adults who eat fried foods don't experience any greater risk of developing these conditions. The health benefits of deep fried foods can be effected by the type of oil used during the cooking process, whether that oil is new or reused, how much salt is added to the dish, and how the food itself is fried. Like any food that can become harmful if we eat too much of it, fried food can end up killing us if it is not balanced with healthier options. People who ingest fast food or processed food automatically place themselves in greater danger when it comes to maintaining good health. These myths and facts about fried food can help clear up any confusion regarding some of our favorite dishes.
Fried foods are not the only villain behind poor health. In fact, eating foods that are high in saturated fats and Trans fats, along with other unhealthy foods such as refined sugar and bleached flour, contribute to obesity, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
Boneless chicken breast contains only 2.5 grams more fat than skinless chicken breast. Whether you fry this or not doesn’t amount to many more calories at all. The real fat comes from other parts of the chicken, such as the drumstick and wing. The dark parts are more fattening by far when the skin is left on.
You can deep fry your foods in olive oil without losing any nutrition. The most delicate olive oils still stand up to the heat test if you want to use it for frying. It was previously thought that the healthy, mono-saturated fats were ill-effected by the heat. Recent studies show that olive oil can go up to 450° without losing health benefits.
New statistics show that there is no direct link to the consumption of fried foods causing heart disease. The fact is that long term heart disease is caused by the type of oil used initially. Frying foods in fats like lard and shortening are mainly the cause of heart ailments.
This only appears that way because frying in low heat makes food soggy. However, the same amount of oil is absorbed when frying in high heat. This takes place during the first few seconds after the food has been immersed. As soon as the food is removed from the oil, the heat decreases and the oil fills the spaces that have been made when the steam turns back to water.
Olive oil is not the only healthy oil to fry in. Sunflower oil has 25% less saturated fat than regular vegetable oil (which is soybean oil) and 25% more than canola oil. Although canola oil has less saturated fat, olive oil and sunflower oil are healthier overall. Sunflower oil flows through the digestive system easier and both sunflower and olive oil are higher in health benefits than vegetable oil.
I know, french fries taste too good to be bad! Potatoes, with or without the skin, are highly digestible and contain an abundance of potassium. The fact that you eat fries is not what makes them unhealthy, but what you fry those potatoes in. Some fast food havens and drug store diners don’t practice healthy cooking habits. The same oil can be left in a fryer for far longer than the required time. This oil is also used to fry other food, leaving unhealthy residue inside the oil that is absorbed by other foods.
The truth is that the fat we eat in fried foods stay just on the surface. The heat in oil causes the moisture in the food to be expelled to the outside. This creates a boundary which prevents too much oil from being absorbed by the food. This causes the outside to be crisp and crunchy, which is the best part, but keeps us from ingesting too much fat.