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Deep frying developed a bad rep ever since mass-market food chains started cooking large batches of deep-fried foods in old oil.
But this method of cooking food was not always so abhorred. In fact, some of the best traditional recipes in every cuisine around the world stars a deep-fried component. Think deviled eggs, doughnuts, and dal baati churma.
That means deep-fried foods don't have to be bad for your health; not if you know how to deep fry in a healthy way.
So, if you are wondering what is the healthiest oil for deep frying, this article will answer that question for you.
Parameters That Determine Healthiness Of An Oil For Deep Frying
There are two parameters that determine whether an oil is good for deep frying or not.
The first is the oil's smoking point.
Since deep frying is done at very high temperatures (176-190 degree Celsius), the healthiest oils for deep frying have a smoking point that is higher than that. This protects the food from absorbing harmful, carcinogenic smoke when they are being deep fried.
The second parameter is the type of fats in the oil.
If the cooking oil is primarily made up of polyunsaturated fats, deep frying will oxidize it immediately. This is bad for health, as it produces dangerous carcinogens. Therefore, it's better if the oil is mostly made of saturated or monounsaturated fats.
What Is The Healthiest Oil For Deep Frying?
It is coconut oil.
Why? Because studies have shown that the quality of coconut oil does not deteriorate even after it is used for continuously deep frying foods at 180 degrees Celsius. Plus, coconut oil is mostly made of saturated fats (90% to be more exact!).
Just make sure the type of coconut oil you use for deep frying is mildly fragrant, otherwise the flavour of the oil will overpower the natural flavour of the food you are frying.
Healthy Alternatives If You Don't Like Coconut Oil
The following are some other healthy oils for deep frying foods:-
Ghee makes everything ten times more delicious. And fragrant, let's not forget that!
Just make sure you restrict the number of times you deep fry food at home in a month if you are using ghee for this purpose.
In fact, all types of animal fats are good for deep frying because they are mostly made of saturated and monounsaturated fats and are naturally quite stable at high temperatures.
And if you are wondering if butter is good for deep frying, the answer is no. It contains traces of carbs and proteins that make it unstable at too high heat.
2. Olive Oil
One of the healthiest vegetable oils in the world, olive oil is perfect for deep frying.
In fact, it does not deteriorate for up to 24 hours of continuous deep frying, although the flavour does tend to change over time and become less appealing.
3. Avocado Oil
This slightly nutty-flavoured oil is perfect for deep frying, as it has an extremely high smoking point: 270 degrees Celsius, and is mostly made of monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats.
Never Use These Oils For Deep Frying
Industrial-grade vegetable oils, like sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil, are processed at very high temperatures that destroy most of the healthy constituents of these oils and saturate them in dangerous trans fats.
So, if you are going to deep fry something at home, we recommend you to never use these oils for this purpose.
Just remember: deep frying adds a lot of calories to your body, regardless of the type of oil you use. So, it's best if you restrict the number of times you deep fry food at home to twice a month.
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Know someone who loves deep frying food at home? Share this article with them, so they can be more aware of these healthy oils for frying and stop cooking in harmful vegetable oil, if that's what they have been doing until now.