A Simple Guide to The Healthiest Oils for Frying
Frying is one of the most popular cooking techniques – and the most blamed too. So many people avoid frying altogether because they just know it’s unhealthy; if you’re one of them, it’s time to break this myth.
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It’s not about frying, it’s about the oil you use for it!
How frying works
When oil begins to smoke and break down, it means it reached its smoking point. After that point, the oil starts to release free radicals which damage various cells inside your body.
Therefore, the rule is simple: the higher the smoking point, the healthier the oil. Oils with high smoking points have tightly packed fatty acids, which makes them harder to break apart if heated.
The most stable oils are those with saturated and monosaturated fats. These healthy types of fat are more resistant to oxidization (the process that makes acids break apart).
So now that we uncovered the science behind frying, let’s see which are the healthiest oils for frying!
Healthiest oils for deep frying
Who would’ve thought that coconut oil is among the healthiest option for deep frying?
As one of the healthiest oils on the market, coconut oil contains 90% saturated fat with a smoking point of 350 F. This means you can safely use it for deep frying at midtemperature. Specialists recommend using a clip-on thermometer attached to your pan, pot or wok to check the exact temperature.
Captain’s Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer, you can place an unpopped kernel of popcorn to your pan. When it pops, it means the oil reached its smoking point.
Healthiest oil for shallow frying
The only thing I regret about avocado oil is that I didn’t know about it earlier!
We already know that avocado is among the healthiest sources of fat out there, so its oil is equally healthy. Avocado oil contains plenty of monosaturated fat which gives stability when heated; it has a high smoking point and offers vitamin E, which helps reduce free radicals in your body.
A less popular option is canola oil due to its high smoking point, so if you want more variety you can try it out as well.
Healthiest oil for roasting
If your future meals imply roasting, it’s best to use an oil with a high smoking point. In this case, the most recommended options are:
- Coconut oil
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
What about olive oil?
Olive oil is one of the healthiest (and tastiest!) oils on the market. However, it has a relatively low smoking point, which makes it unsuitable for deep frying. You can still use it when roasting at temperatures below 374 F, or leave it for salad dressings.