Frying oil: different types and uses


The frying it is one of the tastiest cooking methods but not exactly healthy if used in excess, because it is rich in fat and salt. To make frying a healthier meal, it is useful to pay attention to the oil you use. Oil is nothing more than a collection of fats that are in a liquid state at room temperature, and which transform into a gaseous state at high temperatures. There are oils that are more suitable for frying because they are rich in monounsaturated fats which tolerate heat and oxidation better.

The Smoke Point of the oil

One of the fundamental elements to take into consideration when frying foods is the smoke point, i.e. the melting point, chemically the temperature of the oil at which the liquid substance becomes gaseous, and thus begins to evaporate. In summary: heat generates molecules that are “potentially harmful to health, and even carcinogenic. In this regard frying oil does not reach the smoking point, which would make it dangerous, because it is potentially harmful.

The smoke point varies depending on the type of oil and refining, but is strongly correlated to the temperature at which it reaches the stove. They are, for example:

The higher the smoke point, the more ideal the oil is for frying. However, there is an exception: according to the different smoke point temperatures, refined palm oil would be preferred (palm oil is always refined), but this variety of oil presents additional problems that do not make it particularly healthy. .

What happens to the oil when you fry?

L’olio, when heated to high temperatures, it can undergo oxidation which causes the formation of some harmful substances. Too high a temperature or the use of the same oil for multiple frying can make the adverse effects more aggressive. To choose the right oil for frying, the smoke point and the monounsaturated fats contained must be taken into consideration. In this sense, it is useful to carefully check the labels where you will find indications that can best direct you. Generally speaking, for frying, it is better to use olive oil, extra virgin olive oil and peanut oil. To be preferred to oil sunflower, more e SOYBEAN which tend to deteriorate easily if exposed to high temperatures.

Frying oil: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats

Oils are part of the category of unsaturated fats, which would mainly make one think of healthy and harmless foods. A distinction is needed within the aforementioned category. There are in fact two subgroups. They are: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The former have greater resistance to heat and oxidation, factors that make them more suitable when it comes to frying. L'extra virgin olive oil, for example, has a monounsaturated fat percentage of 75%, about double that of other oils (10% polyunsaturated fat). An exception is peanut oil which reaches 50% (30% polyunsaturated). They are therefore stable oils, and suitable for frying.

Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, are not as beneficial when it comes to frying. If consumed raw, they are beneficial, but at high temperatures peroxides and free radicals, harmful substances with carcinogenic potential, are released and put health at risk. They are part of this category: oil sunflower (65%), SOYBEAN (63%) e more (60%), which are therefore not recommended for frying.

Fried: to avoid if…

Excessive consumption Of fried foods is related to a greater risk of development of more or less serious pathologies. Among them, we find:

Rules for frying healthily

Fried food should not be categorically excluded from our diet. However, there are some precautions that do not make it harmful to your health. They are:

  • Frequency: fried foods should be eaten a maximum of twice a month and in small portions.
  • Prefer fresh oil and do not reuse the same oil several times
  • Avoid pre-fried foods, which would then be subjected to double frying
  • Fry between 160 and 180 degrees. In this sense it is useful to have a kitchen thermometer
  • Do not overdo the breading which would end up absorbing a large quantity of oil. In this case, beat the slices of meat, fish or vegetables to remove the excess breading.
  • Immerse all the food in the oil
  • Let the oil absorb by placing the fruit on a sheet of absorbent paper
  • Add a little salt only after frying
  • Accompany with salad and fresh vegetables
  • Avoid sauces rich in fat and sugar.


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