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Use Olive Oil for Frying

Oct. 27, 2014
Elena Paravantes

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It is gen­er­ally rec­om­mended that fried food is avoided or con­sumed spar­ingly. However, veg­etable-based dishes fried in olive oil were com­mon in tra­di­tional Mediterranean diets with­out, it appears, the neg­a­tive health effects we asso­ciate with fried foods.

The rea­son for this may be that the foods were fried in olive oil, and not in unhealthy seed oils.

A British study had already shown that occa­sional con­sump­tion of fried foods was not asso­ci­ated with coro­nary heart dis­ease events, as long as the food was fried in fresh (not re-used) olive oil and the indi­vid­u­als were fol­low­ing a Mediterranean diet.

Now, a new study pub­lished in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, ana­lyzed the repeated deep fry­ing and pan fry­ing in 4 dif­fer­ent refined oils: olive, corn, soy­bean, and sun­flower. The researchers eval­u­ated the sta­tus of the oils after being heated ten times, mea­sur­ing sev­eral chem­i­cal parameters.
See Also: Dispelling the Myths of Frying with Olive Oil
The refined olive oil had the high­est resis­tance and low­est dete­ri­o­ra­tion of qual­ity com­pared to all of the oth­ers. The high­est dete­ri­o­ra­tion occurred in the refined sun­flower oil.

The find­ings are even more sig­nif­i­cant in the con­text of com­mer­cial fry­ing, such as in restaurants.

Refined olive oil is the com­mon olive oil grade obtained through an indus­trial process of chem­i­cal refin­ing to remove unde­sir­able qual­i­ties such as exces­sive acid­ity and unpleas­ant fla­vors. This olive oil does not con­tain many of the widely touted health ben­e­fits of extra vir­gin olive oil, which con­tains a host of nutri­ents and antiox­i­dants. Nevertheless refined olive ois is a use­ful and health­ier alter­na­tive for repeated fry­ing com­pared to other cook­ing oils such as corn or soybean.

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