Olive oil for frying
Despite the fact that sunflower oil is the most typical cooking oil, the rules of a healthy diet recommend limiting its use as much as possible. The reason is that the composition of sunflower oil contains a significant amount of Omega-6 fats - unlike Omega-3 fats, regular consumption of Omega-6 negatively affects health.
Unrefined olive and coconut oils, as well as cheaper canola oil, can be alternatives to sunflower oil. As for frying in olive oil, it is important to note that although it loses some of its beneficial properties when heated, its composition does not change - as a result, the body receives omega-9 fatty acids that are classified as safe for health.
What is harmful sunflower oil?
Any kind of sunflower oil (including unrefined oil) is approximately 60-80% composed of omega-6 fats. Although these fats do not directly harm the body, their use in large quantities disrupts metabolism, significantly increasing the body's need for omega-3 fats . In contrast, omega-9 fats from olive oil do not increase this need.
Studies suggest that the best ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats is a 1 to 1 ratio - in order to balance the harm of sunflower oil, 10 g of omega-3 fats should be necessary for every tablespoon of this oil, which is equivalent to a large portion of salmon . In reality, most people do not think about it, consuming Omega-3 and 6 in proportions of 1 to 10 or even 1 to 20.
Imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3
The imbalance of Omega-3 and 6 results in the emergence of all kinds of microinflammation in the body and disruption of cell regeneration processes (1) . The situation is aggravated if omega-3 deficiency is initially observed in the diet - which is quite typical. In fact, to maintain health, sunflower oil should be used in extremely small quantities.
Unfortunately, refined sunflower and similar corn oil are widely used not only in convenience foods and fast food (it is on them that hamburgers and french fries are fried), but also in most ordinary restaurants. The reason is the cheapness, long shelf life, neutral taste and the ability to tolerate high temperatures (about 200-250˚C) without burning.
Is it possible to fry in olive oil?
A safe alternative to sunflower oil is olive oil and canola oil. These oils are composed predominantly of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, which are neutral for health and do not affect the balance of omega-6 and omega-3. However, the main question often becomes whether it is safe to fry in olive oil and does it lose its properties when heated.
The good news is that although when heating olive oil to high temperatures (and frying involves heating above 200˚C), the antioxidants contained in it partially lose their properties, all the same, harmful elements do not appear in the composition. In other words, olive oil is safe both for frying food and for regular consumption in reasonable quantities.
Refined Olive Oil
It is important to know that for everyday frying you do not need expensive cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil - it is more suitable for adding to salads. For cooking ordinary food, you can very well use refined olive oil or canola oil - they are much cheaper and are sold in any large supermarket.
However, remember that manufacturers often try to mislead consumers by producing sunflower oil with the addition of olive oil. Unfortunately, most often the content of olive oil in such mixtures is no more than 5-10% - in other words, you have ordinary sunflower oil. Before buying, always carefully study the composition of the oil on the package.
Coconut oil for frying
Besides olive oil, coconut oil is another good cooking option. It perfectly tolerates high frying temperatures, having a pleasant taste and a unique profile of fatty acids in its composition. In fact, coconut oil is a plant-based version of saturated animal fats, but does not contain cholesterol.
FitSeven wrote in detail that due to the special composition of coconut oil , the human body is extremely reluctant to transform its calories into subcutaneous fat - which makes it ideal for dieting. Coconut oil fatty acids are mainly used by the body as a source of everyday energy and material for the synthesis of hormones (primarily testosterone).
Can I fry in butter?
Unfortunately, ordinary butter is completely unsuitable for frying, as it starts to burn out at temperatures above 150˚C. An alternative may be ghee (or ghee) ghee , widely used for cooking in India and South Asia. Unlike butter, ghee ghee tolerates high temperatures and is stored much longer.
Food made with ghee oil acquires a pleasant caramel taste and amber color, and the oil itself contains a large amount of vitamin A and vitamin E. You can buy both ready-made ghee oil and make it at home from ordinary unsalted butter. Separately, we note that there are practically no harmful Omega-6s in ghee butter - since they are not in milk.
The worst choices for cooking are sunflower, soy and corn oils, which contain a large amount of omega-6 fatty acids harmful to the metabolism. The best frying oils are olive, coconut and canola oil (including refined versions of these oils), as well as ghee ghee.
- The Shocking Truth About Sunflower Oil, source
- Why it's best not to cook with extra virgin olive oil, source
- Debunking the common myths about palm oil, source