Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fit FactorY: Deep Frying = Deep Trouble

Is there anything more delicious than a golden crispy deep-fried breaded chicken with a side of mashed potatoes?

Probably nothing, but you might wanna consider just how unhealthy that dish can be.

We've all heard this song sung at least once: Deep frying is no good. But do we exactly know why? Is it the oil per se? Because I could use a good bottle of olive oil if that were the case.

Sadly, it's not just the oil. The thing that's unhealthy about deep frying is deep frying itself. When you deep fry, the temperature of your oil skyrockets to over 600 to 700 degress fahrenheit. At this temperature, a lot of chemical changes occur, one to note being that the fatty acids become trans fatty acids - which contributes to the hardening of arteries. Think of your stomach becoming a factory of lead paint. Furthermore, if you re-fry the dish, you produce cancer-causing agents called acrolein.

A bit every now and then won't hurt, though. To lessen the harmful effects of frying, try placing vegetables or water in your pan first before adding the oil to keep the temperature to a lower degree. Furthermore, there is some truth about using the right oil for the job. Consider butter, peanut oil, sesame oil, canola oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil high in oleic, because they are not so damaged by the high temperature.

I say why fry when you can bake? Not only is it easier to bake things (Place inside an oven and leave it there as opposed to minding a hot sizzling pan that can just spray you with oil at any minute), but the flavors are also better retained. You also keep fit when you stick to less oily substitutes.

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