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Let’s admit it right now, fried food is anything but glam. However, we all, at least almost all, agree on one point - it’s downright delicious! We're constantly told fried foods are supposed to be unhealthy, high in calories and totally wicked, but new research suggests, that done correctly and with the right oil, it's actually the opposite.
Fried Food Findings
Recent research carried out by the nutritional department of Granada’s Faculty of Pharmacy under the direction of Cristina Samaniego Sanchez is radically changing the negative reputation of fried foods, and the secret apparently lies in the magic of extra-virgin olive oil.
The results of this Spanish study are quite surprising, showing that in the case of many foods, including vegetables like potato, aubergine, tomato and pumpkin, certain nutritional properties are kept intact when they are fried much better than if they're boiled in water.
The findings, published in the Food Chemistry journal, show that frying the vegetables listed above in olive oil helps to increase the amount of phenolic compounds found inside the finished food, whereas boiling them in water, usually thought to be the healthiest preparation method, actually decreases them. This is down to the fact that phenolic compounds, which are proven to prevent diabetes and vision loss, are actually lost in the water when food is boiled. The researchers say that olive oil - which contains its own exclusive compounds - actually imparts these compunds into certain foods.
The whole idea goes against the usual philosohy that boiling vegetables is a healthier way of cooking than frying, as Sanchez says, "frying is the method that produces the greatest associated increases in the phenolic fraction."
The Stars Love The Sizzle
It was the chef Ernst Knam who said that, "frying, when done properly, is sheer fun and transforms raw ingredients and their coating into delicately crisp and deliciously golden morsels” and these findings now add weight to the idea that frying certain foods can actually be healthier. So, the next time you take a fancy for Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked chips, feel free to indulge without remorse.