Thursday, February 4, 2016

Olive Oil: A New Friend of Fried Food

            If you’re seeking a better alternative for frying, then it’s time for you to familiarize yourself with olive oil, extra virgin in particular. Olive oil, as the name may suggest, is the oil from a pressed olive. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) differs from regular olive oil in that it is the oil is extracted from cold-pressed olives. There is a distinct color difference between these two, and a slightly less distinct distribution of fatty acids.

            Frying vegetables in extra virgin olive oil was recently found to increase the amount of phenolic compounds in vegetables. The frying reduces water and adds oil into the vegetable. Within the oil are the phenolic compounds, which have an antioxidant effect. Antioxidants are free radicals worst nightmare, and having a greater amount of dietary antioxidants is believed to contribute to a decrease in health risks.

            When vegetables are boiled, water enters the vegetable and nutrients exit. On the other hand, this research displays how frying in EVOO reduces water in the vegetable and adds more antioxidants (phenolic compounds).

            BEWARE: frying foods, regardless of oil type increases the energy density of the food – more calories. However, frying in EVOO is a cooking method that improves the quality of the raw vegetable, enhances the flavor, and adds phenolic compounds that serve as antioxidants.

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