Why deep fried food is harmful? – Oils
Firstly we must understand that commercial eateries serve deep fried foods using vegetable oil, namely, canola, corn, cotton seed, palm, soy, sunflower, safflower, rice bran and grapeseed. Yes they may sound healthy but as oils, they can pack a rather unhealthy punch to your diet.
Effects of fried food consumption
These vegetable oils are linked to increasing the risks of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. The reason being they contain too much omega-6 fatty acids which when consumed in abundance causes inflammation in the body. And it is this inflammation that results in the above mentioned chronic diseases to develop.
Over consumption of vegetable oils also leads to obesity as it is said to increase appetite and reduce the rate of fat metabolization in the body.
There are also carcinogenic effects to vegetable oil when cooked under high temperature. For example, chemical changes in oil under high heat causes harmful acrylamide to be form, which is said to have links to the development of cancer.
Other properties of deep-fried food
Other than the type of oil used, foods that are deep fried are typically higher in calories as compared to the same type of dishes being lightly stir-fried or steamed. No, it does not really help if you are thinking of removing, say the skin of a deep fried drumstick and only intending to eat the meat, the truth is, oil has already seeped into the meat fibers, thus making it more calorie dense.
Why deep fried food is harmful? – High heat
Another reason to avoid deep fried foods is that the high heat in cooking such dishes usually causes nutrients to be destroyed. So not only are they high in calories, but also found to be low in nutritional value.
With so many disadvantages when it comes to deep fried food, there really isn’t a single convincing benefit that should compel you to include it on your plate. However, I will offer some healthier alternatives to prepare your food so as to maximize it’s nutritional value and make it as healthy as possible.
- Go for lightly stir-fired food (lean meat / vegetables) using healthier oils such as olive, avocado or peanut oil. Steaming is the healthiest way to prepare your meals.
- If you really crave for deep fried fare, try to limit them to once or twice every week and slowly taper off the frequency as you progress. Try to drain off as much oil as possible when consuming these dishes.
- Try alternative frying methods such as oven frying or air frying
In conclusion, it is always important to take the first steps in reducing fried food fare from you diet and as you work you way towards a healthier diet, slowly reduce and eliminate such food genres. Encourage your family and friends to do so as well, because healthy living is not a solo effort and often takes a group of likeminded individuals to encourage each other along!
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)