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Science, Delicious Science Suggests Deep Frying May Add Good Things to Food on Top of All the Bad

I apologize for the french fry craving you now have.

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Science, a notorious killjoy, still knows how to give us little surprises that bring joy into our worlds. Today, it’s the news that deep frying vegetables (if you must cook vegetables before eating them, you maniac) may actually contribute something positive to their nutritional value—you know, on top of all the terrible things it adds, but who cares about those?

I certainly don’t while I’m shoveling fries into my face, which, as it turns out, is also shoveling anti-oxidants into my face, according to a new study published in Food Chemistry. Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain (Jessica del Pilar Ramírez-Anayaa, Cristina Samaniego-Sánchezb, Ma. Claudia Castañeda-Saucedoc, Marina Villalón-Mirb, and Herminia López-García de la Serranab) experimented with several cooking methods involving extra virgin olive oil—including deep frying, sautéing, boiling in water, and boiling in a mixture of oil and water—and found that with frying and sautéing, the EVOO added phenolic compounds to the food that other methods didn’t. Rachel Ray would be so proud.

These compounds are already present in plants like the ones used in the research (potato, tomato, eggplant, and pumpkin) and have anti-oxidant properties that can be beneficial to health, but the oil brings some of its own to the party. Of course, you have to decide for yourself if that’s worth the trade-off of everything else oil brings to the party, and you definitely shouldn’t just start using oil as a substitute for cooking fluids that you’re planning on eating along with the food.

In addition, it’s just a single study, which you should always take with at least a grain of salt (much like your delicious fried potatoes). We’re just glad to see science going down this road of inquiry, and while they’re still collecting all the data, I’m OK with categorizing my vegetable tempura as “health food.”

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(via Skillet, image via Daniel Go)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.