JAN 23, 2016 3:13 PM PST

Frying Vegetables in Olive Oil is Healthier Than Boiling Them

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

Fried foods are widely regarded to be terrible for your health. However, researchers recently found that frying raw vegetables in extra virgin olive oil was the cooking method that increased the amount of phenolic compounds present in raw vegetables the most. Phenolic compounds ward off chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer, age-related vision loss, and diabetes. The cooking method also increased the number of antioxidants. 

The University of Grenada researchers used vegetables found in the Mediterranean diet, such as potato, pumpkin, tomato, and eggplant. The Mediterranean diet is high in both vegetables and extra virgin olive oil. People from the region have longer life expectancies compared to those in North America and Northern Europe. They additionally have lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

The researchers tested the vegetables in seedless and skinless cubes. The food was fried and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, boiled in water, and boiled in a mix of water and extra virgin olive oil. The cooked vegetables were also compared against raw vegetables. The researchers measured moisture, fat, dry matter, phenols and antioxidants.

The data showed that heat transfer done through extra virgin olive oil increased the number of phenolic compounds in the vegetables. Heat transfer done through water did not show the same results. This is due to the fact that extra virgin olive oil has its own phenols and they were transferred through heat into the vegetables. Unlike other cooking methods, frying the vegetables in extra virgin olive oil also increased fat content and reduced moisture.
 

"Therefore, we can confirm that frying is the method that produces the greatest associated increases in the phenolic fraction, which means an improvement in the cooking process although it increases the energy density by means of the absorbed oil", said co-author Christina Samaniego. "When the phenolic content of the raw vegetable is high, the total content of phenols is increased even more if extra virgin olive oil is used in the process, and boiling doesn't affect the final concentration."

“Therefore, we must stress that frying and sautéing conserve and enhance the phenolic composition,” Samaniego said. “Hydrothermal cooking methods can be recommended when the food is consumed together with the cooking water, as the addition of extra virgin olive oil improves the phenolic profile and compensates for the deficiencies of the raw food.” 

The research was published in the Food Chemistry magazine. 

Sources: University of Grenada press release via EurekAlert!, Medical Daily, Medical News Today
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
AUG 24, 2021
Technology
CRISPR Helps Identify New Therapeutic Target for Leukemia
AUG 24, 2021
CRISPR Helps Identify New Therapeutic Target for Leukemia
Researchers may have found a new druggable target in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), thanks to a CRISPR scre ...
AUG 26, 2021
Health & Medicine
Hoover Dam is going dry: Water shortage declared for the first time ever in the USA
AUG 26, 2021
Hoover Dam is going dry: Water shortage declared for the first time ever in the USA
We have all heard of the famous “bathtub ring” around Lake Mead (AZ, MN) and many have seen photos and video ...
AUG 27, 2021
Health & Medicine
Blood Group and COVID-19 Susceptibility- An Ongoing Debate
AUG 27, 2021
Blood Group and COVID-19 Susceptibility- An Ongoing Debate
Since their discovery, there has been an interest in how ABO blood groups and infectious diseases may be related. In add ...
SEP 01, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Will Childhood Cancer Survivors Go On to Have Broken Hearts?
SEP 01, 2021
Will Childhood Cancer Survivors Go On to Have Broken Hearts?
Patients are seven times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than the general population after receiving treatm ...
SEP 06, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotics Increase Colon Cancer Risk by 17%
SEP 06, 2021
Antibiotics Increase Colon Cancer Risk by 17%
People who take antibiotics are at an increased risk of developing colon cancer within five to ten years. The research w ...
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
It should come as no surprise that exercise is good for our health. Regular exercise reduces the risks of serious chroni ...
Loading Comments...