New research out yesterday found that potatoes and other vegetables kept more of their health-boosting compounds when fried in extra virgin olive oil than when boiled in water
Chip fans can rejoice – frying food is better than boiling it.
New research found that potatoes and other vegetables kept more of their health-boosting compounds when fried in extra virgin olive oil than when boiled in water.
A Spanish study has proved that vegetables fried in extra virgin olive oil increased their anti-oxidant capacity and chemicals which prevent long-term diseases such as cancer, diabetes and loss of eyesight.
The researchers set out to discover the effects of various cooking methods on the healthiness of vegetables commonly eaten in the Mediterranean diet, such as potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and aubergine.
In a controlled experiment researchers cooked four ounces of each vegetable by frying in olive oil, boiling in water or boiling in a mix of the two following traditional Spanish recipes.
The results showed that using extra virgin olive oil for frying vegetables increased their fat content and reduced moisture, something not seen in other cooking methods.
Co-author professor Cristina Samaniego, from the University of Granada, said: “Comparing the content of anti-oxidant phenols with that of raw vegetables we found increases and reductions alike, depending on the chosen method.
“Oil as a means of cooking increases the amount of phenolic compounds in vegetables, opposite to other cooking methods such as boiling, where heat transfer is done through the water.”
This is due to a transfer of phenols from olive oil to the vegetables, enhancing phenolic compounds which are not naturally present in raw vegetables.
Prof Samaniego said: “Therefore, we can confirm that frying is the method that produces the greatest increases in the phenolic fraction.”
In some cases, boiling the vegetables in water reduced their health-boosting properties.
The findings are revealed in the Food Chemistry magazine.