Depending on how you want to fry your vegetables, you have different options for cooking oil. Although all oils are high in fat, certain oils are healthier because of the type of fat. Cooking oils have different smoking points, or the temperature where the oil will give off smoke. To fry vegetables, you need to choose a cooking oil that has a high smoking point because of the high temperature of frying.
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Types of Fat
Some types of fats are healthier for you. You should choose cooking oil that is lower in saturated fats and higher in monosaturated fats. Saturated fats are primarily animal fats that are solid at room temperature. This type of fat raises blood cholesterol more than any other foods you can eat. Monosaturated fat is a type of unsaturated fat that often comes from nuts or seeds, according to the website What's Cooking America. Other types of unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fats and trans fatty acids.
Olive oil is the healthiest option for cooking or frying. The fat content of olive oil is 74 percent monosaturated fat, 14 percent of saturated fat and 12 percent of polysaturated fat. Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are commonly found in fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids might help to lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and arthritis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. To fry vegetables, choose extra light olive oil because it has a higher smoke point at 468 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many stir-fry recipes use almond oil, with its subtle almond flavor and odor. Almond oil contains the second highest percentage of monosaturated fats, behind olive oil. According to the website Fat Free Kitchen, almond oil is 73 percent monosaturated fat and 19 percent of polyunsaturated fat. Monosaturated fats have a number of potential health benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some of these benefits include lowering total cholesterol, normalizing blood clotting and controlling blood sugar. The smoke point of almond oil is 420 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable to stir-fry or lightly fry vegetables.
Peanut oil is not as healthy as other oils, with only 49 percent of monosaturated fat, 33 percent of polyunsaturated fat and 18 percent of saturated fat. But peanut oil has a high smoke point at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it ideal for deep-frying. You can also use peanut oil to stir-fry or pan fry vegetables. Peanut oil has a light nutty flavor and does not contain any trans fatty acids. The Peanut Institute states that highly refined peanut oil does not contain allergen-containing proteins and is safe for people with even severe peanut allergies.