BY SUSSANNA NGODOO JACOB
Fried foods are high in fat, and a regular consumption of fried foods may lead to fat intake far in excess of the body’s demands. Fried foods also tend to be high in Trans fat, so eating a lot of it can have a negative effects on one’s health.
Apparently Trans Fats usually form when unsaturated fats undergo hydrogenation, a process manufacturers use to increase shelf life and stability of junk foods. However, hydrogenations also take place when oils are heated to very high temperatures during cooking. Fried foods may contain Acrylamide. Acrylamids is a toxic substance that can form in foods (carbohydrate rich foods) during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, baking, etc. This toxic substance is formed by a chemical reaction between sugars and an amino acid called asparagine. Starchy foods like fried yams, plantain, baked goods; etc may contain this substance, acrylamide therefore heavy consumption of such foods may pose a risk for several types of cancers. Fried foods are also said to influence conditions such as obesity and many heart related ailments.
Having said, we know some people may continue to consume fried foods no matter what, so it would be nice to share some tips that may lessen the effect of fried foods on ones health hopefully.
- Cautiously consume fried foods and always augment with fresh vegetables. If the dish doesn’t go well with a side vegetable salad, eat the vegetable salad before consuming the dish to help control portions. Or you can make the veggies in form of pesto, veggie juices, etc.
- Choose the right oil for high temperature cooking. the type of oil used for frying may heavily influences the health risks associated with fried foods. Some oils can withstand higher temperatures than others making them safer to use. Apparently oils that consist mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats are the most stable when heated. Examples are: coconut, groundnut, avocado among others.
- Always ensure to drain excess oil from fried foods by placing the fried food on an oil absorbent paper (serviette), press between the folds to remove excess oil before eating.
- It will be best to fry with oil one time and discard to avoid multiple usages because it is not quite healthy, but we all know times are hard so we must get creative in times like this. Should you need to fry with the same oils multiple times choose groundnut because oil it has the capacity to withstand the heating process multiple times. To preserve the oil for future use sieve and keep it refrigerated.
- Generally incorporate loads of fresh foods such as fruits and veggies in your daily diet routine to help you uptake good amount of nutrients in order to keep your body strong from easily succumbing to ailments.