Of course if your primary goal is to lose weight and/or improve your health, eating fried foods will really hinder your progress and your overall fitness levels. However, can you still accomplish your weight loss goals without having to give up your favorite fried foods? Let's see!
If you drop onion rings, shrimp or green beans into hot oil, take them out and drain them, they absorb little or no oil. But most deep-fried foods are first coated in a batter (flour, egg, breadcrumbs) because that's what makes them crispy. This coating absorbs the oil -- less if it's fried "perfectly", but still more than non-fried foods.
The "perfect" deep frying described here isn't easy. Here's what's required:
*Deep, clean peanut oil (1-2 quarts of oil; strain it after each use and throw it out after a few uses)
*Perfect temperature (365 degrees), heated slowly and never allowed to smoke
*Cook only a few pieces at a time, the perfect length of time
*Remove with tongs or a wire basket (not a slotted spoon), and drain on racks (not paper towels)
When it comes to weight loss diets most people don't have the patience, budget or equipment to do this at home.
It's not just added calories that make deep-fried food less healthful; it's the high heat. The crunchy coatings of fried foods are primarily starch; so are potatoes (French fries). When starches and sugars are browned in hot oil, they form Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE's), that are carcinogens.
What about deep-fried foods in restaurants? Fried foods in fast food and most other chain restaurants (french fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets, etc.) are loaded with partially hydrogenated fats, in addition to the AGE's.
If you are serious about trying a weight loss diet and you love fried foods, eat them every once in a while, not every day. Order your deep-fried foods at better restaurants and ask whether they start with fresh potatoes or other foods, not frozen; and fry in liquid oil, not Crisco. (Frozen french fries and other frozen foods for frying virtually always contain partially hydrogenated oils.)
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