I’m probably like a lot of you; the older I get, the more I try to eat healthier. But that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally indulge in some of my favorite fried foods.
However, I do try to use the healthiest oil I can. So when it comes to frying, especially deep-frying, I stick with canola oil.
Canola oil is considered one of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking, especially frying:
- Canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fat of all commonly used cooking and frying oils, including corn oil and vegetable oil.
- It also has zero cholesterol, zero trans fat, and high levels of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind of fat, which can help reduce cholesterol levels).
- It even contains omega-3 fatty acids. (Those are the beneficial fats, which help heart health, that are typically found in fatty fish like salmon.)
- It’s a good source of Vitamin E.
- The FDA has even reported canola oil can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, if used in place of saturated fats.
- It rarely causes any sort of allergic reaction.
So where has canola oil been all your life?
It’s common on supermarket shelves now, but really only reached most consumers beginning in the early ‘80s.
Developed in Canada during the 1950s and 1960s, canola oil comes from a relative of the rapeseed plant, bred specifically to produce a healthier, milder-tasting cooking oil. It was christened “canola” in 1978, taking the name from the terms “Canadian oil, low acid” as producers began to mass-market the oil.
Canola oil has become popular not just for its health benefits but because it’s a good-tasting, all-around cooking oil. It’s especially good for frying because it can be used at temperatures up to about 450 degrees. (Extra virgin olive oil, another healthier oil, begins to burn at temperatures around 375 degrees, so it is not a good choice for many fried dishes.)
And good news: Kept in a cool, dark place, canola oil stays fresh for up to a year. So stock up this week while it’s on sale at your neighborhood store. Here’s to healthier frying!