Diet

Diet, frying and liver. Here’s what the expert says

The frying it’s a cooking methodspread all over the world and known since ancient times. Suffice it to say that already during the Roman Empire, foods, whether sweet or salty, were fried, usually in olive oil.

But it also represents one of the most discussed modalitiesby modern food science, with a large number of supporters and detractors. In reality – some experts say – frying must be considered one of the means that humanity has used to safeguard the health and survival of the species, and it would seem to be even healthier than boiling. “As long as it is done with the right precautions”, explains the Dr. Chiara Manzi, nutritionist and author of the book ‘Cucina Evolution. Fit without diet ‘(Art joins nutrition editor).

Because frying is good for you

“First of all because fried food, when it is not eliminated from diets, has the function of reactivate the liver”, Explains the nutritionist. “The liver, in fact, is activated and works with the ingestion of any type of fat”. But what exactly does it mean to reactivate the liver? “The liver – continues the expert – is the fundamental organ for digestion of fats. It produces bile using cholesterol, which is necessary for digestion. Once assimilated, fats are used by the liver to produce good and bad cholesterol. The intake of unsaturated fats promotes HDL, the ‘scavenger’ cholesterol of the arteries it cleans from LDL cholesterol which tends to settle on the walls of the arteries. Any fat activates the liver ”.

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Furthermore, frying, if done according to scientific methods, is also useful to preserve vitamins and antioxidants. “Other cooking (primarily boiling and steaming) – says Chiara Manzi – degrade these important bioactive components. Frying, on the other hand, is the only cooking method that preserves the water-soluble vitamins from degradation. Faithful allies of weight loss, the B vitamins they regulate energy metabolism and help us not to gain weight (and even lose weight, burning more calories). Unfortunately, these superfood vitamins tend to get lost in water during cooking due to their easy solubility. By cooking in oil, this dispersion of beneficial elements does not occur ”.

Another enemy of vitamins is oxidation. In fact, oxygen acts negatively, inhibiting the beneficial properties of micronutrients. “By frying – assures the expert – the tasty crust becomes a shield against oxygen, reducing the loss of vitamin C and group B vitamins by 80%. There are two factors that play in our favor: breading and immersion in oil. These prevent direct contact of the product with oxygen. As for vegetables, i carotenoids (present in artichokes, squash, peppers) increase bioavailability with cooking and to be assimilated they need oil fats “.

Tips for healthy frying

Fried food made with the right precautions does not hurt. Therefore, it is not the method itself that is not recommended for the well-being of the organism, but with what and how it is fried. “One of the most important precautions is to pay attention to carcinogenic substances that can form during this cooking method – explains the nutritionist – In fact, the IARC classifies frying at high temperatures as a class 1 carcinogen, the most dangerous class.

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Here are the most feared:

  • Acrilamide. It is formed in foods containing asparagine and glucose (just like cereals and potatoes). “It is a carcinogenic substance, ‘visible’ to the naked eye”, says Dr. Manzi. “The brownish color is a clear sign of the presence of acrylamide. So pay attention to temperature and cooking times. The product should be tasted with a slight browning “.
  • Heterocyclic amines. They are produced by frying meat and fish, and “to avoid the danger, it is good to avoid sudden changes in temperature. In this case, the thermostat is a good tool ”, recommends the expert.
  • Acroleina. Toxic for the liver, it is created by reaching the smoke point which depends on free acidity. “The risk increases with the addition of water. Never reuse the same oil, especially when frying food rich in water “.

How to make a perfect fried fish

Dr. Chiara Manzi’s 5 tips to put into practice for healthy and fat-free frying:

  1. Olio. Obviously you need oil to fry. “In this case the best is sunflower oil high oleic with about 80% oleic acid because it keeps better at high temperatures and does not develop toxic substances “.
  2. Breading. “It is advisable to use a breading based on quinoa because it has a low asparagine content, it does not darken and does not create acrylamide. Using traditional breadcrumbs it is good to add 3% of green tea, the polyphenols partially prevent the formation of acrylamide. In any case, it is good to remember that a slightly “coated” food absorbs less fat. Choose floured foods rather than batters and tempures ”.
  3. Thermostat. It is important to know and maintain the temperature during frying. “This must be stable at 170 ° C. It is advisable to use fryers with thermostat”.
  4. Thermal shock. “It is essential to freeze the cutlets (or what we are going to fry) before dipping them in the already hot oil, in order to go from -18 ° C to 170 ° C. This phenomenon is thermal shock and serves to ensure that water sublime and fat does not enter the product. To make this happen, what you are frying must remain immersed in the oil and not come into contact with the air, until the end of cooking “.
  5. Super absorbent paper. “It serves to remove all the fat. This action requires speed because if we do not dry the product well within 10 seconds the fat will be absorbed. I – concludes the nutritionist – use a paper consisting of two layers, one of non-woven cellulose fabric, very absorbent, and one of straw paper. Do like me: prepare many sheets of absorbent paper to provide immediate absorption “.
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