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Old 05-12-2005, 04:07 PM   #1
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Oil

So after reading everyone's responses to my "new vegetarian post" and a great link (http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T043800.asp#T043802) from jennyema, I'd like to be clear on the oil status. Is it indeed not bad for you? Should I not have reservations about simply frying veggies up in oil as a nice quick meal, as I only use canola and olive oil? As these oils are cholesterol free, should I not worry about using them liberally? I make some mean french fries, but don't do it often because they require me using large amounts of oil and I've always thought that was bad for you. Are they indeed cholesterol friendly? Are they a problem fat wise? What's the verdict, folks?

Oh, and my fries take a super long time to fry. Any suggestions? Should I soak them in water or something first?

Thanks as always!

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Old 05-12-2005, 04:17 PM   #2
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Oil is like anything else. It can be good for you and it can also be bad for you. It depends on a lot of factors. Too much of anything is not good and this is certainly true of oils.

Olive oil one of the better, if not the best oil for you. It has good kinds of fats. Olive oil, in moderation, is actually good for your health.

As far as frying foods, if done right the fried foods will not have a lot of oil in them. If done incorrectly (crowding the pot, oil temp not right, food left in oil too long) then the food will absorb a lot of oil and that is not healthy.

For your french fries my guess is that you are only frying them once. French fries need to be fried twice. The first time is at a lower temp (someone more experienced will chime in here and give you temps I am sure ). This first frying is to cook the potato. The second frying is at a higher temp. This is to crisp up the outside.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:19 PM   #3
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All vegetable oils are, by definition, cholesterol free.

Some, however, actually help lower your cholesterol.

All fat, whether animal or vegetable contains the same amount of calories -- 9 per gram.

Everyone needs some fat in their diet, but you get enough through things like meat, fish and dairy without additional oils.

IMO fried food is ok once in a while, but if you are watching your weight and general health it's probably not a good idea to actually fry your foods as the main means of cooking. Try steaming or stir frying veggies. Or sauteeing them in a very small amount of oil. Many pro chefs boil theirs.

When you do fry, make sure your oil is hot enough, otherwise the food will absorb oil.

Try this method for your french fries: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._22763,00.html

Margerine and other partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (solid at room temperature), contain trans-fatty acids which are bad for you.


Here's another VERY good link:
http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutrition/fat.asp
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:06 PM   #4
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I think GB and jennyema covered everything quite nicely. Did this answer your question to where it made sense?
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:09 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. That does indeed help. I've been told to incorporate vegetable spray as a way to reduce my oil technique, so I think I'll give that a shot.

Quote:
As far as frying foods, if done right the fried foods will not have a lot of oil in them. If done incorrectly (crowding the pot, oil temp not right, food left in oil too long) then the food will absorb a lot of oil and that is not healthy.
Yeah, I'm probably guilty of those. The temperatures are probably where I'm suffering, though I do crowd the pan as well as I have somewhat limited resources (college).

Thanks again!
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:00 PM   #6
 
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Cooks Illustrated had a great recipe for oven fries in the Jan./Feb. 2004 issue. They're not the same as deep-fried, but they're pretty darn good AND only use 5 tablespoons oil.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanArt
Cooks Illustrated had a great recipe for oven fries in the Jan./Feb. 2004 issue. They're not the same as deep-fried, but they're pretty darn good AND only use 5 tablespoons oil.
I made those! and the fries themselves were awesome, but make sure to use foil on your baking sheet. I basically ruined mine by forgetting to protect it with foil.
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Old 05-20-2005, 07:05 PM   #8
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A nice alternative to cooking fries is baking them. You can just thinly cut potatos in a dish with olive oil all over and season and they turn out great. You can do it with sweet potato too which is really healthy. :)
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:36 PM   #9
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VegOut, I love those!!!

As for oils, I prefer grapeseed oil, but use olive as well.
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:41 PM   #10
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Cool :) I have not tried grapeseed before!
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