We have been aware of using olive oil instead of
refined vegetable oils for its versatile health benefits. But more than olive
oil, the unrefined form called as Extra Virgin Olive oil is much healthier as
it is rich in antioxidants and has lower levels of oleic acid. Therefore, if
you are looking for a nutritious meal, then you should opt for vegetables fried
in extra virgin olive oil
instead of boiled vegetables. This may have sounded unbelievable had it
not been for a research article published by Ramírez-Anaya Jdel P and colleagues in the Journal Food
About the Study
The study looked at the moisture, fat,
anti-oxidant and phenol content of 120 g cubes of pumpkin, tomato, eggplant and
potato. All the vegetables were de-skinned and deseeded. The vegetables were then cooked using one of the following
- Deep frying with extra virgin olive oil
- Sauteeing with extra
virgin olive oil
- Boiling with a little
extra virgin olive oil added to the water.
Results of the Study
The study showed that there was more phenol
preserved in vegetables that were fried or sauteed in extra virgin olive oil.
As phenol is good for disease prevention, preserving it or increasing its
concentration is essential for good health.
‘Frying and sauteing vegetables in extra virgin olive oil conserve and enhance the phenolic composition reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.’
The extra virgin olive oil helped in thermal
increase and preservation of the phenol though it also increased the fat content
of the vegetables.
The concentration of phenols and fats were
reduced in vegetables that were boiled but were moderately preserved in boiled
vegetables that were constituted with a little extra virgin olive oil while
Why frying with extra virgin olive oil is better than boiling?
Oil has the ability to transfer heat during the
process of cooking which boiling cannot. This increases the phenolic compounds
in the food while the extra virgin olive oil also increases the fat content.
If the fat content is higher in vegetables fried in extra virgin olive oil, why is it healthier?
The answer lies in the benefits of the higher
phenol concentrations, which far out weight the increase in fat content in the
Olive oil is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet
, a diet that is favored by weight watchers across the world. Mediterranean diet along with extra
virgin olive oil has also been found to reduce the risk of breast
cognitive decline. This study is further proof that this diet is
healthy in many ways.
Another interesting aspect of this study is that
vegetables that were cooked
by the various methods all showed
an increase in antioxidants.
Benefits of Plant Polyphenols in the Diet
The immense benefits of polyphenols have
prompted extensive research.A study by Kanti Bhooshan Pandey titled "Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health
and disease" and published in the Journal Oxidative
Medicine and Cellular Longevity
states that polyphenols offer protection
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's
- Aging- they have an anti-aging
The exciting benefits of polyphenols present in
plants are fueling research into its bio-availability, its mode of absorption
in the body and the benefits provided.
The current find that frying vegetables in extra
virgin olive oil is far more healthy when compared with boiling vegetables is a
remarkable find, providing better options for simple cooking.