Frying vegetables is healthier than boiling them and may even contribute to preventing cancer, researchers in Spain have discovered.
The information came to light in a study, published in the Food Chemistry journal, by researchers at the University of Granada, according to EurekAlert.
They conducted an experiment in which they cooked 120g of potato, pumpkin, tomato and aubergine using a variety of methods – frying, sautéing, boiling in water, and boiling in a mix of water and oil.
The results showed that frying the vegetables increased their amount of phenolic compounds, which help prevent against the likes of cancer, diabetes and vision loss.
“Oil as a mean of heat transfer increases the amount of phenolic compounds in vegetables, opposite to other cooking methods such as boiling, where heat transfer is done through the water,” according to Professor Cristina Samaniego Sánchez, one of the study’s authors.
This is because of a transfer of phenols from oil to the vegetables, enhancing them with oil-exclusive phenolic compounds that do not naturally occur in vegetables.
“Therefore, we can confirm that frying is the method that produces the greatest associated increases in the phenolic fraction,” the professor added
“When the phenolic content of the raw vegetable is high, the total content of phenols is increased even more if Extra Virgin Olive Oil is used in the process, and boiling doesn’t affect the final concentration.”