Here's The Healthiest Oil For Frying Food

Back in the days before terms like "trans fat" entered America's collective vocabulary, McDonald's used to fry its french fries in beef tallow, a rendered version of beef fat (via Wired). However, the startling levels of saturated fat in the tallow caused McDonald's to move to a healthier oil for frying — vegetable oil. 

But not every fast-food chain uses the same type of oil for frying — Chick-fil-A, for example, uses refined peanut oil to cook its chicken and canola oil to cook its French fries (via Chick-fil-A). Each one of these options provides different benefits, and they all have their drawbacks as well. For example, although peanut oil allows for a light and nutty flavor (and isn't even a problem for people with peanut allergies because peanut proteins are taken out during the manufacturing process), it's more expensive than most oils. 

But in terms of overall healthiness for frying food, the best option is olive oil (via Livestrong).

Why olive oil is the healthiest oil for frying food

Putting aside for a moment the fact that fried food isn't healthy in general, frying food in olive oil is healthier for you than frying food in lard, for example. A number of things should be considered when choosing an oil for frying. The first is the smoke point, which is the temperature at which the oil starts to burn and degrade. Even though olive oil has a comparatively lower smoke point when compared to other oils such as safflower and canola, it's still high enough to fry with.

The second component to keep in mind is the amount of healthy and unhealthy fats in the oil. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, and is low in saturated fats. Another reason to choose olive oil for frying is its high antioxidant content. Olive oil is a major component of the healthy Mediterranean diet and using it for frying is an additional way to make fried food slightly healthier.