Q: Does frying with olive oil have legitimate health concerns?
No. High temperature frying of ‘healthy fats’ (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) can cause structural changes to form ‘unhealthy fats’ (saturated or trans fats), however, in normal domestic use the oil is usually discarded before significant structural changes occur due to the development of off odours and flavours.
Choose stir-frying which uses much less oil and occurs at lower temperatures than deep-frying or shallow-frying. Other healthier cooking methods include microwaving, baking, steaming and poaching.
Healthy oils including canola, sunflower, soybean, peanut and sesame oils with a high smoke point are suitable for high-temperature frying (>230°C).
Olive oil is suitable for medium-temperature frying (>190°C).
Avoid smoking oils to prevent potential fire dangers.
Use non-stick cookware to cook with less fat, avoid burning or charring meat and for easier cleaning e.g. non-stick wok, non-stick frying pan.