You've probably heard that deep-frying is the absolute worst way to prepare anything ever, but a study published in Food Chemistry has found that it can actually add nutritional value to some vegetables.
Photo by Stu Spivak.
The secret is in the oil. By cooking several vegetables in a manner of different ways, researchers found that deep-frying and sautéing in extra virgin olive oil enriched potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and pumpkin pieces with phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties and have been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Other cooking methods, such as boiling, or adding olive oil to the cooking water, did not increase the presence of these compounds.
Of course, this is one study and we know antioxidants aren't a miracle cure-all. In addition to these free-radical fighters, fat content was also increased, but it's nice to know that, with the right oil, deep frying actually has some health benefits.