7 Best & Healthiest Oils to Fry French Fries & Chips

French Fries or Chips can be notoriously unhealthy and high in calories. And one of the main reasons that make them unhealthy is that most fries are usually cooked in large quantities of oils. These oils are usually cheap and very unhealthy.

So that’s why in this article I am gonna share with you the best and healthiest oils that you can use to make healthy french fries. That will be healthy yet taste amazing and have the same crunchy texture.

The 7 healthiest and best oils to fry french fries and chips are:

  1. Avocado Oil (Very healthy yet keeps the same great taste and crunchy texture)
  2. Peanut Oil (Great if you plan on reusing the oil)
  3. Safflower Oil
  4. Rice Bran Oil (Ideal is you are diabetic & need to lower your blood sugar)
  5. Canola Oil (Most Available & Affordable)
  6. Olive Oil – (Adds a fruity flavor)
  7. Beef Tallow (Adds a very subtle meaty flavor)

Healthiest Oils for Frying French Fries & Chips

1. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil’s mild neutral taste, high smoke point, and amazing health benefits are what makes it perfect for frying fries and chips that are tasty yet healthy. Citation.

Avocado oil has a smoke point of 482-520°F (250270°C) which is the highest of all plant-based cooking oils. This high smoke point has made it a very popular choice to; barbecue, fry, broil, roast, or when you are baking at temperatures higher than 400°F. Citation.

You can use Avocado oil for all diets since it is allergy-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan.

One tablespoon of avocado oil contains 124 calories.

Benefits of Avocado Oil

  • Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid or omega-9, so it’s considered a heart-healthy oil with the potential to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
  • It has also been shown to lower blood pressure.
  • Avocado oil also may be able to help reverse the inflammatory processes associated with cardiovascular risk and may even be beneficial for reducing painful joint inflammation.
  • It consists of carotenoid which is good for the eyes and lowers eye-related diseases.
  • It enhances the absorption of important nutrients from the food you eat.
  • Avocado oil decreases the production of harmful free radicals.

Now the main drawback with Avocado oil is that it is quite expensive and can be difficult to find depending on where you live.

How to Use Avocado Oil to Fry French Fries

No special changes are needed when using avocado oil to fry french fries. Just fry your fries as you usually do or stick with the recipe.

You can check below for a great recipe to fry french fries.

Healthy Recipe to Fry French Fries using Avocado Oil

  • First apply a few tablespoons of avocado oil over your uncooked French fries or chips
  • And then baking them in the oven or using air fryer.

This method uses less oil without compromising on texture or flavor of the fries and as a bonus, it would have fewer calories.

Now there are several types of Avocado Oils but Refined Avocado oil is the best type for high-heat cooking.

Nutiva Refined Organic Avocado Oil is one of the best. It has a nice neutral flavor which is perfect for deep-frying almost anything.

You can click here to see the price for a bottle of Nutiva Avocado oil on Amazon.

2. Peanut Oil

There are several varieties of peanut oil on the market today. But Refined Peanut Oil has become the standard deep-frying oil because of its neutral taste, high smoke point, affordability, and availability. 

Refined peanut oil has a smoke point of 450°F (230°C) making it ideal for deep frying French Fries and Chip.

The high smoke point also allows the french fries to pick up less oil without compromising crispiness or flavor. Peanut oil has a pleasing and sometimes light, nutty flavor.

Additionally, peanut oil does not absorb flavors from the foods that are fried in it. This means that multiple food types can be fried in the same batch of oil without cross-contamination of flavors. This allows peanut oil to be reused better than most types of oils.

One serving (1 tablespoon) of peanut oil contains 119 Calories.

Benefits of Peanut Oil

  • Using Peanut oil can help to lower the risk of heart disease. This is because Peanut Oil has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents among cooking oils. And the American Heart Association suggests that reducing saturated fat intake and replacing it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat could lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 30% 
  • It may also help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
  • It is also a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.
  • Peanut oil also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Although there are some evidence-based benefits to consuming peanut oil, there are also some potential risks. Peanut oil is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which may increase the risk of certain diseases.

Can Refined Peanut Oil Cause Allergies

The refinement process for refined peanut oil also removes most of the allergens, making it typically safe for those with peanut allergies.

According to the FDA Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, these refined oils can be excluded from being labeled as a “major food allergen.” Citation.

Planters has a really nice and affordable peanut oil, you can click here to see the price of a bottle on Amazon.

Factors to consider when choosing an Oil for French Fries and Chips

When selecting an oil for your homemade French fries or chips, you should keep in mind several factors:

  1. Smoke Point
  2. Neutral Flavors
  3. Calories & Health benefits
  4. Cost of Oil

1- Smoke Point

Firstly, the oil you choose should have a high smoke point to withstand the high temperatures of deep-frying. Before using any oil, make sure that its smoke point can handle the cooking method you plan to use.

The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it stops shimmering and starts smoking.

Smoking is a sign that your oil is breaking down. When oils break down, they can release chemicals that give food an undesirable burnt or bitter flavor, as well as free radicals that can harm the body.

2- Neutral Flavor

Secondly, choose a neutral-flavored oil that won’t change the natural colors or flavors of the fries or affect the seasonings you may want to add after frying.

3- Health Benefits & Calories

Not all oils are created equally and every variety of oil will have different health benefits to offer. Every oil will also have a different amount of calories. Citation.

4- Cost Of Oil

Thirdly, consider using an economical oil, because frying, especially potatoes, will utilize a fair amount of oil.

3. Safflower Oil

There are two varieties of Safflower Oils that are available. The one most suited for high heat cooking is high-oleic safflower oil, which contains more monounsaturated fats.

High oleic safflower oil has a high smoke point of around 450℉ (232℃) making it ideal for frying foods such as french fries and chips.

Additionally, Safflower has a light yellow almost clear color, mild aroma, and very little flavor profile. It adds a crunchy texture without altering the natural flavor.

Safflower Oil has 120 calories in every tablespoon.

Benefits of Safflower Oil

  • High oleic expeller pressed safflower oil has high monounsaturated fat levels (good fats) in comparison to many of the other oil options. In fact, it often has more monounsaturated fat than olive oil does. 
  • It is also usually expeller pressed meaning it doesn’t use a chemical solvent to extract the oil, though it is refined.
  • Safflower oil usually doesn’t have trans fats.
  • Safflower oil may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The unsaturated fats in safflower oil can thin the blood and make platelets less sticky. This might help prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke
  • It helps to lower cholesterol.

4. Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil is produced from rice bran, the outer layer of a rice kernel.

It’s rising in popularity due to its potential health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control and heart health. It also offers several antioxidants and may provide anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

Rice bran oil is quite versatile, it’s ideal for frying french fries and chips because its subtle nutty, earthy taste won’t overpower a dish. Its high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F) means that it’s suitable for high-temperature cooking. 

Rice Bran Oil has 120 calories in every tablespoon.

Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

  • Rice bran oil may help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance.
  • Rice bran oil may help reduce heart disease by improving cholesterol levels. Citation.
  • Some compounds in rice bran oil, may provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Certain compounds in rice bran oil may safeguard against cancer, but further research is needed.
  • It also boasts 29% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin involved in immune function and blood vessel health

You can click here to see the current price for a bottle of Rice Bran oil on Amazon

5. Canola Oil

Canola oil is one of the most popular oil used for high heat cooking such as frying french fries and chips. This is due to its affordability as well as availability.

Known to have a light texture and a neutral taste, canola oil’s mild flavor does not overwhelm the taste of fries or chips. It also has one of the highest smoke points of all commonly used vegetable oils at 468 °F (242 °C).

Now how healthy and nutritional Canola oil is, is still being researched and debated. But it is a tasty and very affordable oil to fry your french fries.

Canola Oil has 120 calories in every tablespoon.

Benefits of Canola Oil

  • Canola oil contains phytosterols, molecules that reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your body.
  • Canola oil has the lowest amount of saturated fat of any common culinary oil, about half that of olive oil and soybean oil.
  • Higher in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other oil except flaxseed oil. ALA is particularly important to have in your diet because your body can’t make it.

6. Olive Oil (Air Fryer)

There are different types of olive oil but for the air fryer, I would recommend using Refined Olive Oil.

Refined olive oil is usually labeled “pure olive oil” or just “olive oil”. They are obtained from virgin olive oils by using refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. 

Olive Oil is believed to be one of the healthiest cooking oil since it is rich in monounsaturated fats. Olive oil, however, does not have a neutral flavor nor a very high smoke point and is very expensive.

But If you love the fruity flavor of olive oil, you can try making french fries or other chips in the air fryer. Using an air-fryer means you’ll use less oil than deep-frying, so it’s a healthier alternative.

The smoke point of olive oil is somewhere around 374–405°F (190–207°C).

A tablespoon of olive oil had 119 calories.

How to make french fries or chips in the air fryer

  1. Make straight, neat chips, peel the potatoes and trim away all the rounded edges so they become rectangular blocks.
  2. Rinse the chips and pat dry.
  3. Now if you want you can add flavoring such as paprika, garlic granules, salt and black pepper.
  4. Next put the chips into the bottom of an air fryer (the part with the paddle), add a tablespoon of olive oil, and toss the chips in the oil so they are evenly coated.
  5. Set the fryer to cook for 30 mins.
  6. Cook time may vary and will depend on what kind of air fryer you have, either use the chips/fries setting or heat the air-fryer to 200C and cook for 30 mins.

Benefits of Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects and is a healthy choice for cooking.
  • Olive oil contains nutrients that fight inflammation.
  • Several large studies demonstrate that people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of stroke.
  • Moderate intake of Olive oil may aid weight loss.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that olive oil may reduce cancer risk, but further studies are needed.

7. Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is the rendered fat from the cow. It was once very popularly used to cook, fry, and bake with, but due to the high levels of fat, people were discouraged from using it.

Recently however researchers have discovered that beef tallow is actually a “good” fat and more and more evidence is popping up, showing us that animals fats (like tallow) are actually better for us than modern industrial oil alternatives.

The taste of beef tallow is mild with a small essence of the meaty nuances from the meat, but it’s not a prominent taste. If made with herbs or spices, the beef tallow will take on aromas and flavors from those ingredients. It is perfect as a deep frying oil since it has a smoke point of 400°F/205°C.

Did you know that MacDonald’s once used beef tallow mixed with a variety of other oils to fry their famous french fries?. That was until 1990 when vegetarians found out and complained.

Beef Tallow has 115 calories in a tablespoon or serving.

Benefits of Beef Tallow

  • Rich in nutrients – not only does it help you absorb more nutrients from your food, but beef tallow is also rich in vitamins A, D, E, K, and B1.
  • Reduces inflammation – tallow contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • beef tallow is good for increasing “good” cholesterol levels and supporting cognitive/brain health and a strong metabolism.

Can the Oils be Reused after Frying French Fries

The rules applying to the reuse of oils vary from oil to oil. As a general rule, if your recycled oil is looking cloudy or has foam formed on the top or any sort of rancid smell, you should dispose of it.

And don’t use oil that’s more than 1-2 months old.

Avocado Oil– reusing avocado oil is not a good idea because when the oil reaches its smoke point it begins to break down releasing free radicals and trans fatty acids. 

Peanut oil- You can reuse the peanut oil for a future batch of fries or other foods, but don’t wait too long. Peanut oil oxidizes quickly after the first usage.

Beef Tallow- Beef Tallow may be reused once or twice after frying as long as it was previously fried within the smoke point temperature. After frying you should also strain it to remove any debris that may cause bacteria to grow.

Safflower oil–  If well-strained, properly stored, and not overheated on first use, this oil should be safe to reuse. However, if you detect any smoke from an oil, discard it.

Rice bran Oil & Canola- Rice bran oil and Canola oils should not be reused after frying since the first time frying breaks down the oil which can create free-radicals.

Olive oil– can be reused if the oil was used within its smoke point and stored properly.

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