french fries in oil -

The Healthiest Oils for Frying French Fries: 6 Favorites!

Seriously, why are you trying to make one of the unhealthiest foods, healthy? I’ll tell you why. It’s because french fries are AMAZING! The crunch, the subtle flavor of salt, and maybe even a dash of spicy seasoning. You can’t tell me it’s easy to resist these golden delicacies.

In this article, we break out the top 6 healthiest oils for frying French Fries and we also determine which of these are best absolute best.

How Does Deep-Frying Work?

Deep frying is when you dip all your food into the really hot oil. Now, the ideal temperature of frying is approximately between 350–375°F (176–190°C).

Now the way it works is that if you submerge food into oil at this temperature, it’s hot enough to quickly cook and for the lack of a better word “crispify” the outer skin of the french fry. The hardened skin of the french fry blocks out any oil from further penetrating the interior. It basically stops oil from being soaked into the french fry like a sponge.

While the outside cooks, the inside boils from the moisture.

It’s important to keep the temperature just right. Any lower than the recommended and you’ll end up with french fries soaked in oil. You’ll end up with greasy fries. If you cook at a temperature that’s too high, then it’ll likely just burn the outsides and dry out the insides.

Which Cooking Oils Are Considered Healthy?

Different types of cooking oils - Family Guide Central
Different types of cooking oils

In frying food, there’s really no “healthiest” choice. There’s just a choice between bad and worse. However, I totally understand the notion of picking the lesser of 2 evils.

So the following is a list of oils that are a really good choice for the health-conscious.

1. Coconut Oil

When it comes to picking the supreme cooking oil for both health benefits and high-heat stability, coconut oil claims the top spot. Its composition, rich in saturated fats, confers an impressive resistance to heat, with a smoke point ranging between 350 and 400 °F (177 and 204 °C). A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology provided evidence that coconut oil retains its structural integrity even after 8 hours of deep-frying at 365 °F (180 °C), ensuring that the oil’s quality remains uncompromised through extensive cooking processes.

The virtues of coconut oil transcend its cooking resilience; it’s renowned for its metabolic benefits too. According to research comparing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) with long-chain triglycerides, coconut oil has an additional 5% increase in calorie burning. Besides, coconut oil boasts antimicrobial properties attributed to its lauric acid content, capable of eliminating harmful pathogens, as highlighted in a study from the Journal of Bacteriology.

Beyond these impressive qualities, coconut oil’s additional health benefits are manifold. It’s suggested to have a favorable impact on appetite reduction due to ketones produced from MCTs, which are under study for their therapeutic potential in treating seizures and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it’s a boon for external health, known for enhancing skin, hair, and dental health, and contributing to an increase in good cholesterol (HDL) levels. All these factors combined establish coconut oil as the ultimate choice for those seeking an oil that is both advantageous for health and exceptionally suited for cooking at high temperatures.

2. Olive Oil

Ranked prominently among the healthiest fats available to the culinary world, olive oil stands out for its exceptional nutritional profile and cooking versatility. Celebrated not only for its heart-healthy fats but also for its robust resistance to heat, olive oil is a staple in kitchens globally. With a notable smoking point ranging between 390–470 °F (199–243 °C), olive oil maintains its stability and integrity even at frying temperatures, making it a superior choice for a variety of cooking methods.

Research underscores the resilience of olive oil; in tests assessing durability during continuous use, similar to those conducted with coconut oil, olive oil displayed remarkable longevity. It sustained its quality for over 24 hours of usage before showing signs of degradation, which is a testament to its stability under heat.

This durability not only makes it a reliable option for long cooktimes but also reinforces its role as a healthier alternative to less stable fats that can break down and form harmful compounds when heated. Choose olive oil to enhance your dishes with its subtle flavors while investing in your well-being through its proven health benefits.

3. Avocado Oil

When it comes to high-temperature cooking, avocado oil is a superior contender, boasting an impressive smoking point of 520°F (270°C). This extraordinary thermal threshold underscores its stability and resilience, ensuring that it can withstand severe heat without breaking down. Such a feature makes avocado oil ideal for high-heat techniques, allowing it to endure boiling and frying for extended periods without compromising its integrity.

Mirroring the celebrated composition of olive oil, avocado oil is packed with beneficial properties and healthful fats. Its nutrient-dense profile includes monounsaturated fats that are known for their positive effects on heart health, aligning it with olive oil in terms of nutritional value.

With a comparable richness in vitamins and antioxidants, avocado oil is poised as an excellent alternative to olive oil, promising to deliver similar health benefits while adding a mild, buttery flavor to dishes that require a little extra heat tolerance. Whether in a dressing or a sauté pan, incorporating avocado oil into your culinary practices is a smart way to tap into its wholesome goodness while ensuring your meals are cooked perfectly.

4. Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil upholds a significant position in the healthful fats category with its impressive concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids introduce multiple health benefits into your diet, including the provision of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Renowned for their inflammation-reducing capability, these omega-3 fats also contribute to cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and anti-aging.

Emerging research indicates promising potential for flaxseed oil in the realm of cancer prevention and treatment. In one stand-out study, flaxseed oil was shown to inhibit cancer growth in the lungs of mice, sparking new horizons in anti-cancer strategies. Further studies have drawn similar associations between flaxseed oil and the reduction of breast cancer cell growth.

While it’s essential to note that this research is still ongoing, the current findings signify an exciting trajectory for flaxseed oil’s role in preventive health strategies and underscore its place in a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. With its unique potent combination of wellness benefits and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil is indeed an ingredient full of promise, contributing positively to overall health while enhancing the nutritional profile of various dishes.

5. Palm Oil

Palm oil has emerged as a commendable option for deep-frying due to its heat tolerance and unique flavor. Its composition allows it to maintain stability at the high temperatures required for deep frying, making it a go-to for those seeking a reliable frying medium. Its heat resistance is not only practical but also ensures the oil retains its nutritional properties even when subjected to the rigors of deep frying.

Beyond its frying prowess, palm oil carries a spectrum of health benefits ripe for exploitation. It is especially powerful in combatting vitamin A deficiency, a major concern in various parts of the world. Rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, palm oil can contribute significantly to meeting daily vitamin A requirements, which is essential for good eye health and immune function.

The potential health benefits of palm oil extend to more profound implications, such as offering protection against certain types of cancer and neurological diseases. Moreover, its nutrient profile has been associated with positive impacts on conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, making it a multifaceted addition to the diet. While palm oil’s health advantages are notable, it’s also important to source it responsibly due to environmental concerns related to its production. Consumers are encouraged to look for sustainable and ethically produced palm oil to enjoy its benefits while also supporting environmental stewardship.

6. Peanut Oil

While peanut oil has been traditionally used in several culinary contexts due to its high smoking point of 446°F (230°C) and distinct flavor profile, it is significant to approach it with a degree of caution. Its ranking towards the lower end of our preferred cooking oils list stems from the oil’s high content of polyunsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats, while beneficial in moderate amounts in a balanced diet, exhibit an undesirable trait when subjected to extended periods of heat: they oxidize. Oxidation leads to increased viscosity and darkening of the oil—a clear indicator of a chemical reaction that compromises the cooking oil’s quality and nutritional value.

When an oil oxidizes, it can potentially form harmful compounds that are not advised for consumption. It’s a state we’d ideally steer clear of in our culinary choices, as the purpose of high-quality, nutrient-rich cooking oils is not just to enhance the flavor of our dishes but also to contribute positively to our health. Therefore, when high heat is involved, opting for an oil with a lower polyunsaturated fat content could be a wiser, more health-conscious decision.

What’s the Healthiest Oil for Frying French Fries?

Coconut oil remarkably combines health benefits and cooking performance to earn its top spot among other cooking oils. Its high saturated fat content ensures stability and resistance to heat, making it an excellent choice for frying and other high-heat cooking methods. It’s further enriched with medium-chain triglycerides, which not only boost calorie burning but also contribute to reduced appetite and potential therapeutic effects against seizures and Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, its lauric acid content offers antimicrobial benefits, and it’s known to enhance outward health markers such as skin, hair, teeth, and good cholesterol levels.

Coconut oil’s unmatched combination of health benefits and cooking suitability make it a kitchen staple that goes beyond mere food preparation. It forms a compelling addition to a healthy lifestyle, offering nutritional and therapeutic benefits that extend from the dining table to outward biological functions. Furthermore, its resistance to heat-related degradation ensures that these benefits are retained even under high cooking temperatures. Thus, coconut oil not only enhances the flavor of food but also serves as a valuable ally in maintaining good health and well-being.

Why We Consider the Oil’s Smoke Point

Selecting the ideal cooking oil hinges on three crucial factors: its ability to withstand high heat, molecular density, and overall stability. Oils such as coconut, avocado, canola, peanut, sunflower, flaxseed, and corn have been identified as frontrunners due to their robustness in these areas. Their capacity to endure heat without breaking down, combined with their packed molecular composition, makes them some of the healthiest cooking oils available on the market. This resilience ensures that they maintain their nutritional integrity, offering a healthier cooking medium.

However, choosing the right cooking oil extends beyond simply identifying the healthiest option. Factors such as the intended use—in this case, frying French fries—and the oil’s flavor profile play a pivotal role in the selection process. The perfect cooking oil for your French fries will not only be stable and healthy but will also complement the dish’s flavor, enhancing the overall taste experience. This nuanced approach to selecting cooking oil underscores the importance of matching the oil’s characteristics with the cooking application to achieve the best results in both taste and health benefits.

The Bottom Line

Picking the healthiest oil basically boils down to several factors, but I would recommend coconut oil to be the best out of the list above.

However, choosing any oil from the list above is a good start to enjoying healthier fries. With whatever oil you choose to fry your french fries, consider what we’ve learned when it comes to stability, the smoking point, and the studied health benefits.


  • What’s the difference between unrefined and refined oils? When a manufacturer makes an oil,. They have the option of producing that oil in a purer form. This labels the oil as refined. It helps increase the expiration date and makes it more resistant to smoking. Most of the oils you find will be refined.
  • Are Air Fryer French Fries Healthy? Absolutely. Air frying is perhaps the best method regarding how it benefits your health. Air fryers can match the crispiness and flavors of traditional deep-frying methods without the need for much oil at all.
  • What is the most popular oil in fast food? Interestingly enough, a major study was released showing that in most fast-food restaurants, the most popular oil used is corn oil for cooking french fries. Corn oil is considered the least healthy when compared to canola, sunflower, and even soybean oil. This is due to the fact that corn oil contains a high amount of saturated fats and the least amount of alpha-linolenic acid, which helps protect the heart.
  • What type of oil gives french fries the best crispy texture? If you want to make your fries extra crispy, you’ll want to try the double-fry method. This method first cooks the fries in oil for 6–8 minutes at a low temperature of 325°F, then lets them sit to cool for about 15 minutes, then goes once again into the oil at 375°F for another 2-3 minutes.

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