On the fourth of July while out and about at the local festivities, Dr Mike came face to face with the corn dog vendors. That got him thinking about several things, like what is in corn dogs and what is the best oil for deep fat frying.
Before we wandering into what is in corn dogs let’s talk a minute about polyunsaturated fats (or PUFA as they are abbreviated) and the myth that they are somehow good for you. While places like WebMD still tout Safflower oil as being heart healthy, science and research has proven otherwise.
What are PUFA’s?
PUFA stands for Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid. In chemical terms, that means that the fatty acid has more than one (poly) double bond in the carbon chain. They’re unsaturated because they’re missing out on what saturated fatty acid has — hydrogen atoms. That makes the bonds sort of incomplete, in a sense. So, imagine a chain of links that are sort of missing a joint or two, on each and every link — it wouldn’t be very strong or stable. Because of this instability, polyunsaturated fatty acids are very much prone to oxidation, which is basically getting their chain all kinds of messed up and broken, and causes problems with how your body reacts to the acid.
Um. Enough chemistry.
It’s really pretty simple. Because of their instability, and the negative effects on the body’s systems these oils have in excess, PUFA is bad. Saturated is rad!
Omega-3 and Omega-6
There are two main types of PUFA’s — omega-3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found in fatty fish, shellfish, liver, and in some seeds like flax. They’re good for us in moderate amounts.
Much, much more prevalent however, are PUFA’s in the form of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-6 PUFA occurs naturally in small quantities in natural foods like seeds, nuts, legumes, and also in properly-raised animal products. (Except, we tend to raise animals amid poop-filled lagoons these days where they are fed the same crap that most people eat — a steady diet of PUFA-rich food which they can’t digest and makes them sick.)
If you google “polyunsaturated fat,” you’re soon bombarded with the “facts” from mainstream medical sites advocating the use of PUFA over that dastardly artery-clogging saturated fat we’re all told to shun from our diet. But, those of us who’ve been educated from sources other than those profiting off of the food and medical industries understand that’s a big load of Metamucil’ed crap. They are onto something, though. Not all fats are healthy. So what makes polyunsaturated fat so inferior to saturated? There’s more to it than you might think.
So now that we understand the polyunsaturated fats are bad because they cause all kinds of issues, not the least of which are inflammation (which messes with your thyroid) and clogs up your arteries, but there is also some evidence that a steady diet of, say canola oil, which is used everywhere, can cause liver disease when ingested with alcohol..which begs the question, at least for me, what happens when you eat french fries fried in canola oil and wash it down with a soda – alcohol and soda being the same kind of sugar when it comes to having your body metabolize it. Didn’t you watch the Bitter Truth?
Another Dr Mike, in his excellent and entertaining look at Dining out and Bad Fats article, explains the whole polyunsaturated fat/liver disease experiment…here is an excerpt from that article.
In the 6-Week Cure we wrote about how vegetable oils – at least in lab animals – drive the development of fatty liver. Researchers give rodents large regular doses of alcohol to get them to develop fatty livers. They have found that if they give the rodents vegetable oils, they can accelerate the development of liver disease. If the rodents get saturated fats, however, they almost can’t get fatty livers no matter how much alcohol they take in. Does this apply to humans? Who knows? These kinds of studies would be unethical to do in humans, so we can’t test to find out. But, the evidence is clear enough in rodents that I’m not all that eager to go face down in the vegetable oil.
I suspect that one of the reasons non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide is the ubiquitous substitution of vegetable oils for saturated fats every where. When we were doing research for the book, I scoured the literature to find studies in which people with fatty liver disease were treated with diet and found only two such studies. In both of them the fatty livers of the subjects reversed quickly – in just a matter of a few days – when the subjects went on low-carb diets. I suspect that the increase in saturated fat helped things along markedly. And, I suspect the unwarranted avoidance of saturated fats by our bamboozled fellow citizens is one of the reasons there is so much fatty liver disease.
While one should probably not eat a lot of saturated fats, there does seem to be some indication that there is a balance that needs to be achieved to help ward off the negative affects of sugar consumption. There is an interesting comment that was made on that post from a woman who had traveled overseas and managed to lose weight while eating a diet much higher in saturated fats than we do normally here in the US.
Now you may be wondering, “okay, so what is the best oil for deep fat frying? Or any oil usage for that matter?”
- Grapeseed oil- 71% PUFA
- Safflower oil- 75% PUFA
- Sunflower oil- 65% PUFA
- Corn oil- 59% PUFA
- Soybean oil- 58% PUFA
- Walnut oil- 55-63% PUFA
- Cottonseed oil- 50% PUFA
- Sesame oil – 41-45% PUFA
- Canola oil- 30-37% PUFA
- Peanut oil- 29-32% PUFA
- Almond oil- 17% PUFA
- Duck fat- 13% PUFA
- Lard- 12% PUFA
- Avocado oil- 10% PUFA
- Goose fat- 10% PUFA
- Palm oil- 8% PUFA
- Olive oil- 8% PUFA
- Butter- 4% PUFA
- Cocoa Butter- 3% PUFA
- Coconut oil- 2-3% PUFA
- Palm kernel oil- 2% PUFA
You should shoot for cooking with oils that have 10% or less on the PUFA rating and as you will see Coconut oil is only 2-3%. Purium sells Coconut oil in large quantities, perfect for using for all of your deep fat frying needs.
Just don’t fry corn dogs. They are gross. Here watch this video about how they are made. That should give you pause before you think about eating them.
See those big vats of oil? That is canola oil. Wonder how those hot dogs that they use to make corn dogs with are made?
Doesn’t watching that video make you want to detoxify your body immediately? New Path Nutrition does offer a 10 Day Transformation Cleanse that will help you body recover from the excesses of holiday eating. Get your gift card and order yours today.