Long-lasting “Franken-oil” may be coming soon to a deep fryer near you

When I saw the headline about a lab-created additive for cooking oil that restaurants can use to deep fry foods…it literally made me shutter.

It seems this cooking oil concoction can extend the shelf-life of oils used for deep frying up to 80 times longer than normal.

Really? As if deep-frying foods once wasn’t bad enough for you, now this “Franken-oil” will enable restaurants to keep vats of fat sitting for who knows how long, co-mingling with whatever the flavor of the day is. By the time it reaches your mouth you can only guess what else it has bathed with.

Not to mention, we just have no idea what type of damage these additives can do to our bodies. But we do know the dangers of trans fats. And the sad truth is, many restaurants and fast-food chains still use trans fats in their deep fryers because they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time.

Although these artificial oils may be cheap, they increase your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and having a stroke.

This past summer I told you how the FDA finally determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and should be removed completely from our food supply.

But as with all mandates from the FDA, nothing ever moves fast. Food manufacturers will have three years to remove PHOs from foods. And, even worse, they will be able to petition the FDA to keep them in.

The bottom line? You can never be too cautious about what type of fats and oils your foods are cooked in. So when you’re dining out, don’t be afraid to ask your server what type they use. And be careful of the cooking method too. Be wary of deep-fried foods. Sautéing is better. And broiling is usually the healthiest way to go (but only if they are using a natural form of oil or grass fed butter).

When you’re cooking at home, my No. 1 recommendation is macadamia nut oil. It can withstand higher heat and is more versatile than olive oil. It’s also rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. And if all of that isn’t enough to entice you, it’s also delicious. Give it a try — I promise you won’t regret it.