Deep-frying may not be the healthiest way to prepare food, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well choose the right kind of oil.

Most foods are fried between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you should choose oils with a smoke point above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke point is the temperature at which the oil will start to smoke and eventually catch fire, not to mention breaking down chemically and producing harmful free radicals. This point can range from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and depends on how the oil was pressed, filtered, and refined. Less processed oils have lower smoke points, while refined oils are generally more suited to high-temperature cooking. Even so, some are healthier than the others.

We suggest five oils to use for deep-frying your food:

1. Peanut Oil

It has a neutral taste, and a high smoking point, making it perfect for high-temperature cooking. Unrefined peanut oil, which comes in small, expensive bottles, is not suitable for frying and is much more flavorful. Both kinds are said to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, curb appetite and could possibly help prevent cancer.

2. Vegetable Oil

This is an umbrella term for plant-based oils and will likely contain soybean oil, but may also be made from sunflower or safflower oil (or a combination). It is neutral-tasting, all-purpose, and great for baking and high-heat frying while helping to decrease the risk of developing heart diseases.

3. Rice Bran Oil

While this is more expensive than other neutral oils, it has gained popularity for its health benefits and among cooks concerned about GMOs in other types of oil like corn and palm. It also has substances that reduce cholesterol and decrease calcium absorption, which might help reduce the formation of certain types of kidney stones.

4. Safflower Oil

Almost flavorless, this oil has a high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. It is versatile since it can be used as a substitute for vegetable oil, and because it does not solidify when chilled, thus making it a good oil for salad dressing as well. The linolenic and linoleic acids in it could help prevent the hardening of the arteries, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It contains chemicals that may thin the blood to prevent clots, widen blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the heart.

5. Avocado Oil

With many of the health benefits of olive oil, it has the advantage of a high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. This light, slightly nutty oil is considered to be a novelty but is a favorite with many chefs. Sometimes made from damaged and cosmetically inferior avocados, it is nevertheless low in saturated fatty acids, and high in polyunsaturates.

Read More:
Keep It Light: 6 Healthy Cooking Oils
When & Why Olive Oil Could Be Bad For You

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.