5 Common Ways You Are Using Olive Oil The Wrong Way
1. You Only Use Olive Oil For Special Occasions
Olive oil is best used when fresh for two reasons: it tastes good and it retains its nutrients when it is completely fresh. In addition, let’s not forget that olives are fruit and as with every fruit, most of the time you prefer their juice fresh.
After 3-6 months from the harvest date, olive oil is no longer fresh. So next time you discover a nice olive oil, make sure you use it.
2. Never Cook With Olive Oil
So you use corn oil or canola oil or some other tasteless vegetable or seed oil to cook with. It is often said that it is bad to fry with olive oil. I’m surprised this piece of misinformation still is in the media. So here is the truth: olive oil does not have an extremely low smoke point.
As a matter of fact extra virgin olive oil has a higher smoke point than most refined olive oils, it also contains the polyphenols that reduce the rate of oxidation.
With most quality olive oils, smoke point ranges at about 365 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. So unless you are doing industrial deep frying you will not reach the smoke point on your home stovetop.
As with most foods, heating will cause some loss of the antioxidants A most recent Spanish study, based on information gathered from over 40000 Spaniards, showed that there was no association between eating fried food and coronary heart disease, but one of the details was that the food was fried in olive oil and was not reused, in other words they did not fry with the same oil over and over again.
3. You Don’t Eat Too Much Of It
The average consumption of olive oil in the U.S. is 1 teaspoon a day. However, if you are trying to find a way to get the benefits of olive oil, that one teaspoon unfortunately won’t cut it. Study after study which displays health benefits of olive oil point to the amount of 2-3 tablespoons a day whether that be:
- Heart disease
- Blood pressure
- Cancer or cognitive function
If you are following a Mediterranean diet that is vegetable centered and with little processed food, you will be within your calories even if you consume this amount of olive oil daily.
Furthermore, Olive Oil should be your main source of fat in your diet, if you are trying to follow a Mediterranean diet that means that the olive oil used in your salad and cooking will be the majority of fat you are getting in your diet.
4. You Purchase “Olive Oil”… But Is It Really Olive Oil?
Labeling can be tricky. When you see on the label “Olive Oil”, in the U.S. that means that it is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils. Generally speaking, refined olive oil is a low quality olive oil that is refined physically and chemically to remove undesirable qualities such a free fatty acids and unpleasant flavor and odor.
This olive oil does not have the beneficial qualities of extra virgin olive oil (polyphenols) or the taste. We suggest you try and purchase high quality extra virgin olive oil.
5. You Prefer Mild Tasting Olive Oil
Studies have shown that a variety of people don’t know what fresh olive oil tastes like and that in fact they are used to and prefer the taste of rancid olive oil. Olive oil should not taste “buttery”, a variety of people think that a buttery taste and an oily feel is what olive oil is about.
That’s unfortunately wrong. Olive Oil should have some bitterness to it and fresh olive should taste “green”, fresh, a bit peppery, it should not be tasteless or have an “old nuts” taste.
- Alexis Barros