Opposite to what you have possibly heard in the past, Olive Oil does not lose its health benefits or become unhealthy when heated.
Olive Oil is also used in cooking for thousands upon thousands of years. It is the foundation of Mediterranean Diet. So you might ask, why do some individuals believe that Olive Oil should not be used for cooking?
Olive Oil's health benefits will be lost if heated. This is a common myth. This is false. The main health benefit of olive oil is its fat content. Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fat.
The oil's fat composition will not be affected by cooking with it. The percentage of olive oil that is monounsaturated remains constant after heating at high temperatures.
The American Heart Association states that monounsaturated fats can reduce bad cholesterol in your blood, which can lower your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. They also help to develop and sustain your cells.
Every olive oil, Extra Virgin, refined, heated, or raw, contains a similar amount of monounsaturated fat.
What about Trans Fats on Olive Oil?
When cooking oils are heated, they can form small amounts trans fats. The concentration of trans fats in cooking oils is very low, less than 1% even after prolonged heating.
Smoke Point For Olive Oil
If heated beyond the smoke point, all oils will be unhealthy. Stovetop cooking is usually around 350oF. Usually, the smoke point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 350 - 410degF and the smoke point of Olive Oil or light-tasting Olive Oil is about 390 - 468degF.
It is very unlikely that Olive Oil will reach its smoke point with the usual cooking methods. It is possible to cook food with Olive Oil. Our Olive Oil experts recommend that you exercise caution when cooking to prevent food from being burned.
Carcinogens and Other Toxic Compounds
Toxic compounds can be formed if oil is heated beyond its smoke point. Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and phenols, which prevents it from forming toxic compounds by heating.
A 2004 study was done to determine the aldehydes produced by heating Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil, and Canola Oil to 464°F. The study discovered that both extra virgin and regular Olive Oilwere healthier than canola oil.
When heated, unsaturated fats can oxidize. Olive Oil is scientifically proven to resist oxidation upon heating. Canola and other polyunsaturated oils are significantly more likely to oxidize than the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil.
Olive Oil is a good oil to use for cooking, but it's not recommended because the heat will destroy the phenols. Olive oil's phenols are sensitive to heat.
The phenols can be found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil when it is used to cook. Potatoes fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil contained more phenols and antioxidants than potatoes boiled in water.
How about the taste of olive oil?
Olive Oil's flavor compounds are delicate and will lose their taste if heated. Heating olive oil will not affect its health benefits, but it will cause the oil to lose its flavor.
Olive Oil can be used to make delicious and healthy dishes. Olive Oil can be heated to preserve its health benefits and make it less nutritious.