There are rumours that you shouldn’t cook with olive oil, but this isn’t true.
Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for all home cooking.
As a mono-unsaturated fat, and a ‘fruit oil’ , it has what we class as naturally stable bonds. This means that oxygen, light and heat can affect it a little, but not a lot. Add to that an exceptionally high antioxidant and polyphenol profile, and evoo can protect itself further from being damaged during cooking.
Not only is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) safe to cook with. It’s highly beneficial for your health. EVOO should be your #1 choice in the kitchen.
Why is this so confusing you may wonder?
Oil is big business.
The rumours about olive started when research was done comparing oils, and the olive oil used in the studies were ‘tainted’. To be classed as virgin olive oil, a product only has to contain 70% olive oil and the rest can be ‘vegetable’ oil. It’s a nasty trick used by industrial oil companies to position their oils as healthier. (Canola is the worst for this here in Canada)
While tainted olive oil produces trans fats (due to the polyunsaturated vegetable oil content) and is vulnerable to oxidative damage when heated, pure high quality extra virgin olive oil dies not behave this way.
Add to this, much of the olive oil on the shelves is made from rancid olives that sit too long before pressing.
Quality is a huge problem.
There is actually a lot of new research on this, however, the problem is that once misinformation spreads it’s so hard to undo.
[It is recorded that it can take up to 17 years for new information to become mainstream.]
Bottom line for you to know is that you CAN cook with evoo, and as a consumer you definitely need to make sure you’re buying an authentic product.
Make you choose at the very least ‘extra virgin’ and ‘cold press’ and of course opt for ‘organic’ if you can.
I recommend about 1/4 cup evoo per person per day in your diet. Use it in addition to your other good fats (see graphic below). Use it in smoothies, for frying, roasting, salads and baking. It’s honestly the healthiest oil and will have a wide range of benefits, especially if you follow my last post guidelines and avoid industrial oils.
Yours in shining health,Sita Huber, BHSc