Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Cook With Olive Oil

All types of olive oil (including extra virgin) contain a large amount of monounsaturated fat. In fact, 70-80% of the total fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated. This monounsaturated fat comes from the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) called oleic acid.

In general, monounsaturated fat increases the stability of a vegetable oil in comparison to polyunsaturated fat. Even though the high-MUFA composition of extra virgin olive oil increases its chemical stability, it does not protect this wonderful oil from most stovetop or oven cooking temperatures.

It is worth noting in this discussion of MUFAs that the oleic acid found in olive oil has been the subject of expanding research interest when it comes to insulin resistance, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have made it clear that oleic acid can directly alter the activity of certain cancer genes and appears to have anti-cancer effects that may be part of the Mediterranean diet's health benefits.

This primary MUFA in extra virgin olive oil may also help to lower a person's risk of insulin resistance as well as favorably altering some of the blood fat patterns that can be associated with risk of cardiovascular disease. Yet, to get these benefits it's important to enjoy extra virgin olive oil when its MUFAs are best protected, which means at heats below 250˚F (121˚C).

Read the entire article.


LSB2832 said...

If I am understanding the article correctly cooking with olive oil is not harmful. Temperatures above 250 degrees destroys the properties that make olive oil more beneficial than other oils. In other words, cooking with olive oil causes it to be just like other oils we use. So what kind of oil should we use? Grape seed oil is not available in my small town. Linda

Matushka said...

I am so confused! I need some direction with oils! :)
It seems as though I get new information about oils everyday! Help!

I need an oil that I can cook with that is not super expensive. We have been using olive oil for everything.

Michelle in Texas

sharingsunshine said...

Sometimes when we try to get it right nutritionally it does get confusing. No wonder so many people give up.

I love cooking with olive oil and it's a GREAT oil to use, so there's no need to switch.

I think this article will give us all a wider perspective on using olive oil. I still consider it best for all uses, but if I'm going to fry something I use a cheaper oil (Hi-Oleic Safflower) knowing I'm not getting the full benefits from the olive oil price.

Hope this helps! :-)


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