Can I Cook With Olive Oil?

According to the results of a scientific study recently shared by Olive Oil Times, extra virgin olive oil is the safest and most stable cooking oil.

Published in Acta Scientific Nutritional Health, this research on cooking oils revealed a number of interesting findings. Different oils were tested as part of the study, including olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil and sunflower oil.

Extra virgin olive oil earned top marks since it is the least harmful for cooking!

Thanks to its greater stability, extra virgin olive oil is the safest to use in the kitchen.

Florencia de Alzaa, lead author of the study, pointed out that the testing temperatures to which the oils were exposed were higher than temperatures used in common cooking methods.

The research studied the chemical and physical changes that occur when oils are heated to 180 (350) over 6 hours, and to gradually increasing temperatures from 25 to 240 (475) over 20 minutes. This is much higher than standard domestic cooking temperatures: 120 (248) for stir-frying, 160-180 (320-350) for deep-frying and 200 (400) for baking.

In recent years, we have heard a number of unfounded allegations claiming that cooking with extra virgin olive oil is unsafe, even when it is heated to temperatures far lower than the smoke point.

This study provides undeniable proof that should help finally dispel this mistaken belief. It shows that extra virgin olive oil is safe in normal cooking conditions and that it should be preferred to other oils.

For instance, canola oil is less stable than extra virgin olive oil and produces harmful compounds.

“The wellness advantages of extra virgin olive oil are clearly due to its content of phenolic compounds [polyphenols],”said Mary Flynn, a research dietician and Associate Professor of Medicine. “Increasing data shows the nutritional benefits of preparing foods in EVOO and underscore its central role in the Mediterranean Diet,” added Simon Poole, physician, commentator and author of The Olive Oil Diet: Nutritional Secrets of the Original Superfood.

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