Extra virgin olive oil has been shown to be beneficial to health. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the only foods just about everyone on earth agrees is healthy – whether you’re Paleo or Vegan, you probably have a bottle in your kitchen.
It has a blend of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs) that have many health benefits. Studies link olive oil to everything from lowering the risk of cancer and stroke to decreasing inflammation – plus its polyphenol content provides food for the good bacteria in your gut.
The increasing body of studies carried out provides compelling evidence that olive polyphenols are potential candidates to combat chronic inflammatory states.
It has a bright, peppery flavour that goes well with just about everything. This is the oil I use the most. Many people don’t know this – but it also has a high smoke point and is great for high-temp cooking like sautéing and roasting. (The idea that olive oil oxidizes and becomes dangerous if heated is a myth!)
How To Use It: Use it cold, straight from the bottle to make salad dressing or as a topping for roasted veggies.
It’s also safe to cook with at higher temperatures.
Extra virgin olive oil has three key qualities that make it an excellent cooking oil: it contains predominantly stable monounsaturated fatty acids, it has a low level of free fatty acids and it has a high level of protective antioxidants.
If we look at the smoke points of extra virgin olive oils, these range from about 190-220°C. The best quality oils, including Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oils, come in at the higher end of the range.
How does this relate to cooking? Well sautéing on the hob equates to a temperature of around 120°C, deep-frying is usually in the range 160-180°C and roasting in the oven 180-200°C. It is not often you would cook at any temperature higher than this.
Importantly there is no further advantage to using an oil or fat with an even higher smoke point. In other words, if you are roasting your veggies in the oven at 180°C, your extra virgin olive oil is perfect as it has a smoke point above this. Choosing an oil with a smoke point higher than 220°C is not any safer.
Several good studies have confirmed the stability of extra virgin olive oil during cooking. Importantly these studies have really pushed the boat out to test the point at which various oils will break down. They repeatedly heat the oils, heat them for long periods of time and take them up to extremely high temperatures.
These conditions would almost never happen in home cooking so the fact that extra virgin olive oil stands up consistently well in these tests really does confirm the safety of using the oil at home. The same is not true of oils high in polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower or generic ‘vegetable’ oil.
Plus we have studies showing that when we cook veggies in extra virgin olive oil, the overall level of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds rises significantly. So we get a double whammy benefit of the good fats present and a greater availability of protective compounds.
Hello, I’m Chloe. I’m a nutrition and health coach and I’m on a mission to inspire & support women so they can go from feeling fatigued to feeling fabulous!
I help women who are FED up of being overweight, addicted to sugar and feeling tired ALL THE TIME to lose weight and optimise their health by fixing hormonal, digestive, autoimmune and energy issues.
My step-by-step programme, Revitalise, will help you lose weight, get back your energy, restore vitality and create lifelong health using the power of beautiful & delicious REAL FOOD.
I’m here to make it easy for you to eat healthy, delicious food without counting calories or feeling deprived. You’ll reset your relationship with food, shift your mindset and build new habits for a complete health transformation!
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