No two people would argue about olive oil being a healthy antioxidant-packed oil. Cooking with olive oil is another story. In this post, I share my take on cooking with olive oil, whether it’s ok or not, and what you need to watch out for.
Olive oil is made of 75% oleic acid, a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid. It’s touted for its heart disease prevention benefits. Studies after studies support olive oil’s ability to reduce oxidative and free radical stress in the arteries, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol numbers, and reduce the risk for plaque formation and clogging of arteries.
Olive oil is anti-inflammatory due to its high content of antioxidants. Olive oil contains 9 different polyphenols, a category of antioxidants. Olive oil has been shown to lower the blood level of C-reactive protein (CRP), a number that’s strongly associated with inflammation. Olive oil reduces the risk of some cancers like breast, respiratory tract, and digest tract cancers. The polyphenols in olive oil can also halter the growth of bacteria in the digestive tract that could lead to infections.
I’m confident you want to make sure the way you use and cook with olive oil doesn’t prevent its health benefits from stacking up. That’s why I recorded this video!
The type of olive oil you buy matters. The highest quality, most nutritious, health boosting olive oil is extra-virgin olive oil. Extra virgin means that the oil came from the first press of the olives. Olive oils that are not extra0virgin (not from the first press) do not contain as many antioxidants and may not reduce inflammation.
Another key word to search for is cold-pressed. That means the oil was extracted with cold temperatures. This matters because heat will damage polyphenols.
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Download my free guide on the best oils to use for cooking and salads. It lists some of those key terms and helps you choose the right type of oil for the different types of cooking methods. Click HERE to download it right now.
Buy olive oil in small glass containers. Don’t try to save money on buying in bulk in clear plastic bottles. The oil will go bad if it gets too old and gets exposed to sunlight and warm temperatures. Bad olive oil, or any other oil, is not worth the pennies you save.
Can you cook with olive oil?
Click the video to hear my answer to whether you can cook with olive oil or not.
If you don’t have the healthy oils guide, you can download it right here.
Now I want to heart from you…
Does this answer help you with cooking? What food do you love to combine with olive oil? How else do you use it?
If you prefer to read my answers, here’s the transcription of the video:
Hi there. This is Nour Zibdeh, functional nutritionist. Can you cook with olive oil? Will olive oil become toxic if you cook with it? I get this question a lot, so the answer is going to be right here. The short answer is yes, you can cook with olive oil, and it will not become toxic if you cook with it as long as you follow these simple rules. First, a smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke. At that temperature, it starts to develop free radicals and carcinogens and chemicals that we don’t want in the body. As long as we can cook and prevent the oil from smoking, we should be okay.
Olive oil’s smoke point is considered low to medium, so about in the 350 range. If you’re going to scramble some eggs, saute some garlic and onion or maybe a light stir frying or sauteing some vegetables, olive oil typically does not smoke if you cook fast with it, keep the temperature on the stove to just medium. If you’re going to roast in the oven and the food will only last about 15-30 minutes and at 350 or less … If you’re doing peppers or mushroom, these things will cook very fast at low temperatures … Then olive oil should be okay. Now if you know the food is going to last long in your oven … If you’re making potatoes that need a whole hour or if you’re going to need to cook at higher temperatures, like 400, then I would skip the olive oil and I’d use something else. Typically my go-to oil at that point is avocado oil.
Now obviously we don’t want to deep fat fry anything at all, so don’t recommend olive oil for deep fat frying. Keep in mind that you will get more benefit from olive oil, more polyphenols and antioxidants, if you keep it raw. Adding it to salads or maybe roasting some veggies and then add the oil after they’re done, or steaming and then added once they’re cooked, you will get more benefit. Cooking with it, as long as you don’t let it smoke, is going to be okay.
For more informatio n on the best oils to use for salads and for cooking, I created a cheat sheet that you can download right away. It’s at NourZibdeh.com/HealthyOils. If you like this video, if you have comments or questions, write me a comment below and I would love to have a conversation with you. Again, this is Nour Zibdeh, and I’ll see you next time.