If you’re anything like my husband, olive oil can be your go-to oil for cooking everything. But if you’re not of Italian descent like me, you may be surprised that olive oil is as healthy as some claim.
While olive oil is considered to be a highly nutritious and healthy oil due to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin A and K (like canola, soybean and vegetable oils, There are very few known benefits that are worth talking about.
Let’s dive into it and take a look at what science says, and why the quality of your olive oil makes a difference.
Many benefits of olive oil
This Mediterranean food is commonly used in the so-called “blue zone”. (Blue zones are places where a high percentage of people are 100 years old. This interesting book analyzes the trends that are common to them and how we can imitate them). True, olive oil is one of the healthiest oils available. It is rich in monosaturated fats and other beneficial properties, including:
Olive oil is naturally high in antioxidants such as olianothel and oleuropein. In studies, they lower dangerous LDL levels and improve cholesterol levels. Ooquinthal reduces inflammation and seems to act like ibuprofen without side effects.
Quick tip: That’s why I often shoot a tablespoon of olive oil if I have a headache. It almost always works to reduce pain. This was especially helpful to me during pregnancy when I was less likely to take any kind of pain medication, but more likely to have a headache.
Heart Smart Fatty Acid Profile
There is also some research that the fatty acid profile of this nutritious oil is beneficial for the heart and it helps in lowering the level of C-reactive protein (CRP). For this reason, it is often recommended to consume standard olive oil to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
It is one of the few oils that is generally considered to benefit from all sources, including the American Heart Association.
Reducing the risk of cancer
New research even suggests that olive oil may be a good choice to help the body protect itself from cancer. These figures show that people in the Mediterranean countries have a lower risk of cancer, and there is speculation that consumption of this oil may be a factor.
The theory is that oxidative damage caused by free radicals increases the risk of cancer. Because extra virgin olive oil is high in potent antioxidants, it can reduce oxidative damage and thus reduce the risk of cancer. Research is still emerging, but all the statistics seem to indicate olive oil is an important part of a low-inflammation diet.
In addition, oleic acid makes this oil resistant to oxidation in tests. For this reason, preliminary research suggests that it may be beneficial in protecting cancer-linked genes.
Is it safe to cook with olive oil?
Olive oil is a great choice for cold use at home, such as salad dressings and mayo, but there is a lot of debate over whether it should be used for cooking. To understand why and why not, we want to answer two questions:
1. Does olive oil oxidize when heated?
I’ve talked before about why it’s never a good idea to cook (or use) vegetable oil, as they are massively high in fat, so they are unstable and hot. Can break on
Olive oil, on the other hand, being largely monounsaturated, does not break down so easily. It is still less stable than saturated fats such as tallow or coconut oil, but Mediterranean cultures have been cooking with it for centuries.
Also, antioxidants provide natural protection against oxidation, making it a safer oil for cooking. Recent research (and generations of healthy elderly populations in the Mediterranean countries) can confirm this.
The debate rages over whether oil oxidizes over high heat and loses its nutritional value. Some sources even claim that it is easily converted into trans fat when heated.
What does research say? In one study, researchers heated olive oil to more than 350 degrees Celsius for 36 hours and showed very few signs of harm. In another study, they used it for deep frying pans. It took more than 36 hours to oxidize and damage.
Smoky place of olive oil
The smoke point is another idea for cooking, and olive oil rents are good here too. The smoke point varies depending on the variety, but for the most part, it ranges from 325 degrees to 400 degrees. This is an excellent medium for oil that can be used in cooking.
Corollary: Olive oil is safe for cooking in most cases
This delicious oil doesn’t deserve the bad rap it used for cooking. Has achieved At the same time, quality olive oil mixed with vegetable oils (which are dangerous for cooking) is expensive and difficult to find. Therefore, this oil is not one of the most cost effective options for regular cooking.
That said, as long as you don’t fry anything for more than 36 hours (which I don’t recommend for a variety of reasons!) You’re probably using high quality olive oil for cooking. Are fine
So how do I know if your olive oil is standard? Or even olive oil? Read
Olive scandal: Not a virgin?
Extra virgin olive oil is generally considered to be the most advanced olive oil available. This is what our family uses and what research suggests is the healthiest choice.
Unfortunately, while sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, olive oil is sometimes not made from olives.
Numerous studies over the past decade have revealed that many of these olive oils can be mixed with cheap oils or made baseless.
The first pressing of olives produces extra virgin olive oil and produces a very high quality oil with an excellent nutritional profile. With the highest strength and lowest acidity, olives should be pressed immediately after picking.
With increasing global demand, some companies have cut corners and adopted lower quality oils as extra virgin or blended with olive oil by adding vegetable oils.
The original report was that the main oil affected was in Italy. More recent research has revealed that these problems are found in oils around the world and it is necessary to verify the quality of olive oil by any means.
Investigations, raids, arrests and olive oil?
Most of this research came to light in 2008 with “Operation Golden Oil” in Italy. Food Ranged reports that
23 people were arrested and 85 farms were confiscated. Another investigation was immediately launched, in which more than 40 people were arrested for adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it in Italy and abroad as extra virgin olive oil.
If you are interested, here is a great book with more information about oil and its explanation in which oil has been modified and misled. Extra virginity By Tom Mueller
Who knew that a simple cold pressed oil could cause so much controversy!
How to find quality olive oil
As you can imagine, all the scams in this industry can make it difficult to find a good source or find out if you are getting a standard product. Even the best food critics could not tell by any taste test that olive oil was of high quality and many people chose the very low quality as their best choice.
Home experiments are what many people use to determine the quality of oil. Unfortunately, these home tests (such as putting it in the fridge to see if it solidifies or tries to burn it as a lantern fuel) are unreliable in determining whether the oil is of high quality. Or not, and taste tests can be even less. Reliable
The best way is to find a company that you can trust to place an order and provide lab testing of their oil. Look for PGI certification, which identifies oils with exceptional characteristics as it requires that the product be manufactured in a specific geographic region and its quality tested.
Olive oil: which I use
I recently found a company called Casandrinos that produces a high quality Greek olive oil. They publish all of their testing and certification data and source their olives from family farms. They also have a PGI certificate and make organic, non-GMO extra virgin oil. We’ve tried many great brands over the years, but it’s based on our current favorite test, price, and sourcing. Take my podcast with the founder to hear why this brand is so different (and delicious!).
And did I mention it’s delicious? Put it on a large salad and raise your fork to your health!
This article was written by Dr. Scott Soares, MD, Medical Director, Family Physician and Study MD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor.
Do you like olive oil? Which brand (s) have you found the most pure? Please share with me in the comments!
Olive and olive oil to prevent cancer
The antioxidant / anticancer ability of phenolic compounds is different from that of olive oil.
Cancer and Mediterranean Dietary Traditions
Nutritional factors that promote or prevent inflammation
Stabilization of olive oil in deep frying conditions.
How does heating excess affect virgin olive oil quality index and chemical synthesis?