Olive oil is extremely beneficial for health.
It is the "default" fat that is beneficial for health because it contains many beneficial fatty acids and many powerful antioxidants.
Olive oil is also the main ingredient in the diet of the healthiest people in the world.
But olive oil may also have a problem.
Many people believe that olive oil is not suitable for cooking because it contains insoluble fats.
I used to believe it, but after studying more, I realized I was wrong.
Good day, I will explain why olive oil is an option great for cooking, even with high-temperature cooking methods such as frying.
Why is the stability of cooking oil important?
When fats and oils are exposed to high temperatures, they can be affected .
This is especially true with oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats, including most vegetable oils such as soybean oil and canola oil.
When heated at very high temperatures, they can form harmful compounds including and can cause cancer .
When cooked with these oils, some carcinogenic compounds evaporate and may contribute to lung cancer when inhaled. So just being in a kitchen where these oils are used can be harmful to health .
If you want to minimize your exposure to harmful and carcinogenic compounds (always a good idea), then just Should be cooked with stable fats at high temperatures.
There are two characteristics of cooking oil that should be emphasized:
- Smoke point : the temperature at which the links in fat begin to break and turn into smoke.
- Oxidation stability : Fat durability when reacting with oxygen.
As I will mention below, olive oil does very well on these two tasks.
For more details on choosing the right oil / grease, see the detailed information article about the most healthy fats.
Crux : Choosing a stable cooking oil when heating is very important, because some cooking oils can form carcinogenic compounds during cooking.
Olive oil rich in monounsaturated unsaturated fats when heated
Each fat molecule contains a glycerol molecule linked to 3 fatty acids.
All glycerol molecules are the same but there are hundreds of different types of natural fatty acids and health effects that vary by type.
Fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated in single or polymorphic forms.
Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds, monounsaturated with a double bond (mono = one) and unsaturated fatty acids in polymorphic form with multiple double bonds (poly = many).
The important part is: Double bonds are unstable when heated and they tend to react with oxygen.
Therefore, the more fatty acid molecules are, the less stable the bond is when used in cooking. This is why fat dissolves ( no double link) like coconut oil very durable when heated .
Although most polyunsaturated fatty acid vegetable oils have multiple double bonds, olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids with only one double link.
It turns out that having a double bond in the fatty acid molecule is not a bad thing. Only unsaturated fatty acids (such as in soybean and canola oil) are harmful .
Naturally, oil is often a mixture of many fatty acids. For example, 73% of olive oil is monounsaturated, 11% is polyunsaturated and 14% is saturated .
In other words, monounsaturated unsaturated fats in high temperatures and saturated fats make up 87% in olive oil.
Crux : Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, often quite stable at high temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats make up only about 11% in olive oil.
Pure olive oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E helps fight oxidation
The only recommended olive oil is pure olive oil.
It is derived from the first extracts of olive oil and contains many bioactive substances, including strong antioxidants and vitamin E .
Vitamin E has the main function as an antioxidant in the body. It helps fight free radicals that cause harmful chain reactions in our cell membranes .
Due to olive oil rich in antioxidants and Its natural protection from oxidation is quite high .
Crux : Olive oil contains vitamin E and many powerful antioxidants. These protect the oil from deterioration when cooking at high temperatures.
Olive oil helps fight oxidation
When the oil is oxidized, it reacts with oxygen and forms many harmful compounds.
This can happen at room temperature and is one of the reasons for oil but the process is accelerate a lot when the oil is heated.
The sensitivity of oil to oxidation depends mainly on two things:
- The concentration Polyunsaturated fatty acids , things tend to oxidize (react with oxygen).
- The presence of antioxidants inherent resistance to oxidation (which is why they are called antioxidants).
As mentioned above, olive oil has less polyunsaturated fatty acids (about 11%). and There are many antioxidants.
Many studies boil high-temperature olive oil over a long period of time and measure its effect on the quality and nutritional properties of oil.
Many studies have used high temperatures for a very long time. But even under these harsh conditions, olive oil still reacts quite well.
One Deep fry some different olive oils for 24 hours and have recorded results that it is antioxidant. Pure olive oil is richer in antioxidants so it works best .
Other studies also agree that olive oil is not oxidized much when used for cooking, while vegetable oils such as sunflower oil are oxidized and form harmful compounds .
However, one study found that meals with heated olive oil increased the signs of blood oxidation higher than a meal with olive oil without heating .
In this study, olive oil is no longer pure and it has been cooked for 8 hours so this is not applicable in real life situations, especially if you are cooking with pure olive oil.
There is also a rumor that heated olive oil leads to trans fat formation. In one study, frying olive oil 8 times in a row only increased the trans fat content from 0.045% to 0.082%, still a negligible amount .
In general, it seems that olive oil is very durable, even in extreme conditions such as frying oil for a long time.
Crux : Many studies fried olive oil at high temperatures for long periods. Even in such harsh conditions, olive oil still does not form a significant amount of harmful compounds.
Olive oil has a moderate high smoke point
of oil is the temperature at which it begins to break down in heat and creates visible smoke.
When this happens, fat molecules are being broken down into glycerol and single fatty acids, while turning into harmful compounds and various toxic substances.
But other trace elements in oil, such as vitamins and antioxidants, can also start to burn and emit smoke, sometimes at temperatures lower than oil.
Usually, part of the fatty acids in oil is free and not linked to glycerol. They are called free fatty acids. The more free fatty acids in the oil, the lower the temperature of producing smoke points.
Because refined oils contain less nutrients (a bad substance) and have lower free fatty acids, they often have a higher smoke point.
In addition, when the oil is heated, more free fatty acids are formed, so the longer the smoke, the less the smoke will decrease.
It is difficult to determine the time of smoking exactly of oil, because it does not happen at the same time. There is a range in which high temperatures form more smoke.
A lot of numbers about the smoke point of the oil you find on the internet are just estimates. These numbers vary between different waves.
Many sources believe that the smoke point of pure olive oil is about 375-420 ° F (190-215 ° C). Refined olive oil is usually around 468 ° F (242 ° C).
This makes it a safe choice for most cooking methods, including most types of frying.
Crux : The smoke point of absolute virgin olive oil is about 375-420 ° F (190-215 ° C). This makes it a good choice for most cooking methods.
Cooking process can destroy some antioxidants in olive oil
The use of oil in normal cooking does not have the ability to oxidize or cause significant oil damage.
However, it can reduce some antioxidants and vitamin E sensitive to heat.
In a study of olive oil heating at 356 ° F / 180 ° C for 36 hours reduced antioxidants and vitamin E, but most compounds in small quantities were intact .
One of the main active compounds in olive oil is called oleocanthal. This substance has an anti-inflammatory and hot feeling in the throat that high quality olive oil provides .
Heating olive oil at 464 ° F / 240 ° C for 90 minutes reduces 19% in a chemical experiment, and 31% in a taste experiment .
In another study, simulated frying for 24 hours reduced some beneficial compounds, but only 10 minutes in a microwave or boiled in country less impact on quality of olive oil .
Compounds in olive oil also contribute to some of its flavors. Therefore, overheated olive oil may eliminate some flavors.
Remember that studies show that high temperatures reduce antioxidants and vitamins in olive oil.
Should you cook with olive oil?
Pure olive oil is one Extreme fat is good for health but still retain the quality of good in the cooking process.
The main reason why you may not want to use it is that heating it at too high a temperature can have a bad effect on taste.
Believing that olive oil is oxidized and rancid during cooking is a harmful rumor that people are afraid to use this extremely healthy oil.