Does Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduce Its Health Benefits?

Posted by

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is A Flexible Cooking Ingredient And Health Food


  • It’s possible to preserve the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil during cooking if you follow a few simple tips.
  • The smoke point for extra virgin olive oil is above the typical range for most home cooking methods.
  • The health benefits of extra virgin olive oil include reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and other chronic diseases.


Does Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduce Its Health Benefits?

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, celebrated for its flavour and numerous health benefits. Rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and polyphenols, EVOO has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other chronic diseases. But one question that often perplexes health-conscious food lovers is whether heating EVOO degrades these nutritional powerhouses.

In this blog post, we’ll pour through the research to serve up answers for those concerned about cooking with extra virgin olive oil.

The Smoke Point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Dispelling The Myth.

Let’s start by tackling the issue of the smoke point—the temperature at which oil begins to smoke and break down, signalling the degradation of both flavour and nutrients, and potentially releasing harmful compounds. For a long time, the relatively moderate smoke point of EVOO has been cited as a reason to avoid using it for high-heat cooking.

However, this is a bit of a culinary myth. The truth is a little more nuanced. The smoke point for EVOO is generally between 375-420⁰F (190-215⁰C), which is actually above the typical range for most home cooking methods, including sautéing and baking. High quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a higher smoke point than others. It ranges roughly between 190 to 220°C (375 to 430°F). That’s because it is low in free fatty acids (FFA) and the smoke point of an oil generally increases as the FFA content decreases. This low acid content puts it at the top of preferred cooking oils.

Among natural olive oils, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has the lowest FFA content of no more than0.8%. Really premium quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) like Morocco Gold has FFA content as low as 0.2 to 0.4%. It results from fresh, healthy olive fruit, which are carefully handled, harvested, and freshly milled to minimize deterioration of the fruit. By comparison, chemically refined oils, such as Canola oil, may have similar FFA levels but they are processed and refined. They do not provide the superb health benefits that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) does. In addition, the high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) also make it ideal for all types of cooking.

Holding Onto The Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Studies have shown that Extra Virgin Olive Oil holds up reasonably well to heat, retaining most of its beneficial properties during the cooking process. The antioxidants are largely preserved, and the monounsaturated fats do not break down as quickly as some have feared. In fact, researchers have discovered that EVOO may be more stable and less prone to oxidation than some other oils with higher smoke points due to its high antioxidant content.

Cooking with extra virgin olive oil doesn’t seem to markedly reduce its health benefits and may even help in absorbing the antioxidants found in other food ingredients, like vegetables and herbs.

Tips for Maximizing Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

To make the most of EVOO in your cooking while preserving its health attributes, consider the following tips:

  1. Keep it Moderate: Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking at low to medium temperatures.
  2. Choose Quality: Invest in high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil like Morocco Gold since it’s less refined and contains more antioxidants, which can help resist heat-induced degradation.
  3. Store Wisely: Keep your olive oil in a cool, dark place to maintain its chemical integrity before use.

You can still drizzle and sizzle with extra virgin olive oil in your culinary adventures. While keeping an eye on temperature, you can confidently include EVOO in your cooking routine, ensuring that you’re not only crafting a delicious meal but one that retains the heralded health benefits of this liquid gold.

Remember to incorporate EVOO into your diet in a variety of ways—drizzled over salads, in cold dishes, and yes, in your warm sautés and baked dishes. For those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing flavor, EVOO remains a versatile and beneficial choice.

Key Takeaways For Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil retains many of its health benefits when used for cooking, contrary to the common belief centered around its smoke point.
  2. Quality matters—purchasing high-quality EVOO like Morocco Gold can protect and preserve more of the oil’s nutritional content during cooking.
  3. Use EVOO wisely by cooking at appropriate temperatures and storing your oil correctly to enjoy its full spectrum of health benefits.

Cooking with extra virgin olive oil does not substantially reduce its health benefits, making it a wholesome choice for your health-conscious menu. So next time you’re in the kitchen, feel empowered to reach for that bottle of EVOO and pour on the health! In addition, don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes and uses for EVOO in your cooking. Its versatility and health benefits make it an ingredient worth incorporating into your diet on a regular basis. So go ahead and embrace the liquid gold that is extra virgin olive oil and enjoy all of its delicious flavours and health benefits.