I have gotten a lot of questions recently about cooking with olive oil, as it is often used in Med recipes. Seems there are some claims out there on the web indicating cooking with olive oil is dangerous. The thought is that at high temperatures, olive oil oxidizes. Let’s take a closer look.
Every oil has a smoking point. This is the point at which the oil begins to burn, smoke, and change chemical makeup and flavor. The smoke point for olive oil is anywhere from 370-390 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the source. This is a high temperature. If you are sautéing, you would more than likely have no issues unless you left your pan of olive oil to heat for too long. What about roasting, we recommend roasting at 375 degrees so you would be ok there as well.
If that is not enough evidence for you, how about this. Eric Decker, an oil expert and chair of the Department of Food Science at the University of Amherst says “for the amount of time you’re going to cook, and the temperatures you’re going to get to, your oil is not going to undergo oxidation, what’s more, olive oil naturally contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Extra virgin olive oil has another plus, it isn’t refined, so it has naturally occurring antioxidants.”
So, those that say use other oils for cooking such as coconut – think again. For heart health, choose olive oil for salads and cooking.
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