Olive Oil, To Use or Not to Use?

Olive oil can be a great oil to use however there are some things to take into consideration.

I get asked about Olive Oil often – Should I Use it?

Olive oil is a great oil however it is probable that many North American’s who buy Olive Oil labelled “extra virgin” have never tasted the real thing.

1) The difference in price: It’s not necessary the more expensive oils are better BUT that doesn’t mean the less expensive oils are good. Olive oil is a 1.5 billion dollar industry in the US alone. The reason it is so profitable is that 70% of the Olive Oils on the market are cut with cheaper oils. Read more on the business of Olive Oil

See this list of Olive Oil Top Picks: Quality Oils at Good Prices  (I use the O-Live Brand)

2) Further to choosing a good quality Olive Oil, I ask what are you using it for? Different oils have different smoke points. Pure, real Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a medium smoke point. The problem with 70% of the Olive Oils on the market is that they are cut with less expensive oils which have low smoke points. The problem with this is that these oils produce free radicals when they are heated past their smoke point.

Read Cooking 101: What’s a Smoke Point and Why Does it Matter?

So what to do?

  1. For simplicity sake, choose an oil that has a higher smoke point and stick with it so you can’t go wrong. I use coconut oil as my staple oil whether I’m cooking chicken, eggs, or baking cookies.
  2. Avoid high heat cooking methods. The problem is that oils become unstable when heated to high and unstable oils produce free radicals. The other consideration with high heat cooking methods (i.e. frying) is that it can denature the foods meaning that the nutrients in the food become unabsorbable.
  3. Get a good quality Olive Oil
  4. Store your oil in a cool, dark place, away from heat
  5. Ensure it is resealed tightly

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