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So much written about coconut oil in past few years.. and its health benefits (whether they are true or not) .. have we forgotten just how healthy Olive Oil is.


In my youth and 20's and 30s I always read that olive oil and in particular extra virgin olive oil is very good for the body – for your heart, even to prevent cancers. And I read or misread that one must avoid Sunflower or Vegetable oil like the plague (other than for the deep fryer)

In the search for super foods have we forgotten some of the basics we learnt years ago about good 'ol Olive Oil.

How do you consume your olive oil? Old, virginal or extra virginal?

Do you have favourite types, brands, regions. Can you discern the difference?

I know in Australia there is a burgeoning industry and long gone are the days all you saw in a super market were the huge canisters of 10 litres of rough oil or the boring Spanish varieties. Nowadays, the olive oil aisle reads like a wine store's treasured display of only the best vintages and blends.

Personally I am not too much of an olive oil expert and indeed if it's too "strong" I really dont like it even in salads if all I can taste is the olive oil. And I haven't quite got into the trendy bread with olive oil on the table at restaurants.

But sure enough in my new kitchen, the only oil placed right near the cooker is Olive Oil. And I start most meals with olive oil, onions and garlic.
If you want a definitive answer then read 'The Big Fat Surprise' by Nina Teicholz. I can highly recommend this book it opened my eyes! Enjoy folks. :heart:
Auriga wrote: If you want a definitive answer then read 'The Big Fat Surprise' by Nina Teicholz. I can highly recommend this book it opened my eyes! Enjoy folks. :heart:

@Auriga Whats the surprise?
For your health's sake, don't use a deep fryer. Unfortunately it's bad, bad, bad, no matter what oil you cook with.

Here's a link to info on cooking with oil:

Thanks , @Auriga! Read the first chapter on Amazon & was hooked. About to start reading after I post. Looking forward to it.You know, I'd much rather spend money on books than membership fees & fake food..
I think coconut oil is better for cooking because it doesn't break down with heat. Olive oil is not good for cooking. I've switched to coconut in stir fries (though I think there are other oils that withstand heat well, and have a good omega 6:3 ratio), but I still love olive oil on salads or drizzled on roasted or grilled vegetables.
the jury is still out ... efits.html

it says

you can, indeed, cook with olive oil without the fear that by heating it you will remove all of the health benefits. The next time you think about using olive oil in a dish, don't be hesitant! Turn on the skillet and pour the olive oil in! Your dish will taste great, and you'll receive many important health benefits.

which is the right one. is there a scientist in the house.

im confused
I only ever use olive oil. Even for roast potatoes. It doesn't like intense heat I find, tends to smoke. My Esse can get very hot when fully fired up. So I am careful. Want to wean OH off roast dinners!
I had a quick look for scientific research on this and I was interested to see that most research on the issue of oils breaking down with heating involved repeated use (such as in a deep fat fryer). This paper suggests that olive oil is OK for deep fat frying (they sampled every 3 hours of frying) and in this study performed better than "vegetable oil" (whatever that was):
It seems to me that using olive oil for roasting or shallow frying (so single use) is likely to be fine, and probably the "vegetable oil" would have been as well!
This study seems to confirm that shallow frying potatoes results in less deterioration of oils than deep frying:

From my understanding olive oil is a very healthy oil but should be enjoyed when not heated a lot as it changes its healthy omega 3 benefits to an unhealthy ratio of omega 6 oils. Don't quote me but I be heard this a lot on the Marks daily apple website and the ' latest in paleo' podcast I listen too. As you can see I have nothing to back this up. Now I drizzle olive oil on my salad and baked veges. To cook with I alternate between macadamia oil, avocado oil and butter and occasionally lard I've rendered from my free range roast pork. I told this to my Italian heritage friend ' about the heating olive oil) and she said that her family has been cooking with olive oil for generations. So,each to there own. I suppose I'm just trying to use the more less processed fats and to be honest , cooking more like my grandma and great grandma with real foods and less industrialized processed stuff and can I tell you, its fabulous!!
As I said in another post I only use olive oil when it comes to cooking. However I NEVER fry anything, I hate the taste of it. Never had the oil smoking like I had with butter or another type of oil (that's what I used long ago) and even my GP advised me to cook with olive oil.

My family is part Mediterranean, my ex now best fried is Italian and OH is part Spanish, Italian, Arabian so you can imagine that olive oil is a big deal around here... :cool:

I use extra virgin olive oil for "raw" use (salads, solidified to use like butter) and a special oil to cook ("pure" and not "extra virgin". I also use it on my skin and hair (as I use coconut oil) and it works wonders.

I used to not like the taste of olive oil but learned later that it was because of the quality of it. Now I couldn't live without it, really.

Also I only use organic italian olive oil we buy directly in Italy. A bit expansive but it's worth it

Also I found this article explaining how you can use olive oil for cooking and frying
thank you for the link @Manderley

according to that link
There are some myths that have recently circulated about olive oil that we are constantly answering via email and our newsletter. Following are the two most common.

Myth: Heating Olive Oil Will Make it Saturated or Trans-fatty.
One common myth is that heating olive oil will make it saturated or trans-fatty.
This is not true
. As far as making a saturated fat, according to Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, in his book Olive Oil from the Tree to the Table -Second edition 1998, all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive-pomace oils and virgin olive oils are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.

Changing a cis-fat to a trans-fat does not occur on a home stove.

Myth: Cooking in Olive oil Diminishes The Nutritional Value of the Food.

Another myth is that cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food. This a misconception. The fact is that heating food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying.

We are not aware of any edible cooking oil which by itself diminishes the nutritional value of the food cooked in it. Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them raw. A touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. Such is the Mediterranean diet which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.
For salads, what brands do you like?
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