Contrary to common belief, olive oil is idea for cooking as it very stable when heated. Every dietary fat has a smoke point, which refers to the temperature at which it begins to break down and smoke, which gives food an unpleasant taste.
The smoke point of olive oil ranges between 180°C and 200°C according to the type. The natural antioxidant found in olive oil protect it from burning when heated. This is also the reason why it is often added to butter when cooking as butter starts burning at 120°C.
Olive oil can also be used for deep-frying if it is done correctly. Overheating the oil is a common mistake when deep-frying.
Tips to deep-fry food with olive oil:
Set the thermostat at 170°C-190°C.
Pour enough oil in the frying pan for the food to be submerged.
Do not fry too many pieces of food at the same time to maintain the temperature and obtain best results.
Do not drain the fried food directly on paper towels because the food will reabsorb the oil. Use a wire rack placed over paper towels.
Once the frying is finished, the oil can be stored and used up to 6 times as long as it is well filtered. After frying, store the oil in the refrigerator until next time.
Olive Oil Facts/Benefits
Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet. It is rich in antioxidants. The main fat it contains is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which experts consider a healthful fat.
The antioxidants in olive oil may help protect the body from cellular damage that can lead to a range of health conditions and diseases. Extra virgin olive oil has a bitter flavor, but it contains more antioxidants than other types, as it undergoes the least processing.
Many studies have looked at the health benefits of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil, which is the best quality oil available, is rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are substances that the body produces during metabolism and other processes. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals.
If too many free radicals build up, they can cause oxidative stress. This can lead to cell damage, and it may play a role in the development of certain diseases, including certain types of cancer.
Fats & Cholestrol
Fat is an essential nutrient but not all fats are the same. With more than 75% of monounsaturated fat, olive oil is the healthiest dietary fat.
There are two types of cholesterols known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL cholesterol is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it transports and deposit cholesterol in the tissues and arteries resulting in the damage of vessel walls. HDL cholesterol is known as the ‘good’ type as it removes the bad cholesterol from the cells and transports it to the liver where it is eliminated.
TYPES OF FATS
Regulate blood cholesterol levels by reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and increasing ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL). Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reduce blood cholesterol levels, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature but are more vulnerable to cellular aging and less stable in cooking than monounsaturated fats.
Increase level of ‘bad’ cholesterol and the risk of coronary diseases. They are solid or semi-solid at room temperature.
This is a type of unsaturated fat, resulting from an industrial process, which consists in adding hydrogen oils to make them more solid, increase product shelf life and decrease refrigeration requirements. They are solid at low temperature and increase the risk of coronary diseases. Medical studies also suggest that the consumption of trans fats may increase the risk of cancer. Trans fats are mainly found in margarine, processed food and fast foods.