Get Easy Health Digest™ in your inbox and don’t miss a thing when you subscribe today. Plus, get the free bonus report, Mother Nature’s Tips, Tricks and Remedies for Cholesterol, Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar as my way of saying welcome to the community!
I’ll be honest…
When I was growing up, the only cooking oil we had in our house was old fashioned vegetable oil (or sometimes Crisco).
Yup, my mom never debated the pros and cons of different cooking oils or what they could or couldn’t do for our health. She just picked up the same oil her mom had used for cooking when she was growing up.
Yet, those oils that were once so popular have now been linked to everything from heart disease and diabetes, to obesity and even cancer.
Now, even people who once simply grabbed that bottle of vegetable oil as they walked by can be seen standing in the oil aisle trying to decide which oil to buy that not only won’t put their health at risk but may even help them get healthier…
My mom included.
And, if you’ve been struggling with the same decision, I’ll tell you what I told her…
For my money, it’s hard to beat olive oil.
A long-term staple in Mediterranean cuisine
You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet.
Basically, it brings into play the way people in countries like Italy have been eating for centuries and includes plenty of fruits, veggies, and legumes, along with a healthy dose of, you guessed it – olive oil as its primary source of fat.
And, it’s now considered one of the best diets for your health since it is linked to a lower risk of:
- Cancer, including colorectal
- Blood sugar problems
- Cholesterol issues
- High blood pressure
In fact, even the famed Mayo Clinic calls the Mediterranean diet “heart-healthy”.
And, you know what…
That olive oil that goes along with the diet has even been independently proven to confer all of those benefits – not just the diet as a whole, thanks to its high antioxidant content!
In fact, extra virgin olive oil shows a unique composition of fatty acids with a higher content of antioxidants, known as polyphenols, than other edible oils.
Yet, there’s always been a question…
Can you still get all the benefits from olive oil if you cook with it? Or, does it only work if you consume it straight out of the bottle… as dressing over salad or vegetables?
Now, thanks to a new study, we have the answer.
Reduced but still potent
The study, by researchers at the University of Barcelona, was the first to analyze how heating, under the same conditions that would occur in your kitchen at home (not a laboratory), affects the antioxidants that make olive oil so healthy.
The team used the oil to sauté for both short and long periods of time at both 248°F and 338°F.
And, the results came down to this…
While the cooking process did reduce the levels of polyphenols in the oil, especially at the higher temperature, the oil still had plenty to spare.
According to the researchers, even after cooking at that 338° temperature, the concentration of antioxidants still met all of the parameters set for good health, including protecting your heart against the oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
So, it seems that even when you’re cooking, olive oil is a healthy choice for a healthy life.
However, remember a couple of very important tips when buying your oil: First, look for olive oil in a dark glass bottle or opaque tin and be sure to store it in a cool, dark place since light and heat are the enemies of oil longevity.
What is the Mediterranean diet? — Medical News Today
Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan — Mayo Clinic
5 healthy cooking oils and how to use them in the kitchen — Easy Health Options®
Ingredient in Olive Oil Looks Promising in the Fight Against Cancer — Rutgers University
7 Superfoods that Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke — Olive Oil Times
9 Pro Tips on How to Buy and Use Good Olive Oil — Food & Wine