Is EVOO just as healthy when used in cooking as it is when used un-heated

Pamela731
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11 Comments

Susan W. June 2, 2014
I use homemade ghee, coconut oil and beef tallow for all of my cooking because of the higher smoke points.
 
Jan W. May 28, 2014
Extra virgin olive oil is fine for your typical pan-roasting/sauté (shallow), but for deep frying or applications that require high heat (above 350F) I wouldn't recommend. Generally any tasting or nutritional benefits are reduced after being heated like that. I tend to use filtered e.v. olive oil from a large 3-liter tin for cost-effectiveness, and I have a collection of very nice unfiltered e.v. olive oils for dressings/finishing and just eating on its own (my favorite).
 
Eliz. May 27, 2014
Olive oil is my go-to for sautéing as long as I don't turn the heat on high. The oil is chemically altered by excessive heat which is why you've heard that it can become less than healthful. Please don't deny yourself the pleasure of its flavor--just don't let the stuff smoke and be a little careful. ***As for this whole EVOO vs. "regular" biz, read labels skeptically. Most oil sold as Extra Virgin isn't--the term refers to the oil collected from the first, cold-pressing of harvested olives. The good stuff is too expensive for everyday use and if it passes the lie-detector test in affirming its integrity/legitimacy, you'd be advised to use it as is as a condiment (drizzle onto cooked veg, surface of soup, etc. or emulsify in dressing). Pure olive oil isn't. It's very, very processed and a mere specter of olive oil even though it haunts the majority of red & white checked tables in this country. Light olive oil is like crimini and portabello mushrooms: a marketing gimmick that created a desire for what was previously unsellable; it seems "low-fat" given its homonymic relationship with the word "lite". I cook with inexpensive bottles of what is sold as EVOO (Pierino, sorry, but it's convenient shorthand) and otherwise prize bottles of the murky, unfiltered new harvest when they become available in winter.
 
pierino May 27, 2014
Actually it's much more complicated than that. I spent a big part of last year with California olive growers. To be extra virgin according to IOC and the USDA the oil must be lab tested for no more than 0.08% acidity. California standards (COOC) are even stricter, 0.05% acidity. The IOC and the USDA scarcely even glance at the rules. The result is that 73% of imported extra virgin fail the test.
The sediment you speak of is a product of the first cold pressing. It's called "olio nuovo". Most producers don't put it on sale. They rack it and wait for the sediment to settle. In California the harvesting is done before Thanksgiving and in a normal year would go on sale in January.
Unfortunately 2013 was not a normal year in California. It was an "alternate bearing" year which means that the yield of olives was lower. Add on to that the pesky olive fly which did extensive damage. Many growers this year didn't send their stuff to market at all. I bought a bottle of Kiler Ridge Reserve for $45. It's the size of a wine split. That sounds outrageous but there were only 90 bottles produced and I bought mine directly the grower. Would I cook with it? Never.
 
Pegeen May 27, 2014
Apparently heat above a certain temp does affect the health benefits in EVOO:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=261
 
Pegeen May 27, 2014
I'm not sure that anything chemically happens to EVOO after heating it, that alters its health benefits. I would have to try googling around for some info.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

pierino May 27, 2014
Yes, nothing good happens to olive oil when it's heated. It has a low smoke point. Grapeseed oil is better.
And please don't call it EVOO. It's a dumb coinage by that knucklehead Rachel Ray. She was yammering on about it one time and said, "people ask me all the time what 'extra virgin" means. That just means it's unfiltered." That's not even remotely close to what it means. Believe me, I worked in the olive oil business for awhile and I have written articles on it. She understands nothing about it other than to give it a cutesy aphorism.
 
Tasha May 27, 2014
No. And I don't normally cook with EVOO because it burns faster.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 27, 2014
I use regular or a "light olive oil" for baking or sautéing. EVO only for salad dressings or as a finishing oil.
 
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