Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Take the Heat?
My friend emailed me the other day after reading an article by Sheryl Crow stating that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is carcinogenic at high temperatures. Like her, I was surprised to hear this. EVOO is known for it’s health benefits; it’s loaded with mono-unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants which benefit the heart and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Could it be that heating it to extremely high temperatures has the opposite impact on the body? This was news to me so I poke around a little. This article does a good job of debunking the myth Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Stand Your Kitchen’s Heat?. EVOO does have a lower smoke point than other oils and smoking oil is what causes the structural damage to the fatty acids that leads to production of oxygen radicals in the body. Ideally, you want to avoid cooking any oil to the point of smoking. However, as this article states, the fatty acids in EVOO are more resistant to this kind of structural damage. Nonetheless, if you’re going to deep fry something, it’s probably best to opt for another type of oil, one with a higher smoke point (i.e. canola or safflower). Or better yet, avoid frying and opt for sauteeing and grilling which are healthier options!
Through my search I uncovered some inspiring articles about Sheryl Crow’s battle with breast cancer and how it radically changed her thoughts about food. She is an inspiration for healthly living and recently published a cookbook cleverly titled If it Makes You Healthy. This article showcases a couple yummy-looking recipes from her book Sheryl Crow’s New Cookbook.