We all know that olive oil is good for us. Especially the more expensive extra virgin kind.
Despite extra virgin olive oil’s status as a superfood, it has always had one drawback. You weren’t supposed to cook with it. That’s because heat supposedly robbed it of its health benefits.
A new study tested this long-held belief.
It was published in the journal Antioxidants. Scientists set up a lab to duplicate a home kitchen. They cooked using extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil’s health benefits are largely due to its high polyphenol content—more than in any other vegetable oil. Polyphenols are micronutrients linked to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and digestion problems.
The study found that the polyphenol content of extra virgin olive oil does decrease during cooking. But even after cooking, there were still plenty of polyphenols left.
Another recent study found that it doesn’t take much olive oil to reduce your chances of having a heart attack. Research by the National Institutes of Health showed that just a teaspoon a day reduces heart disease risk by 21%.
They reviewed the health records of 100,000 people over 14 years to obtain their data.
6 Ways to Maximize Olive Oil’s Health Benefits
Extra virgin olive oil is the cleanest, most nutrient-rich kind of olive oil. Try to have some every day.
It can be expensive. But you don’t need to shell out big bucks. You simply need to know what to look for.
Here are six simple ways to maximize olive oil’s power to keep you healthy:
- Look for these letters. DOP, DO, DOC, and PDO on the label of imported oils are universally trusted European certificates of quality and origin. If your oil is from California, make sure it has a COOC seal (California Olive Oil Council) and a USDA organic certification.
Some unscrupulous companies cut their olive oil with cheaper, less healthy oils—like soybean or sunflower oils. These letters help ensure that you’re not buying counterfeit oil.
- Buy organic. Organic extra virgin oil is made from the first pressing of organically grown olives. There are no chemicals or heat used that can degrade the oil’s nutrients. No further processing occurs after the pressing.
- Make sure it’s in the right container. Buy olive oil in a dark glass bottle or a steel container. Avoid clear and plastic bottles.
Clear bottles expose oil to light. Light leads to oxidation and rancidity. Plastic containers can leach noxious substances, such as PVCs, into the oil.
- Keep it cool, but not too cool. Extra virgin olive oil is best stored at about 70 degrees F. Keep it in a dark cupboard away from stove heat. Don’t put olive oil in the refrigerator. It will solidify, making it hard to pour. And refrigeration can give it an off taste.
- Check the date. Olive oil does not improve with age. Nutrients and flavor degrade over time. Look for a sell-by date on the container. Oil older than a year has lost more than 40% of its nutritional potency.
- Don’t overheat. As the study found, cooking with olive oil is fine. But don’t let it smoke. If you do, you’ve ruined its antioxidant power. Olive oil’s smoking point is about 400 degrees F.
Science shows that extra virgin olive oil is always a healthy choice, whether you’re using it in the salad bowl…or the frying pan.
Editor’s Note: Now more than ever, with the coronavirus pandemic, you need to know about “infinite immunity.” It’s a recent Nobel Prize-winning discovery that gives your body the power to fight off virtually any infection. Find out more by reading our monthly journal, Independent Healing. Go HERE.