A few years ago, I jumped on the olive oil bandwagon. I tossed all of my other cooking oils and was solely using olive oil for all of my cooking. Big Mistake! While olive oil has many positive health benefits:
- Protects against heart disease
- Decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
- Can possibly protect from colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers
- High in antioxidants
- Can improve insulin sensitivity in Diabetics
- Anti-inflammatory effect in Asthmatics
- Great for moisturizing skin
What I did not know was that to gain the positive health benefits, olive oil should be consumed:
- Cooked at low-medium heat
In fact, cooking at high heat with olive oil can be extremely unhealthy for you. Cooking or frying with olive oil at high heat past it’s smoking point can create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are basically byproducts of burning oil. At high concentrations PAHs are carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic. Below is a list of various oils that can be used at high eat or for frying.
Take home point: Olive oil has great health benefits, but should not be used with high heat cooking or frying since it can possibly be carcinogenic.
List of oils and what temperature they should be used at *
Information regarding temperature and oil taken from PCC natural market. http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/guides/tips_cooking_oils.html