Extra virgin olive oil gets poured on a wok.

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Not Good For High-Heat Cooking

Extra virgin olive oil has been a kitchen essential for many reasons.

One of its common uses is for cooking. However, when it comes to high-heat settings, there are better options you should consider.

This article will uncover why extra virgin olive oil might not be the best choice for cooking.

We will look at factors like smoke point, nutrient loss and how they affect your dishes’ taste. This will also introduce you to healthier oil alternatives for high-temperature cooking.

Extra virgin olive oil gets poured into a pan.

The Smoke Point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil possesses a relatively low smoke point.

When oil reaches its smoke point, it starts to break down and release toxic fumes.

This affects the taste of the food and can also harm human health.

However, some sources suggest that even when heated beyond their smoke point, extra virgin olive oils only produce a small amount of harmful compounds because of their high antioxidant levels.

Used oil gets poured into a container.

Nutrient Loss During Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Using extra virgin olive oil for cooking may result in nutrient loss due to the high cooking temperatures.

Research shows that extra virgin olive oil loses some of its polyphenols, a nutritional plant compound, when used for sautéing.

Additionally, the duration of the oil’s exposure to heat also affects its vitamin E content and phenols, such as hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant that boasts great health benefits.

This is because antioxidants and vitamin E are sensitive to heat.

Extra virgin olive oil gets drizzled over a spoon before putting it on the salads.

Non-Cooking Uses for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

While extra virgin olive oil is unsuitable for high-heat cooking, there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your dishes.

One excellent way to use extra virgin olive oil is as a finishing touch.

Instead of using it for cooking, consider drizzling it over your prepared dishes before serving.

It works great in salads, making your greens more flavorful and nutritious.

You can also include it in your marinades, use it as a dip for bread, or add it as a finishing touch to your soups.

It is even a healthy way to enhance the taste of your vegetables.

You may also innovate and find other ways to apply extra virgin olive oil to your culinary choices without using it in high heat.

This allows you to savor its unique flavor and enjoy its health benefits without worrying about nutrient loss.

A variety of vegetables are stir-fried on high heat.

Healthier Alternatives for Cooking at High Temperatures

Extra virgin olive oil is not a lone competitor in the broad market of cooking oils.

For one, you may use its regular and non-extra-virgin counterpart if you still like to benefit from its healthy components.

Using avocado and coconut oil, combined with a dash of sea salt, is also a healthy alternative for cooking at high temperatures.

Like olive oil, avocado oil is also rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, which helps reduce inflammation and supports heart health.

Coconut oil also contains medium-chain triglycerides that are easily digested and provide a quick energy source.

Various cooking oils rest on a wooden table with their fruit and vegetable sources.

Your Oil, Your Choice

Extra virgin olive oil is a superstar in the kitchen, but sometimes, it loses its shine when it starts sizzling in your pan.

However, it can still steal the show in non-cooking applications.

Remember, plenty of healthier oil options are available for high-temperature cooking, including regular olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.

Each one comes with its own set of perks. You just have to make wise decisions and keep your kitchen adventures suitable for your liking and health.

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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