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Is olive oil also suitable for cooking and frying?
Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest edible oils. However, it is always recommended to use it only for the cold kitchen or at least not to overheat it, otherwise it will lose its healthy properties. But a study now shows that this does not have to be the case for all products.
Mostly cold-pressed oils are recommended for cold kitchens and refined oils for cooking. However, a Spanish study has now revealed that olive oil of the highest category "extra virgin" retains its healthy properties even when seared in the pan.
Positive health effects
Olive oil is an important part of the Mediterranean cuisine and is also extremely popular in this country.
Scientific studies have shown that this oil protects the heart and lowers cholesterol, among other things.
But it is always said that olive oil should not be heated or not overheated and therefore should not be used for frying so that it retains its positive properties. Now there are new findings.
Most important source of fat in the Mediterranean diet
As the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) explains in a current communication, olive oil is traded in different categories depending on the production method.
Olive oil, which is called "extra virgin", is therefore the highest quality level. This is the first pressing in purely mechanical processes without exposure to heat directly from the olives.
“Extra virgin olive oil” is the most important source of fat in Mediterranean cuisine, where it is used not only for cold dishes, but also for frying in the pan and deep-frying.
Particularly high content of polyphenols
According to the BZfE, it has a unique composition of fatty acids with a particularly high content of polyphenols and other antioxidants. Its positive effect on health is primarily due to the phenol content.
According to studies, consumption is said to protect against various diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. So far, however, there are hardly any studies as to whether the high-quality oil is also suitable for frying.
Because when heated, the valuable antioxidants could be lost. It would also be possible for harmful substances such as lipid oxides to form at high temperatures.
Requirements for a healthy oil met
For their study published in the specialist magazine "Antioxidants", researchers from the University of Barcelona simulated the cooking conditions in a normal household kitchen.
The aim of the scientists was to see how the frying of potatoes (200 g) and chicken (100 g) in a pan affects the polyphenols contained in olive oil.
The conclusion: When roasting, the polyphenols content decreased by 40 percent at 120 degrees and by 75 percent at 170 degrees, reports the BZfE.
Even after frying, the olive oil still met the general requirements of the European Union (EU) for a healthy oil. It also had properties that protect against the oxidation of special proteins (low density lipoproteins, LDL).
These proteins are necessary to transport cholesterol and other substances to the cells in the blood. In oxidized form, however, they damage the vessel walls.
According to the researchers, further studies will investigate the effects of cooking with olive oil with other foods such as legumes. It would also be interesting to know how healthy the frying with olive oil is "extra virgin" compared to other oils. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE): Olive oil "extra virgin", (accessed: March 18, 2020), Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE)
- Lozano-Castellón, J .; Vallverdú-Queralt, A .; Rinaldi de Alvarenga, J.F .; Illán, M .; Torrado-Prat, X .; Lamuela-Raventós, R.M .: Domestic Sautéing with EVOO: Change in the Phenolic Profile; in: Antioxidants, (published: 16.01.2020), Antioxidants