Fat isn’t necessarily bad for health. Many people blame the increase of cardiovascular and heart diseases on this macronutrient, but we can’t deny that it still takes part in human metabolism. The problem is people often eat it in excessive amounts because high-fat foods taste great. That’s why people can’t stop swallowing them. Due to the risks associated with consuming high-fat foods, people start to look for healthier alternatives and it turns out that olive oil is one of them. Olive oil is a plant-based oil which contains a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, making it perfect for consumption.
Benefits of olive oil
This oil has numerous health benefits. Research suggests that the antioxidants in the oil can help fight against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol in the body. It also has the ability to reduce inflammation thanks to the oleic acid content. Apart from heart disease, antioxidants are equally important for cancer prevention. Numerous studies reveal that increasing antioxidant intake may lower the risk of cancer significantly.
Strokes are another disease that this special oil can combat because it’s related to poor blood circulation particularly in the brain. By replacing coconut oil with this healthier variety, you may have protected yourself from this debilitating disease.
Using olive oil for cooking
Olive oil makes a perfect choice for salad dressings because the health benefits can be achieved the most when it’s not overly cooked. This later raises a question if it can be a substitute to coconut oil that has been used widely for deep frying. Unfortunately, olive oil has a naturally low smoke point, making it more prone to burning. When you are heating it, you’ll quickly notice smoke coming out of the oil.
Sauteing is okay, but for deep frying you need to be more cautious. You wouldn’t want all the benefits to go to waste just because you don’t know how to use it. There is another variety called refined olive oil. This is the one suited for cooking because it has been processed in a way that increases its smoke point. So if you want to cook with olive oil without worries, buy this variety.
Different types of olive oil
Another interesting aspect about olive oil is it’s available in different grades and prices. The healthiest one is known as extra virgin oil. Compared to the other types, this comes with the highest price tag. Such a quality is retained because this olive oil doesn’t go through extensive processing. There are no chemicals added or extreme heat that comes in contact after it’s extracted from the fruits. Additionally, the acidity level is maintained below 0.8%. In terms of appearance, it looks dark green and the flavor is also distinct. It tastes a bit pungent, which is very distinguishable from other flavorless cooking oils.
One step below this grade is virgin oil. This variety is still good quality-wise, but the acidity is on the higher side. Thus, this version tastes a bit mild, but still strong enough if you’ve never tried something like this before. And then, there is light olive oil. This is the one that has been processed to raise the smoke point. Go buy this if you want to submerge your food in hot olive oil.