When you heat olive oil, are any of the health benefits lost?

By MEAL FACTS

Research has repeatedly pointed to the health advantages of olive oil, from preventing heart disease to maybe even shielding you from cancer (source: Medical News Today). 

These advantages result from the composition of olive oil, which contains a wide range of nutrients: In addition to preventing cellular deterioration and reducing inflammation, polyphenols may even cut the risk of stroke.

However, we all know that heating profoundly alters the structure of food by nature. According to Healthline, cooking may drain nutrients from some foods while simultaneously making them easier for our systems to digest and allowing us to absorb more nutrients from them.

(For instance, cooking an egg will increase its nutritional value, yet eating veggies raw may be the most nutritious.) Does heating destroy the beneficial nutrients in olive oil, as cooking alters a food's appearance, flavour, and breaks down substances we cannot see?

Never hesitate to warm up your olive oil.

A Spanish study found that the way we prepare olive oil in the home kitchen really retains a lot of the benefits. Only some of those beneficial chemicals in the oil saw a considerable decline after cooking, according to the study's analysis of the polyphenolic profile of olive oil before and after sautéing.

The amount of oil that was lost depended greatly on the temperature used to heat the oil, with just a 40% reduction in polyphenol content occurring at 120 degrees Celsius, or 248 degrees Fahrenheit.

In conclusion, cooking with olive oil still provides a lot of nutritious value despite some nutrient loss during heating of this fundamental food

Try cooking with your extra virgin at a little lower temperature to preserve as many of those lovely health advantages as you can to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

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