Olive oil is considered “liquid gold” thanks to the important health benefits it provides. Doctors recommend their patients to introduce olive oil to their diet to manage or prevent a number of health problems.
Olive oil is added to salads, used when cooking, but it is widely accepted belief it’s not meant for deep frying. Is that really correct?
This post focuses on the amazing health benefits of olive oil and its deep frying potential. Scroll down to learn more.
- 1 Olive oil health benefits
- 2 Does deep frying with olive oil cause cancer?
- 3 Can you deep fry with olive oil?
- 4 Attention to fry the food with olive oil
- 5 Can you deep fry with coconut oil?
- 6 Conclusion
Olive oil health benefits
For centuries people have been using olive oil for culinary purposes. It is an important part of the Mediterranean diet, the healthiest eating pattern in the world.
Not only does olive oil prove to be a marvelous addition to any meal, but it protects your overall health and wellbeing in many ways.
Let’s take a look at the most essential health benefits of olive oil.
Stimulates blood circulation
Blood circulation belongs to the group of the most important functions in your body. The function of your body and your health depend on blood flow. It promotes heart health, kidney and liver health, basically anything you can think of.
Many factors, predominantly unhealthy lifestyle, disrupt blood flow and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
Fortunately, olive oil can prevent these complications. A growing body of evidence confirms that olive oil lowers LDL or bad cholesterol, prevents blood clotting, and improves the endothelial function, i.e., lining of the blood vessels.
Improves the function of the digestive system
When it reaches the stomach, olive oil doesn’t reduce the tonus of the muscular ring at the esophagus base. As a result, this oil minimizes the risk of acid reflux that millions of people experience after eating.
At the same time, olive oil stimulates the absorption of other nutrients thus allowing you to get the most out of the nutritional value of some meal. Unlike other oils, olive oil isn’t difficult on your digestive tract, and it doesn’t contribute to weight gain.
For example, a 3-year-study of 187 subjects revealed that an olive-rich diet increased antioxidant content and promoted weight loss.
Protects the skin
Coconut oil is usually considered the best type of fat for beautiful skin, but olive oil can also provide useful benefits.
The “liquid gold” is abundant in antioxidants that destroy free radicals and prevent or minimize oxidative stress and damage it would cause. A major source of free radicals is exposure to sun’s harmful UV rays.
Evidence shows that applying olive oil onto your skin after sun exposure could fight off cancerous cells. Olive oil can also moisturize your skin, work as a makeup remover, and it is a great addition to gentle exfoliators.
Improves the function of the endocrine system
Hormonal balance is important for our overall health, but a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, stress, and other factors may impair it.
When that happens, the homeostasis in your body is disrupted and causes a domino effect. Hormonal fluctuations always come with a multitude of symptoms, and they also disrupt the balance of some other hormones. It is needless to mention this is bad news for your body.
Belonging to the group of healthier fats olive oil aids in creating responsive and healthy cell membranes. As a result, it enables hormones to adhere to the cell easily. That way, olive oil aids the function of the endocrine system.
Benefits to the skeletal system
As we’re getting older, we experience a gradual loss of bone mass that puts us in the risk of osteoporosis. In addition, aging also increases the likelihood of different types of arthritis.
Joint pain, swelling, redness, are just some of the many symptoms that people experience and it is needless to mention they decrease the range of motion and quality of life.
Polyphenols from the olive oil could improve skeletal health due to their ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Anti-aging benefits of olive oil come down to, as you can already guess, to its extraordinary power to neutralize free radicals.
As a result, olive oil prevents oxidative stress that would otherwise harm our heart, brain, skin, liver, and other parts of our body. Through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects olive oil keeps oxidative damage at bay and allows skin, heart, and other body parts to function properly.
Does deep frying with olive oil cause cancer?
Most vegetable oils form carcinogenic compounds due to frying, and there’s always a question whether olive oil does the same.
In fact, an increasing number of cancers today occur due to consumption of deep-fried foods due to carcinogenic compounds that have been released by the oils.
Fortunately, studies have shown that olive oil is different. Unlike sunflower oil, olive oil doesn’t oxidize much, and it doesn’t produce harmful compounds.
- Also Read: Do Air Fryers Cause Cancer?
Can you deep fry with olive oil?
A common misconception states that one should never deep fry with olive oil, but the reality is different.
Olive oil is abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids which, similarly to saturated fats, are resistant to heat. Research shows that olive oil can be used for more than 24 hours in a deep fryer before it excessively oxidizes.
The evidence suggests that olive oil is a valid choice for deep frying, but when heated for a long time the fragrance and flavor of the oil might not hold up that well.
In addition, it is useful to mention that frying in olive oil may not have a significant adverse effect on the nutritional value of the food.
When processed under normal cooking conditions with temperatures up to 356°F to 374°F (180°C to 190°C), the performance of olive oil is comparable or even better than other vegetable oils.
Attention to fry the food with olive oil
While one can deep fry with olive oil, there are still some considerations to bear in mind. It is generally believed that extra virgin olive oil may not be the best choice for deep frying due to the low smoke point, but data on this subject varies.
Below, you can learn more about frying temperature and speed associated with olive oil.
Not all oils have the same frying temperature, and olive oil is not an exception.
The biggest problem here is that different sources report different temperatures thus increasing the confusion among people who aren’t sure whether to use olive oil for deep frying or not. Although it is usually believed that olive oil has a low smoke point, that may not be true.
Smoke point or burning point is a burning temperature at which the oil begins to produce smoke. The smoke indicates you should not use that specific oil at higher temperatures, depending on the point at which you were frying.
Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point around 375-420°F (190-215°C), but smoke points at about 320°F or 160°C have been reported too.
On the flip side, refined olive oil has a smoke point of 468°F or 242°C. Basically, olive oil is a safe choice for frying and other cooking methods.
Different types of food require different temperatures when frying with olive oil:
- Medium (130-140°C) – fruit, potatoes, vegetables, and other foods with high water content
- Hot (155-170°C) – forming a crust, foods coated in batter, breadcrumbs, and flour
- Very hot (175-190°C) – croquettes, small fish, and other foods that are quickly fried
Frying speed depends on the meal you are preparing and the temperature.
Medium temperature and high water content may require frying for up to 25 minutes (depending on the ingredients), but hot and very hot temperature can help you have your meal ready in up to 10 minutes.
Can you deep fry with coconut oil?
Coconut oil is, together with olive oil, considered to be the healthiest oil in the world. Not only does it provide a number of health benefits that improve our quality of life, but it is also versatile.
You can use coconut oil for beauty and culinary purposes, as well as for many other things. If you want to introduce some healthy fats into your lifestyle and are looking for healthy deep frying oil, then coconut oil is an ideal choice.
Studies have shown that quality of coconut oil doesn’t deteriorate even after eight hours of deep frying at 365°F (180°C). The reason why coconut oil is a perfect choice for deep frying is that a high saturated fat content makes it heat resistant.
Olive oil is a valuable addition to every diet thanks to its amazing potential to boost your health and protect you from a number of diseases and health conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, olive oil can be used for deep frying, but there are some things you need to take into consideration first.
Now that you’ve received reliable information on this subject, you can start planning your meals and cooking experiences accordingly.