HOW HEALTHY IS OLIVE OIL TO COOK WITH?

Prices updated - Thursday 13th December 2018


So how about the health benefits, are they really what they claim to be?  With my rose tinted specs in the nearest drawer, I’ve had a done a smidgeon of research about hot air frying with Olive Oil.Olive Oil


To understand the benefits of hot air frying we need to understand the benefits unsaturated fats offer. Most of us know to stay clear of large amounts of saturated fats, typically animal fat or trans-fat often created during food processing through partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fats. The two main types of healthier fats are Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fat. These fats are liquid at room temperature, such as Olive, Sunflower Safflower, Corn and Rapeseed Oil. Studies show that both types of these fats, found in a variety of foods and oil, improve blood cholesterol levels and can lower the risk of heart disease.

Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Soybean Oil and Sunflower Oil, Rapeseed and Safflower Oil are all about the same when it comes to calories.

1 Tablespoon is around 120cal, and 1 x 5ml teaspoon is only 40 calories.

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Actifry suggest using a variety of oils but also Olive Oil, however Olive oil is supposed to have a low smoke point, which means it breaks down too quickly when heated high and the substance smokes or burns which can taint the food. Olive oil is often deemed to be too delicate to cook with, I’ve never really agreed with that as I like olive oil and find it easier to keep oil fresh by using it quickly. Although I do sometimes have Rapeseed oil because I was told it has a higher smoke point,  but prefer to use Olive in the main. So am I actually destroying my olive oil by using it in the hot air fryer?


According to Olive Oil Source, the smoke point for olive oil is actually between 400° – 365° F or 204° – 185°C.  The Actifry cooks at 338°F /170° C,   so this suggests my olive oil is actually more than fine in the Actifry.  Not being content with this I have also looked at what the International Olive Oil Council have stated

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When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoke point (410ºF or 210ºC) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (356ºF or 180ºC). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.

So the next time I’m told Olive Oil is too delicate to cook with I shall reveal my new found knowledge and quote from the ‘IOOC’ (International Olive Oil Council)  – or maybe not!

But at least I know!

Happy Cooking

Henni