There are many benefits of using olive oil for cooking. The oil contains monounsaturated fats that have higher levels of bioactive compounds compared to the traditionally used vegetable oils. It is considered an all-round healthy cooking oil. So when it comes to various cooking processes, such as deep frying, roasting, pan-frying and boiling, there are many reasons why this oil has an edge.
1. Stable Under Heating
Olive oil contains high amounts of monounsaturated fats that remain relatively stable under heating. These fatty acids have high resistance to heating. The oil contains only 11% of polyunsaturated fats, which is known to be damaged when heated. Most vegetable oils have polyunsaturated fats with several double bonds, but olive oil has monounsaturated fats with a single double bond. A single double bond provides it more stability compared to most of the other vegetable oils used for cooking.
2. Fights Oxidation
Another benefit of using olive cooking oil is that the high percentage of vitamin E and antioxidants help it fight oxidation. It is important that you choose extra virgin olive oil because it contains higher amounts of these bioactive substances. These antioxidants protect the oil itself from breaking down or getting damaged when heated to high temperatures or for continuous periods.
The antioxidant properties of the oil are also beneficial for the body. It helps in fighting free radicals that can cause damages to body cells. These ingredients provide natural protection to olive oil against oxidative damage when it is being heated.
If you use a cooking oil that easily oxidizes, it will react with oxygen to create various harmful compounds. In fact, many vegetable oils can get oxidized at room temperatures, but the process speeds up when heated. The likeliness of oxidative damage of a cooking oil depends on two factors:
- Percentage of polyunsaturated fats it contains. These fatty acids have lower oxidative resistance.
- Percentage of antioxidants that fight oxidative damage.
Both these factors mean that you will be using olive oil for cooking benefits.
3. Health Benefits
Olive oil is also considered the best cooking oil for health . It has 73% healthy monounsaturated fats known as oleic acid. It helps in fighting inflammation and preventing the development of cancers. The anti-inflammatory properties help in preventing or fighting many diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and metabolic syndrome. The high amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K and other antioxidants further help in fighting serious diseases.
Overall, olive oil cooking is a healthy choice compared to other types of oils. It also helps in minimizing the cooking time. Due to its higher oxidative resistance, the oil retains its molecular structure and can be reused many times. This also means more savings in the long term. Thus, using it as cooking oil offers many benefits, but if you want to extract the full benefits of its compounds, you should consume it in its unprocessed form. So it is best to use it in every way possible to enrich your health.