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Is Olive Oil Bad for You? Cooking With Olive Oil

Is olive oil bad for you?

Although olive oil is not bad for you, it has low smoke point and should not be used for cooking over high heat, as the oil can form harmful compounds.

Although olive oil is not bad for you, its smoke point is low and should not be used for cooking over high heat, as this can create harmful compounds in the oil.

Why Olive Oil May Be Good For You

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids:

  • Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals caused by oxidants StressWhich can stop some diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, StrokeAnd even certain types Cancer.
  • Monounsaturated when used in place of saturated fats Fat Less bad help Cholesterol (Low-density lipoprotein) levels and risks Dementia.

Is olive oil good for cooking?

Many experts believe that exposure to high temperatures alters the inherent properties of fats and oils. Olive oil has a particularly low smoke point, between 365-420 F. Smoking Point refers to the point where an oil begins to produce smoke. When you heat olive oil to its smoke point, useful compounds like polyphenols are converted into potentially harmful compounds.

Although olive oil may not be an ideal cooking oil for high temperature frying, it can be used for low temperature cooking to preserve nutrients.

Which type of olive oil is best for cooking?

Even for low heat cooking, it is important to understand the olive grades based on how they are extracted and processed. The highest grade of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil, then virgin oil and finally refined olive oil.

Studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil has a relatively high smoke point of 376 Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is safe to use in most cooking methods, including pan-frying. Some evidence shows that pan-frying certain foods in olive oil, such as tomatoes, onions and GarlicMay improve the bioavailability of antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols.

What are the alternatives to olive oil for cooking over high heat?

For minimal heat cooking, you can use olive oil. However, if you want to deep fry, the best option is canola oil, which is rich in heart-healthy compounds such as alpha-linoleic acid and polyphenols. If you are unsure about buying plain canola oil due to concerns about genetically modified canola seeds, you can go for organic canola oil.

Other oils you can use on high heat include:

  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nuts

If you want to be careful not to use olive oil for cooking over high heat, you can still reap the health benefits of using olive oil in other ways, such as on bread, salads or on fish.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between “part” and “service”.
See answer

Has been medically reviewed 4/18/2022


Image Source: iStock Image

Chiou A, Kalogeropoulos N. As Virgin Olive Oil Frying Oil. Extensive review of food science and food security. July 2017; 16 (4): 632-46.

LeWine HE. Is extra virgin olive oil extra healthy? Harvard Health Publishing.

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