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why not cook with olive oil?

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  • why not cook with olive oil?

    i really enjoy cooking with olive oil, but i've read from multiple primal/paleo sources that i should limit my olive oil use to drizzling on salads? why is that?

    one of my favorites... take bunch of asparagus, throw it in a zip lock bag, drizzle it with plenty of olive oil, some coarse ground pepper, a little kosher salt and plenty of minced garlic, then dump it onto a pan and roast in the oven.

    if that's wrong, maybe i don't want to be right! deeeeeelicious.

  • #2
    Olive oil is my primary oil, and the primary oil of many cultures. I find the claims against it lacking a real... what's that word...

    Scientific Basis.

    Ah yes, that's it.
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    • #3
      From what I understand, olive oil is ok to cook with in moderation, but extra virgin is NOT. If I recall, correctly, something about EVOO oxidizing and release bad stuff...
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      • #4
        Now to counter, I've heard that only happens if you take extra virgin over 375F for more than 5 minutes, and primarily based on frying. Then again, if you keep it below that point, you can even fry with it.
        My Fitday public journal.
        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
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        • #5
          I use olive oil for a lot of cooking (including frying), but you don't want to exceed the smoke point for any kind of oil you're using, including olive oil. That's why I keep EVOO for salads and finishing, but use plain olive oil for cooking. Mary Enig is well renowned on fats and also advocates using olive oil, but not at super-high temperatures.

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          • #6
            There's nothing wrong with cooking with good quality extra virgin olive oil. Just make sure you buy it in a dark green glass container or a tin and store it in a cool, dry place, such as in a closet or under the counter. Don't put it in one of those transparent pour bottles out on the counter (like I did for years - good thing I use it up so fast!). Olive oil is my go-to cooking oil as its flavor lends well to just about everything, unlike coconut oil and it doesn't splash, spatter or brown like butter does. I will NOT stop using it and don't let the naysayers throw you off. It's been shown through numerous studies to hold up very well to eat and excellent when herbs like rosemary, oregano and time are added to the oil. Like any other oil, just don't heat it past smoke point. I have a temperature gun and olive oil tends to smoke right around the 400*F mark. Since high heat frying is done at about 375*F, it's fine. Just toss the oil when you're done and don't reuse it like restaurants do.

            Originally posted by davem View Post
            Olive oil is my primary oil, and the primary oil of many cultures. I find the claims against it lacking a real... what's that word...

            Scientific Basis.

            Ah yes, that's it.
            I agree wholeheartedly. All the studies I've read seem to show the exact opposite and that the MUFA's in olive oil are resilient for heating and it takes something like 24 hours at 375*F in a deep fryer to oxidize and destroy the protective polyphenols - and even then it's a hell of a lot better than the week old canola oil you're getting at the restaurants!!!
            Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-04-2011, 11:56 AM.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              I've heard it's more about that it's simply a waste of money to cook with extra virgin.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dracil View Post
                I've heard it's more about that it's simply a waste of money to cook with extra virgin.
                It does cost more, plus there's a smoke point differential.

                That's why I usually use regular olive oil for cooking.

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                • #9
                  Extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols than pure olive oil. Wouldn't that stand to reason that it would be more protective? I don't buy pure olive oil, but then again, I don't deep fry very much at all. I only lightly saute. Maybe I should just buy a tin of 100% pure. It's cheap enough.
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                  • #10
                    I save my EVOO for salads and use plain old olive oil for stirfrying and drizzling on roasted veggies. It's pretty much the only oil I ever use any more other than occasionally I will drizzle a little bit of toasted sesame oil onto a stir fry to give it a unique flavor.

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                    • #11
                      I base what fat I cook with on taste and taste alone, unless I am low on something. Greek, Italian, etc gets olive oil. Indian gets coconut oil. French gets butter, American gets either butter of rendered animal fat.
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                      • #12
                        From what I have read, there is nothing wrong with cooking with Olive Oil, but it does diminish some of the nutrients. I don't even remember where I got that info, so take it for what it's worth. I still cook with EVOO, but I generally choose coconut oil because I prefer the taste.

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                        • #13
                          I try to get a mix of oils. I do use EVOO on my salads for the flavor, though. I will roast things in regular olive oil or sautee on a lower temperature. Choco is right on about storage, too. I also just don't buy a lot at once. It goes rancid quickly. If I have too much on hand, I just keep a really small bottle in the cupboard and put the rest in the fridge. It gets gloopy and hard to work with but I just take out what I'm going to be using up in the next few weeks or so and it goes back to liquid pretty quickly.

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                          • #14
                            and to follow up on ChocoTaco's info. I'm lazy, I buy extra virgin, keep it in a dark place at all times, and use it liberally. Sauteeing is fine, as is baking, braising, drinking, and you can even use it to soften your beard prior to a good shave.

                            Best part, is if you mix it with butter you make it difficult to burn the butter.
                            My Fitday public journal.
                            Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                            Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                            Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                            • #15
                              The premise is actually quite simple: 10% of the fats are PUFA's. High heat oxidizes PUFA's. Now granted, its only 10% which is actually not bad, and yes can be mitigated as others suggest by not cooking it at high temps and throwing it out after cooking with it. All in all its probably low risk. But the concept with oxidized PUFA's is the concept to remember here, particularly with far worse oils...

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