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Thread: Incorrect claim about Olive Oil in PB? page

  1. #1
    Prophecy's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    Hey everyone


    I have created this topic because I was just reading my copy of PB and discovered a very confusing statement about the nature and physical properties of olive oil in relation to heat.


    Let me say first that the book is great so far and I agree with Mark on all points. I have been following the same diet before I bought the book and therefore have known most of its basics already (about fats, cholsterol etc) since its nothing new actually.

    It is forgotten wisdom that Mark Sisson beautifully resreached and presents in his very well investigated book. What was new to me was Marks explanation why exactly strict insulin regulation (sweet spot) will result in fatburn modus. I like this. Ive been around 150g of carbs so far instinctively but will cut down now in order to lose those last percent of bodyfat (I am at 11%bodyfat right now but want to go down to 8%)


    Anyway, I am not here to critisize but for clarification of an important aspect discussed within the book on the matter of fats, in particular, olive oil.


    the phrase in the book says as follows:


    "Olive Oil: Choose extra virgin, first cold press, locally grown, and savor the flavor! Best not to cook with olive oil due to temperature fragility."


    Now, where does the claim of temperature fragility of olive oil has its origin?


    Olive oil is made up predominantly of monounsaturated oleic acid which is proven to be very heat-stable. Therefore, oliveoil has always been considered a good choice when roasting some meat for example.


    I hope that the staff on this forum can talk for Mark if he is too busy to answer or read this post (that is, you have the sufficient knowledge about diet and dont just tell me im "wrong" because this is not a matter of opinion but a matter of physical factum)


    Anyway, I am glad I bought the book and would really appreciate an answer to my concern.


    Best Regards from Austria

    Türtscher Dominicus


  2. #2
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    Could be because olive oil has a pretty low smoke point - it's pretty easy to get it too hot so it starts smoking, changes the flavor characteristic.


  3. #3
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    I have been cooking with olive oil for years and never experienced any smoke.


    Today I roasted some chicken fillets with olive oil at highest heat but couldnt observe any of these effects.


    So, my question still stands.


  4. #4
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    This article might prove useful in answering your question.


    http://www.oliveoilsource.com/cooking_olive_oil.htm


  5. #5
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    Or this:

    "Now, unlike the information presented in Table 1, the information on olive oil smoke points is, unfortunately, not very clear or consistent since different companies list different smoke points for their olive oil products; this variability most likely reflects differences in degree of processing. Generally, the "smoke point of olive oil" ranges from 220-437°F. Most commercial producers list their pure olive smoke points in the range of 425-450°F while "light" olive oil products (which have undergone more processing) are listed at 468°F. Manufacturers of extra virgin oil list their smoke points in a range that starts "just under 200°F" and that extends all the way up to 406°F. Again, the variability here is great, and most likely reflects differences in the degree of processing.


    Practical tips

    In principle, organic, unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil should have the lowest smoke point of all forms of olive oil since this form of the oil is the least refined, most nutrient dense and contains the largest concentration of fragile nutritive components. Based upon this, I cannot imagine exposing this type of olive oil to high heat, anymore than I can imagine exposing fresh organic flax oil or evening primrose oil. For a natural, very high-quality extra virgin olive oil, I believe the 200-250°F range reflects the most likely upper limit for heating without excessive damage. In other words, this would allow the use of extra virgin olive oil for making sauces, but not for 350°F baking or higher temperature cooking. It is best to add it to your dishes after they have been cooked to enjoy the wonderful flavor and nutritional value of olive oil."

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=56


  6. #6
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    Just wanted to say hi to a fellow Austrian! Considering we are such a small country the likelihood of meeting someone from there is small!



    M


  7. #7
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    ewww come one... look....


    Quote from the above text posted by Sue:

    "Based upon this, I cannot imagine exposing this type of olive oil to high heat"


    This is purely an assumption made by the author (not mark sisson) with no serious or scientific relation. weak.


    brahnamin though, posted something that is way better. Though, I dont know whether my very first post was kind of missunderstood because in the link that you posted (brahnamin), it pretty much says exactly what Ive been saying already. namely, that olive oil is temperature stable. this is a matter of repeated laboratory testing and nothing fancy at all.


    the text in Brahnamins link says for example:


    --------------------------------------------------

    Cooking with Olive Oil


    Olive oil is a great oil for cooking. Strong flavored olive oils can be used for frying fish or other strong flavored ingredients. A mellow late harvest Mission variety oil could be used in baking a cake. Olive oil has a high smoke point, 410 degrees F, and doesn't degrade as quickly as many other oils do with repeated high heating. Use a variety of healthy vegetable oils when preparing food and incorporate a good extra virgin olive oil when you want its health benefits and wonderful Mediterranean flavor.


    There are some myths which have recently circulated about olive oil which we are constantly answering via email and our newsletter. Olive oil has been used for thousands of years and is one of the cornerstones of the healthy Mediterranean diet.


    Olive Oil Myth: Olive oil loses its benefits when heated


    The Facts: Excessively heating olive oil will evaporate the alcohols and esters which make up its delicate taste and fragrance. Heating olive oil will not change its health aspects, only the flavor. Use a cheaper olive oil which doesn't have much flavor to begin with if you want to fry with it, add a more flavorful olive oil after cooking or at the table.


    Olive Oil Myth: Heating a cooking oil will make it saturated or a trans-fatty oil.


    The Facts: As far as making a saturated fat, according to Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, (Book - OLIVE OIL FROM THE TREE TO THE TABLE -Second edition 1998), all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive pomace oil and virgin olive oil are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.

    -----------------------------------------------------


    because of the information in the above posted text from Brahnamins link, I have come here. So I dont know how you come to the conclusion that your link "might prove usefull in answering my question" since the information IN your link says what I have already been saying anyway..!?


    however, so far, no1 could give me a good answer/reason as to why Mark Sisson considers a very heat stable oil "temperature fragile".


    I dont demand that every book is perfect in every aspect or claim, but this missleading assumption should be clarified by himself on his homepage since it is a very important aspect when it comes to cooking with olive oil.

    I wish he could read this.. perhaps it would be best if I tried to reach him over an email...


    oh and, hi Maranne

    I'm surprised as well, where in Austria do you live?


  8. #8
    Sue's Avatar
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    Yes, I realised that it was the author's assumption but I wanted you to take away from that quote was that the more refined a product the higher the smoke point.


    "because of the information in the above posted text from Brahnamins link, I have come here. So I dont know how you come to the conclusion that your link "might prove usefull in answering my question" since the information IN your link says what I have already been saying anyway..!?


    Yes, but who are you? Is what you say automatically right? How do we know its not just your assumption?

    Besides, this is a forum where we discuss, throw out ideas etc.


  9. #9
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    @Prophecy:


    From what have read in your posts, you seem to (very passionately) interpret Marks quote:


    "Olive Oil: Choose extra virgin, first cold press, locally grown, and savor the flavor! Best not to cook with olive oil due to temperature fragility."


    As an argument supporting the following popular myths:


    a) Olive Oil Myth: Olive oil loses its benefits when heated


    b) Olive Oil Myth: Heating a cooking oil will make it saturated or a trans-fatty oil.


    I would argue that b) has nothing to do with the quote, an that a) might apply depending on what you understand by "benefit".


    Sue pointed out that some of the lost benefits would be flavor, for example. And I agree.


    "I wish he could read this.. perhaps it would be best if I tried to reach him over an email... "


    I think that's a great idea.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  10. #10
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    ok this is getting in the wrong direction...


    sue.. first of all, you have completely missunderstood what I meant with:


    "because of the information in the above posted text from Brahnamins link, I have come here. So I dont know how you come to the conclusion that your link "might prove usefull in answering my question" since the information IN your link says what I have already been saying anyway..!?


    This was NOT appointed to you.

    I asked for clarification on an important topic. Brahnamin posted a link that even FURTHER acclaimed my claims on the heat stability of olive oil and therefore this link could in no way "prove useful in answering my question". (even though it is a good link)


    Understand now? if english is not your first language then use a dictionary.


    interestingly, it was also you who brought up the "smoke point" matter while it wasnt even asked for or needed.


    All oils have a smoke point and I have been cooking, searing etc with olive oil for many years and never noticed any smoke... I know many people who never saw their olive oil smoke either.. actually, I know none who had smoky olive oil since the casual cooking heat isnt hot enough anyway..


    with "temprature fragility", Mark Sisson did not adress the Smokepoint but the point of heat when the fat is being rendered either dangerous or quite useless. Of course, all fats have this point.


    But, as I have already said, Olive oil is made up predominantly of monounsaturated oleic acid which is proven to be very heat-stable.


    quoting sue:

    "Yes, but who are you? Is what you say automatically right? "


    In this very case I am not just "automatically right", but much rather, I am scientifically right since I am referring to something that has been tested over and over in laboratories and is easily explained by the biochemical composition and physical properties of monounsaturated oleic acid.


    olive oil consists of up to 80% of oleic acid. and it is very heat stable.


    Actually, the boiling point of olive oil (570 degrees Fahrenheit) is much higher than the smoking point (375 - 400 degrees F) and would be a very dangerous temperature to try to achieve on a home stove. It would certainly ruin the oil and would be close to the flash or fire point (around 600 degrees F) and the danger of a conflagration would be great. (When you are deep frying and you see the oil "boiling" you are actually seeing the water in the batter or food boiling, not the oil.)


    especially, when it comes to frying temperatures... when heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoking point (210º C) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180º C). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.


    quoting sue:

    "How do we know its not just your assumption?"


    I am studying food science- and technology, and therefore know these things because I have to learn them.


    for this reason these are not my assumptions but science's findings.


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