They say olive oil is one of the healthiest heart-healthy cooking oils. Yes, it’s perfect for vinaigrette and for drizzling on spaghetti, salad and hummus. However, you should exercise caution while using it for any other form of cooking.
That’s because olive oil has a smoking point of 325°F to 375°F, and if the food you’re cooking needs the oil to get hotter than 400°F, it will not only ruin the flavors, but will also damage your health. If any oil is heated beyond its smoking point, it begins to break down chemically. Due to this, it loses its antioxidants, releasing toxic chemicals in the form of smoking, and eventually becomes carcinogenic.
With that being said, olive oil continues to be a very healthy oil if you use it correctly. Avoid using it in these types of cooking:
- Searing meats such as steak, lamb, pork or even fish with olive oil will cause a lot of smoke, and is a bad idea overall.
- Any kind of chicken or vegetable that has to be roasted in the oven for over 400°F should not be coated with olive oil. This is not only unhealthy, it causes them to get over-charred and bitter.
- Avoid using olive oil for anything cooked in a wok, as it requires high-heat cooking.
- Olive oil is not meant for deep-frying, so pick another oil for your fried chicken, French fries and fritters, such as peanut oil or vegetable oil.
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