By Joan McDaniel
Researchers concluded that olive oil is a major contributing factor to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. While olive oil can and should be a healthy part of your diet, what most people do not appreciate is that olive oil should not be used to cook with. It should be used cold or applied to a dish after it has been cooked. Olive oil is primarily a monounsaturated fat which when heated can easily break-down and become perishable with oxidative damage and then forms free-radicals. As it turns out, extra-virgin olive oil contains chlorophyll that accelerated decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly. So if you plan on using a fat to cook with, your clear choice is coconut oil or butter. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid which is a proven antiviral and immune system builder.
So in evaluating plant oils for cooking, it should be clear that oils that contain a high percentage of saturated fatty acids are more stable than those that contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids. When exposed to heat and light during processing, storage, and use, oils that contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids tend to contain more free radicals than oils that contain mainly saturated and/or monounsaturated fatty acids.
I have found that I can add olive oil after I have cooked the food. I also found that if I mix olive oil with coconut oil, coconut oil stays liquid. As long as you don’t heat the olive oil it is very good for you.
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