Olive oil in your kitchen for healthy cooking
There are many misconceptions associated with fats of any kind, and they were once considered an anathema to healthy eating. However, with so much information available many of us can dispel some of the negative myths surrounding olive oil, one of which is that it is may increase levels of cholesterol.
The reason why it is so good for us is that it contains monounsaturated fats and a high percentage of oleic acid is concentrated in these fats. Oleic acid is processed more easily in the body than other fatty acids. Moreover, the oleic acid content remains steady even when it is heated, thus retaining the integrity of the oil.
Another major advantage of olive oil is that it has an anti-aging effect due to large amounts of antioxidants and vitamins A and E. Anti-oxidants are known to combat free radicals which damage cells and thus cause the aging process to accelerate. Not only do these antioxidants prevent premature aging but are critical in helping to retain the stability of the oil by neutralizing the oxidation process which is something that occurs in all fats. Therefore, olive oil is the preferred product for cooking at high temperatures unlike oils extracted from seeds.
Because Mediterranean cuisine employs the use of frying in olive oil, a great deal of people in countries outside this region tend to prefer what they consider to be healthier methods to cook their food. As part of a Mediterranean diet frying in olive oil is a traditional method that has been part of their culinary culture for generations and is considered as healthy and popular as eating salads and olive oil.
Tips for the use of olive oil in the kitchen
When cooking with olive oil it is good to remember that less is required because it will increase in volume when heated. Olive oil is also recyclable. It can be used up to five times as long as it hasn’t been damaged or burnt.
If you are planning to use olive oil for a second or third time you should consider what was cooked in the oil previously. Olive oil is a conductor of flavour and if previously used to cook fish then it should be kept only for frying fish again. In that way the flavour of the food you are frying is not tainted by whatever was cooked in the oil before.
The appearance of olive oil is deceptive. It looks denser and therefore more calorific than other oils but in fact there is no difference between olive oil and sunflower oil.
[tag] cooking with olive oil, olive oil and healthy cooking[/tag]