Olive Oil: Why cooking with it may be bad for you

Last night I had dinner with a friend who is a food scientist at UBC.

I learned this health tip while we dined on a delicious clam and chorizo white wine pasta dish: when cooking, don’t cook with olive oil.

Olive oil – not all that good for you? Find out how you can best reap its benefits.

Image via Unsplash

Olive oil has gained a lot of attention this past decade, with a general increased interest in cooking, culinary arts and health and wellness.

Did you know that olive oil has high amounts of unsaturated fats? In fact, it’s high content in monounsaturated fats is why we’ve been told olive oil is good for us. However, when high amounts unsaturated fats are heated, as in with cooking, many double bonds in its chemical make-up turn into radicals. These radicals, when roaming free in the body, create reactive compounds that can damage your cell membranes, and are responsible for many chronic degenerative diseases.

Using olive oil wisely – in salads and non-heated dishes – allows us to enjoy all the heart-benefits of this kitchen staple.

Image via Unsplash.

That being said, olive oil is great for drizzling and preparing non-heated dishes. However, cooking with canola or corn oil might be a better choice. Stocking your pantry with these alternative oils increases your cooking options, varies your diet and allows you to still reap the great benefits of heart-healthy olive oil.

Grace Cheung is a physiotherapist who specializes in treating musicians and performing artists. She is also a musician and plays violin, piano, guitars and is now learning the cello. Grace is co-owner of Go! Physiotherapy Sports and Wellness Centre.

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