It's Safe and Healthy to Cook with EVOO!

It's Safe and Healthy to Cook with EVOO!

Kosterina Family,

We’re here to bust some myths about cooking with olive oil. For the past 30+ years, the US consumer has been told not to cook with olive oil because it has a “low smoke point” but this is wrong on multiple levels. Being Greek, I’ve heard this and always wondered “what does one cook with if not with olive oil?” 

So let us break it down into 2 pieces:

  1. Research shows that the smoke point of olive oil is actually quite high. According to a study published in Food Chemistry, even virgin olive oil has a fairly high smoke point (around 375-405°F). According to the North American Olive Oil Association, olive oil's smoke point is 390 to 468 degrees. All Kosterina extra virgin olive oils have a smoke point over 425°F, so go ahead and use our EVOO for frying, baking, and roasting without worrying about it breaking down into harmful compounds.
  2. Secondly, smoke point is actually not a good measure for whether you should cook with an oil. Much more important are the level of harmful free radicals emitted when temperature is applied. A 2018 study from The Scientific Nutritional Health Journal found high quality EVOO to be the best performing cooking oil across a variety of factors. Researchers tested ten oils, including EVOO, coconut oil, and avocado oil, analyzing their oxidation levels, oxidative stability, smoke points, and fatty acid profiles across various heat points and durations. Unsuspectingly, the findings revealed EVOO's superior performance in multiple factors.

Extra virgin olive oil truly has the lowest oxidation rate of cooking oils, meaning it can maintain its molecular structure when heat is applied. You want the lowest oxidation rate possible because oxidation promotes free radicals, chemicals that are highly reactive and damage cells. Some of this damage may lead to cancer and other disease states.

Besides the low oxidation rate, some additional benefits of cooking with EVOO include:

Enhanced Nutrient Absorption

Did you know that EVOO can make your veggies even healthier? The healthy monounsaturated fats in EVOO help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, and K) from the vegetables you cook. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that adding fat to vegetable dishes significantly increased the absorption of these essential nutrients. This means that when you sauté spinach in EVOO, you’re not only making it tastier but also boosting your intake of vital nutrients.

Antioxidants: The Health Warriors

EVOO is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin E and phenolic compounds. These antioxidants are like tiny warriors fighting off free radicals, which can cause cellular damage and contribute to aging and diseases. A study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that phenolic compounds in EVOO, such as oleocanthal, have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen. So, EVOO doesn’t just add flavor—it adds a layer of protection to your meals. 

Extra virgin olive oil isn’t just a kitchen staple; it’s a culinary superhero backed by science. Cooking with EVOO is a win-win for your taste buds and your health. Its monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and heat stability make it the perfect cooking oil. Plus, it enhances nutrient absorption and adds incredible flavor to your dishes. So next time you reach for cooking oil, make it EVOO—you’re not just cooking; you’re creating a deliciously, healthy masterpiece!

Peace, Love, and EVOO,

Katina & The Kosterina Team

Made with Cooks & Bakers in Mind