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--Dennis McGee RN

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olive oil smoke point
Is it OK to fry with olive oil?
Many people have heard that you shouldn't fry with olive oil. This is not true. Olive oil is great for frying and even deep frying. Here are some important points to understand when you heat olive oil.
The smoke point for light olive oil is 468 F (242C) which is higher than cottonseed oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, canola Oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil (Refined), sesame seed oil, peanut oil (refined), safflower oil, (refined), lards and butter.
The smoke point for extra virgin olive oil is at least 406F (208C). The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) in Madrid, Spain, says olive oil's smoke point is 410˚F (210C) and the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils (ISEO) in the UK says 420˚F (216C).
Since the temperature for pan frying is normally between 350-375F (177-191C) both light olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are suitable for pan frying.
The correct temperature for deep frying depends on the thickness and type of food, but in most cases it lies between 345375F (175-190C). So both light olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are suitable for deep frying.  
Direct heat grilling (over a fire) can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 C (500 F). Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma from a chemical process that occurs when the temperature is in excess of 155 C (310 F). So it is possible to safely grill meat, potatoes or vegetable that are covered with olive oil, but caution should be taken to not exceed smoke point of the grade of olive oil you are using.
The longer oil is exposed to heat and the more often it is reheated the lower the smoke point goes. 
One study done in 2002 showed "The performance of virgin olive oil and a commercial vegetable shortening was investigated during 10 successive pan-fryings of potatoes at 180C (356F) for a total period of 60 min and during 10 successive deep-fryings at 170 C (338 F) for a total period of 120 min. These are typical conditions of Greek domestic cooking.... Both oils performed similarly during pan-frying, while virgin olive oil performed better during deep-frying." [1]
To get started try frying potatoes in olive oil.
Fahrenheit Centigrade

 SORTED BY SPOKE POINT TEMPERATURE

GRADE  
225F 107C Canola Oil
Flaxseed Oil
Safflower Oil
Sunflower Oil
Unrefined
Unrefined
Unrefined
Unrefined
 
320F 160C Corn Oil
High-Oleic Sunflower Oil
Olive Oil*
Peanut Oil
Safflower Oil
Soy Oil
Walnut Oil
Unrefined
Unrefined
Unrefined*
Unrefined
Semi -Refined 
Unrefined
Unrefined
*note: unrefined olive oil is not sold for consumer use. This is sometimes called "ordinary olive oil" or "lampant olive oil"
325F 163C Shortening Emulsified Vegetable  
330F 166C Hemp Seed Oil -  
350F 177C Butter
Canola Oil
Coconut Oil
Sesame Oil
Soy Oil
Butter
Semi-Refined
-
Unrefined
Semi-Refined
 
356-370F 180-188C Vegetable Shortening -  
361-401F 183-205C Lard -  
389F 198C Macadamia Nut Oil -  
400F 204C Canola Oil
Walnut Oil
Refined
Semi-Refined
 
406F 208C Olive Oil* Extra Virgin* *This is the highest grade of olive oil available for consumer use. IOOC says: 410˚F (210C) ISEO says: 420˚F (216C).
410F 210C Corn Oil
Sesame Oil
   
420F 216C Cottonseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Olive Oil*
-
-
Virgin*
*This grade of olive oil is not usually available for consumer use in the N. American market.
430F 221C Almond Oil
Hazelnut Oil
-
-
 
435F 224C Canola Oil -  
438F 226C Olive Oil *
Rapeseed Oil
Pure*
-
*This grade of olive oil available is a mixture of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. This has more virgin olive oil mixed in than "light olive oil"
440F 227C Peanut Oil
Sunflower Oil
-
-
 
450F 232C Corn Oil
High-Oleic Sunflower Oil
Peanut Oil
Safflower Oil
Sesame Oil
Soy Oil
Sunflower Oil
Refined
Refined
Refined
Refined
Semi-Refined
Refined
Semi-Refined
 
460F 238C Olive Pomace Oil* - *This is NOT olive oil, the the oil a mixture of mixture of refined olive oil pomace oil and virgin olive oil. Olive pomace is the waste product after olive oil production.  
468 F 242C Olive Oil* Light* *This grade of olive oil available is a mixture of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. This has less virgin olive oil mixed in than "pure olive oil"
485F 252C Grapeseed Oil -  
495F 257C Soy Bean Oil -  
510F 266C Safflower Oil -  
520F 271C Avocado Oil Refined  

Table information adapted from wiki Wikipedia "Smoke Points" article (2008)

Source: 1. Title: Deterioration of natural antioxidant species of vegetable edible oils during the domestic deep-frying and pan-frying of potatoes; Authors: Andrikopoulos N. K.1; Dedoussis G. V.Z.2; Falirea A.3; Kalogeropoulos N.4; Hatzinikola H. S.1; Source: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Volume 53, Number 4, 1 July 2002 , pp. 351-363(13); Publisher: Informa Healthcare 2. Title: Cancer Concerns With Olive Oil; Author: John Deane M.D. Date: 2001; Souce: Olive Oil Souce web site.

OLIVE OIL NEWS

     

     

The effect of olive oil polyphenols on antibodies against oxidized LDL. A randomized clinical trial

August, 2011

reported in  Clinical Nutrition
Volume 30, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 490-493

Reseachers: Olga Castaera, b, Montserrat Fita, M. Carmen Lpez-Sabaterc, Henrik E. Poulsend, Kristiina Nyyssnene, Helmut Schrdera, Jukka T. Salonenf, Karina De la Torre-Carbotc, Hans-Franz Zunftg, Rafael De la Torrea, Hans Bumlerh, Antonio V. Gaddii, Guillermo T. Saezj, Marta Tomsa, Maria-Isabel Covasa and for the EUROLIVE Study Group
In this study demonstrated that daily consumption of 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil reduces LDL (bad cholesterol). Extra virgin olive oil, with higher polyphenol levels, is more effective at reducing LDL that other olive oils with lower polyphenol levels.

The research showed increased the levels of an antibody that reduces levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). High LDL is considered a risk factor of heart disease and stroke.

Olive oil polyphenols promote OLAB generation. This effect is stronger at higher concentrations of lipid oxidative damage.

   



 

     

Olive oil consumption, plasma oleic acid, and stroke incidence. The Three-City Study

January 19, 2011

reported in  Neurology  researchers: C. Samieri, PhD,
C. Fart, PhD, C. Proust-Lima, PhD, E. Peuchant, MD, PhD,
C. Tzourio, MD, PhD, C. Stapf, MD, C. Berr, MD, PhD and P. Barberger-Gateau, MD, PhD
This research suggest a protective role in reducing the risk of strokes for older people whose diet includes a high quantity of olive oil. 

   


 

     

Fruit, vegetables, and olive oil and risk of coronary heart disease in Italian women: the EPICOR Study

November 29, 2010

reported in  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:  researchers: Benedetta Bendinelli, Giovanna Masala,
Calogero Saieva, Simonetta Salvini, Carmela Calonico,
Carlotta Sacerdote, Claudia Agnoli, Sara Grioni, Graziella Frasca, Amalia Mattiello, Paolo Chiodini, Rosario Tumino, Paolo Vineis, Domenico Palli, and
Salvatore Panico
This research shows

an inverse association between increasing consumption of leafy vegetables and olive oil and CHD (coronary heart disease) risk. The woman with higher consumption of green leafy vegetables and olive oil had significantly lower incidents of CHD.

     

     

Heart-Protecting Component of Olive Oil Discovered

April 2, 2009

reported in  Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, lead researcher: Fatima Paiva-Martins, at the University of Porto, Portugal.

Scientists have discovered the polyphenol in extra virgin olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke. DHPEA-EDA is the main antioxidant in olive oil that protects red blood cells from damage.

more...

     

     

Phytochemicals Make Olive Oil Even More Awesome Than Previously Believed

December 18, 2008

Extra-virgin olive oil contains 'phytochemicals', that can trigger the death of cancer cells according to research published in the BMC Cancer journal,  suppressing the cancer gene HER2 and therefore reducing the risk of breast cancer. (more...)

Read about the heart-health benefits of  phytochemicals (plant sterols, flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds) according to the American Heart Association here.

     

     
Heart Disease Prevention
November 9, 2008
32 simple steps we should all take to battle heart disease
Pour on the Olive Oil
Men whose diet include as much as 2 ounces of Olive oil a day have an 82% lower risk of having a fatal heart attack than men who consume little or none. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats-known to hinder the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol into its artery clogging form.... more...
     

     
Antioxidants and the Mediterranean Diet
November 9, 2008
Reference: (1) Visioli, Francesco and Galli, Claudio. The Role of Antioxidants in the Mediterranean Diet. Lipids, Vol.36, Supplement (2001).
...the importance of antioxidants and the role it plays in the Mediterranean Diet.... Phytochemicals (nonvitamin antioxidants) Polyphenols fall into the category of phytochemicals and are very abundant in the Mediterranean diet especially when it comes to its high proportion of fruits and vegetables and to the consumption of red wine and olive oil.  ... more...
     

     
Calorie density: A tool to stop weight gain
November 8, 2008
By Karen Collins, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
The average American adult gains one to two pounds a year. Now, two new studies add to the mounting evidence that adults can fight this tendency by limiting the calorie density of our diets, particularly by including plenty of vegetables and fruits.... But nutritious foods high in healthful fat, like nuts and olive oil, were not associated with weight gain... more...
     

     
For good health, put heart in your cooking
November 6, 2008
By CHRISTINE A. VERSTRAETE

Too often, people think that developing heart disease dooms them to a life of boring, tasteless food. North Shore cardiologists Dr. Micah Eimer and Dr. Irwin Silverman challenge that notion by teaming up again with Chef Dawn Dlugosz of "A New Dawn Cooking School" which meets in Whole Foods Market, Northbrook, for a heart healthy cooking class in the grocery store's classroom. ... more...
     

     
 
 

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  *DISCLAIMER: We cannot guarantee that following the advice on these pages will be wise for you or achieve the results you desire. If information on this site conflicts with higher authorities please let us know. Consult a registered dietitian or medical practitioner before trying something new. Take care.
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  BOTTOM LINE: What if you could add 10 years to your life? Dumping unhealthy fats and replacing them with an ounce (2 table spoons or 30ml) of olive oil each day will decrease your risk of heart disease by 1/3 and could extend your life.