Overheating Olive Oil makes it form Trans Fatty Acids

I recently read that heating olive oil above 350 degrees (it's smoke point) causes the oil to form trans fats. Holy Smokes! I use a lot of olive oil and hate to think I have been creating trans fats! After a little searching, I did find one dissenter. According to oliveoilsource.com, olive oil does not form into trans fats with ordinary cooking. Until I know for sure, I'm being a little more careful with olive oil and high heat. Low and Slow is my new motto for cooking with olive oil.

13 comments:

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

That is so interesting. I never fry anything, but I always saute in olive oil. I'll have to watch the heat.

Happy New Year!

Jenny said...

My chiropractor instructs on using grapeseed oil or coconut oil instead of olive oil for this very reason, although I cannot find anything on the internet that says this. Where did you hear this from? I have switched and I must say that I looooove cooking with coconut oil.

Angela said...

I've seen it now in two magazines. I think body and Soul and Martha Stewart Living. The first time I read it I thought "hmmmm" then the second time, I tried to do some digging online. I couldn't find much info, but I know the "good fats" are a lot less stable than the others.

I'm still using olive oil, but cautiously.

Working Mommy said...

I'm a huge fan of EVOO...so I can't say that I'm going to use less. I'll probably watch the temp a little more though!

~WM

Roger Fillion said...

This isn't accurate information. Australian olive oil expert Richard Gawel notes you can't form trans fats in your kitchen. Trans fats are formed through an industrial process called hydrogenation. It's desgined to turn liquid oil into edible fat that is solid at room temperature -- that's margerine. The hydrogenation process requires heating up the oil under extreme pressure and then bubbling hydrogen gas through it in the presence of a Palladium metal catalyst. All these conditions must be in place for trans fat to form. You can't do this in your kitchen. As Gawel notes, the average person gets most of their trans fats from fast foods, cheap margerines and commercially baked products.

Midday Escapades said...

Wow, good info! I also love to cook with olive oil. Thanks, Angela. You are a wealth of knowledge. How's the Shred challenge? Did I miss a recent update?

Richard Gawel said...

Heating olive oil does not form trans fats! Incorrect information like this puts people off what is a great gift to person-kind. Sure burning oil of any type (olive, vegetable, grape-seed, or your fatty chops on the BBQ) can form other products such as PAH's which aren't good for you. But that is a different issue. In fact because EVOO is a very stable oil, having a long shelf life, you can have confidence that it contains less of the less than healthy by-products of rancidity that plague seed oils. Finally, the belief that EVOO has a low smoke point is very much over-stated. Good EVOO with a low acidity actually does pretty well in the smoke point stakes.

Angela said...

Roger and Richard, Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I love olive oil and feel better using it now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good information. Is it better to bake cakes with olive oil or butter?

Angela said...

I would use either. I also use canola oil on occasion. I've received a lot of feedback that olive oil is okay to bake with. It's just not the best for frying and super hot 500 oven cooking. Best of luck.

katty said...

The olive oil is great not only for the health but for the the skin too, because have many antioxidants properties.Some investigations say that can improve the sexual life of peoples who consume olive oil. Only in the cases when the problem is very advanced is necesary to buy viagra but is good take care of us when we have the tools.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Roger, and Richard, and lipid biochemistry expert Mary G. Enig, PhD.

You cannot make trans-fats in your average kitchen...
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/542-trans-fatty-acids-are-not-formed-by-heating-vegetable-oils.html

Anonymous said...

Weighing in a bit late: while the levels are low, you absolutely *do* produce trans-fatty acids while cooking at home. Certainly, it would be a mistake to use another oil instead of EVOO to avoid this problem: Because of their polyphenols and low levels of unsaturated fatty acids, robust extra virgin olive oil forms lower levels of trans fatty acids than other cooking oils, but they absolutely do form. Scientific documentation:

http://grasasyaceites.revistas.csic.es/index.php/grasasyaceites/article/download/689/700

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?FileName=FNS20100100005_19872040.pdf&paperID=2358

As Richard notes, plenty of other nasties get generated during frying, and again, EVOO tends to form fewer of them.

If you MUST fry, a robust, high-polyphenol EVOO is your best bet. Better is to not fry at all, or if you fry, use as little oil as possible. Oil and heat just don't mix. Add it as a spice when the cooking is done.

-OliveChirper

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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