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Is eating fried food in olive oil really harmful to health?

Is eating fried food in olive oil really harmful to health?


 Heat causes chemical changes in all oils and this changes their aroma, flavor and nutritional content. Overheating the oil while cooking will result in a dirty kitchen full of smoke, bad tasting food and harmful chemicals.

Olive oil is no different   from other oilsIf you burn it, it will taste bad and will release harmful chemicals for sure. But what about frying? Is using it for frying really harmful to health? Let's learn more in this article.

Harmful heating of oils

There are some trends recently  that using vegetable oils to fry food may be harmful to health  because the heating process results in toxic chemicals called  aldehydes . 

Aldehydes are simple organic compounds that contain a double bond of carbon and oxygen, and are found in abundance in nature.

It is formed in the human body in small amounts in the form of by-products of natural fructose and also ethanol. Consumption of dietary aldehydes is thought to contribute to human diseases such as  diabetes  and heart disease . Does this apply to olive oil as well?

The king of diets and dining tables

Nowadays, most people would agree that extra virgin olive oil is very healthy and they use it on a daily basis, which indicates a huge shift in our use of the oil in recent years. The reason for this may be that eating olive oil is  often associated with good health , and is an important component of many diets.

For example, the Mediterranean diet itself is known for its ability to reduce the risk of disease and early death  and olive oil is an important part of it. Olive oil, which is produced by squeezing olives, is widely used in food preparation, whether for frying, adding a light layer of it to dishes, or adding it to  salads . Therefore, it is classified as vegetable oil, as it is produced from plant materials, unlike animal fats such as butter or beef ghee.

Studies also show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can offer some powerful health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, notes  Healthline.

Do olive oil temperatures shift from “good oil” to “bad oil”?

Cooking fats and oils are dietary fats of three types, saturated, trans and unsaturated. The first two are bad, but the third, unsaturated fats, includes olive oil, which is a healthy dietary fat derived from plants. The heat required to fry food in olive oil cannot change its chemical composition from good to bad, as reported by the  Olive Oil Times.

Better than other oils for frying

Of the vegetable oils analyzed for  aldehyde content  from heating, olive oil fared considerably better. Researchers from the University of  the Basque Country analyzed  olive, sunflower and flaxseed oils for aldehyde content after heating them to 190 degrees Celsius. They found that heating both unsaturated sunflower and flaxseed oils produced more aldehydes more quickly, while heating monounsaturated olive oil produced fewer aldehydes later in the heating process.

It is believed that this is due to the different composition of these oils, as polyunsaturated oils contain elements ready for a chemical reaction. Experiments on the  BBC 's Trust Me I'm a Doctor  confirm this, indicating that heating olive oil, butter and goose fat also produces lower levels of aldehydes. Taken together, these experiments suggest that olive oil is one of the best frying options.

Fried foods absorb cooking oil

Properly fried food will absorb much less cooking oil if the oil temperature is hot enough before the food is inserted. Otherwise, the food will actually absorb the oil, resulting in loose, moist food.

So if you want to get healthy dietary fats and love fried food, use olive oil, but make sure it is hot enough without reaching the burning point, which is 210 degrees Celsius