Olive oil is used for cooking purposes in many parts of the world for it has many benefits. Not only this versatile oil can be used to cook delicious recipes, but it also proves to be extremely beneficial for health.
As reported by IANS, olive oil is the gold standard among all edible oils due to the numerous health benefits it offers. It helps with maintaining cardiac health and stabilizes sugar levels (recommended for diabetic patients). Olive oil is also a great source of nutrients and antioxidants extremely essential for the human body.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, olive oil is never available at cheap rates. Health comes first everywhere and you need to be cautious with every edible you buy while doing monthly grocery.
There are many misconceptions about olive oil that circulate among the masses. We are trying to remove the common misconceptions by answering these following seven questions about olive oil.
1) Is it safe to cook with olive oil?
Well, olive oil is most commonly used for dressing and drizzling but when it comes to cooking, not many people believe olive oil to be a good choice. You’ve probably heard that olive oil is bad for high-heat cooking such as roasting and that olive oil produces toxic compounds when used with high heat.
A good majority of people believe that olive oil is not good for cooking because it contains unsaturated fats which change their intrinsic properties when exposed to heat. This is the reason why many people fear associating the term ‘cooking’ with ‘olive oil’. However, olive oil is not dangerous for health if used for cooking. It can be used for mild cooking for delicious taste while preserving its health benefits.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry published a study which has resolved this dispute based on a mere myth. A team of researchers heated extra virgin olive oils to 356°F (180 °C) for straight 36 hours and they found out that olive oil retains most of its nutritional benefits even when heated in high temperatures.
However, you should always keep in mind that always use olive oil to a minimum extent no matter if you have ten bottles left in the stock and ensure you don’t take in much olive oil if you are looking to maintain your weight.
2) Does olive oil make me fat?
There is only one usual way of gaining excess weight and that is when you consume more calories than your body actually needs for energy and movement. Your body stores the extra calories as body fat for later use and you experience weight gain. Intake of olive oil doesn’t lead you to weight gain as long as you are maintaining a calorie balance.
Beyond any doubt, olive oil is for sure a healthy fat but you cannot consume a lot of it. One tablespoon of olive oil makes up for around 120 calories since one gram of it amounts for 9 calories. The point is, whether you are taking in olive oil with your regular salad or onto meats, make sure that you don’t take in extra of it. If you do so, it could surely contribute to some weight gain that you won’t like much.
If you are overweight, you need to limit your intake of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils to 1 teaspoon per 1,000 calories daily.
3) Why does some olive oil taste bitter?
Made from sound olives, a fresh olive oil gives a pleasant aroma and has a thin texture. It offers fresh flavors of raw nuts and vegetables with an aftertaste of pungency and a little of bitterness.
Depending on the variety of olive, milling technique and how ripe it is, the flavors of olive oil can be too delicate or too intense.
If you want to check the originality of olive oil, you can do it by tasting any olive oil available in the market. The original one will always give a bitter sensation on the tongue or back of the throat and you can assure yourself of the olive oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory value.
What contributes to bitter taste in olive oil is the presence of flavonoid polyphenols.
If you wish to check an olive oil for its quality, you can always check it yourself. Being rancid, fusty, musty or winey, are a few indications of olive oil with a poor quality and that you should really avoid if health is something you put on top of the list.
The bitterness of an olive oil indicates how fresh and how good it is. The bitter your olive oil is, the riper the olives were. If you do not prefer too bitter in taste, you might want to get your hands on olive that gives a blend of fruity and bitter taste.
4) Is olive oil gluten free?
If anything about the modern trends about diet and health, one thing is for sure that people have crazily started to adopt a gluten-free diet and lifestyle. According to a Gallup poll of 2015, one in five people now minimizes or end the intake of gluten which is a protein most commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye.
People with celiac disease are always advised to avoid the intake of gluten because, in such persons, gluten damages the small intestine and stops the nutrients from being absorbed. The symptoms of this diseases include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and pain. But there is a good news for our readers. Olive oil is gluten-free only if it is produced through olives only. Olive oil doesn’t contain any gluten in it since it obtained from fresh fruits.
Olive oil is usually free of gluten protein but you need to avoid smoke-flavored olive oils which can be containing barley. If someone is really sensitive to trace gluten then there is a wide range of gluten-free-labeled olive oil which is produced by manufacturers ensuring a gluten cross-contamination. Many flavored olive oils might contain gluten hence, you need to check labels before you buy one.
5) Is it good or bad to drink olive oil on an empty stomach?
Many people think drinking oils will lead to being fat and unhealthy and that olive oil is only for cooking and dressing. And let’s be honest, drinking olive oil sounds like a strange thing to do given its bitter taste and all. Well, here is to break the bubble of masses who believe so. Olive oil is not just an ordinary oil, you can drink it as it gives you various health and nutritious benefits.
Widely known for its cardiovascular benefits, olive oil is a major ingredient in the Mediterranean diet where the residents like to enjoy their food with olive oil and starting their day with olives in breakfast. If you want to lose excess weight and want to avoid pain apart from maintaining your heart health, you should drink olive oil on a daily basis.
Olive oil contains antioxidants that protect blood cells from damage and gives many cardiovascular benefits. Also, just for our old but young at heart fellows, olive oil can also help the body dramatically during old age. Have you changed your mind, yet?
If you are facing severe constipation, taking one teaspoon of olive oil mixed with some lemon juice on an empty stomach will do wonders for your stomach pain and intestine roughness. You can also store this mixture in a refrigerator for around 48 hours depending on your needs.
6) Is olive oil good for pets?
Who doesn’t love their pets? You want to look at them as beautiful and pretty as you do. When you have used olive oil to turn your skin soft and your hair shiny, you might be wondering if olive oil can be applied on the pets to make them even cuter? Wel, there is good news. You can definitely use olive oil on your pets for many beneficial properties and general health.
You can also include olive oil in your pet’s diet but make sure you do it in moderation since the excess of anything does no good.
As we have already mentioned, applying olive oil on your dog’s skin and coat can do wonders. Add around 5 drops of olive oil to a cup of water and apply it to your pet’s skin to see the magic for yourself. This can be done on a daily basis.
7) Will olive oil expire? How to store it?
Given that olive oil is considered a freshly-squeezed juice, it usually retains most of its flavors. Among many good attributes of olive oil, the fact that it does not expire no matter which type is made olive oil one of the favorite oils.
However, since some manufacturers process their olive oils through various chemical procedures and due to legal requirements, they do mention the preferential consumption date. The durability of olive oil depends on various factors such as transport, adequate conservation, type of container, etc., but usually, the preferential consumption date ranges between a year and a half or two years.
The olive oil will turn rancid really fast if it is exposed to heat or oxygen more often. Hence, many people store olive oil in a cool, dry, dark cupboard, away from the heat and light in high-quality stainless steel olive oil can as per the recommendations by food scientists.