Cooking with Olive Oil

by Gunnur
(Buenos Aires)

Hi Olga,

My question is when to put olive oil when cooking. I heard that when cooking a dish it is better to put olive oil in the saucepan when you finish cooking, may be at the last minute..I heard that it is more healthy..Do you know about something about it?

Thanks a lot for your interest,


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Cooking with Olive Oil and other oils

by Olga

While many people use olive oil for cooking, they don't always understand that they may be adding carcinogens and free radicals to their healthy food.. if they use wrong type of olive oil at a wrong time.

Dear Guni,
I, too had this question, and I am glad to share an answer. It is not as much about when to add oil, it is about type of oil to add.

Unrefined, virgin and extra virgin olive oil is best to be used in any type of cooking except frying and high-temperature baking. Usually, it is cold-pressed, and has that distinct olive aroma that is created by small particles of olives that were not removed. Because of them, it has a low smoking point, and it would burn and create carcinogens if you use it on a hot pan . Add it to salads, dressings, and dips. You may even use it in baking if temperature in the oven doesn't exceed 375°F (191°C)

Light olive oil is used for frying as its smoke point is higher. Since it is processed, I won't recommend to use it in anything but frying. In fact, I practice almost oil-free cooking which is very heart-healthy.

Here are smoke points of different types of olive oil:

Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F 191°C
Olive oil Virgin 420°F 216°C
Olive oil Extra light 468°F 242°C
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity) Extra virgin 405°F 207°C

What oils are best for cooking?

Both coconut and grapeseed oil are ideal for cooking and especially frying due to their high smoke points. Coconut oil also provides an array of health benefits.


To derive maximum benefits from your oils and receive enough omega-3 and other essential fatty acids, use the following principles:
1. Use flaxseed and unrefined olive oil for for uncooked foods, such as salads, dressings, smoothies, hummus and other dips. Vary your oils as they contain different type of fatty acids. Add sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil, hemp oil to your diet.
2. Use extra light olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil for frying and cooking.
3. Never reuse the oil after frying. The degree of oxidation occurring in it makes it dangerous for your health by damaging your immune system and aggrevating a number of health conditions, in particular, allergic reactions, asthma, diabetes.

Hope this helps!

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