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When You Shouldn’t Use Olive Oil

By Sara Butler

Olive oil has a host of benefits. It’s a healthy fat that can add to the overall nutrition of the foods you eat and even help you to absorb more vitamins and minerals. But olive oil isn’t a miracle oil and there are definitely things it can’t do and times you shouldn’t use it. Here are a few suggestions to help you know when you are probably better off putting that olive oil back in the cabinet.

Make Sure It’s the Real Thing

This might sound a bit silly, but not all olive oil is created equal. In fact, it may not even be the real deal. This information just may blow your mind, but according to Mother Jones, about 80 percent of the olive oil on the market is fraudulent.

How can olive oil be fraudulent? Well, there are three main ways.

  • It’s mixed – High-quality olive oil can be mixed with lower quality olive oil to create a less-than-stellar product you shouldn’t buy.
  • Bottling rancid oil – Olive oil doesn’t last forever, and if the leftover stock from last year is bottled and sold as fresh then you’re getting ripped off and you’re getting a poor quality product.
  • Fake olive oil – Sometimes sunflower or soybean oil can be packaged as olive oil.

How can you avoid getting fake olive oil? Here are things to look for.

  • Certifications and seals - The seal of approval of the California Olive Oil Council, Extra Virgin Alliance or UNAPROL, an Italian olive growers association.
  • Look where it's made - Pick oil from Australia or Chile, they have the highest quality and purity reports.
  • Look at the packaging - Choose oil sold in dark bottles since a clear bottle destroys some of the properties of olive oil.

Don’t Use it to Fry

If olive oil is heated above a certain temperature then it can become unhealthy for you. Its smoke point is between 320 degrees and 420 degrees, depending on the type. At those temperatures, it will start to break down and lose its nutritional advantages, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which you’re probably using it for in the first place.

Don’t Use it on the Grill

It’s not that the olive oil will hurt you if you use it on the grill, it simply can’t stand up to the high temperatures. If you’re using olive oil to keep things from sticking then it isn’t the best choice. It may even create some flames and make your food taste a bit funny. You should use vegetable or grapeseed oil for keeping your grill oiled and to prevent foods from sticking.

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