Does heating olive oil make a difference to its nutritional profile?

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

There is some debate around this as it’s traditionally thought that extra virgin oil was more sensitive to heat and had a lower ‘smoke point’ – once an oil reaches its smoke point it begins to change in chemical structure and may become a transfat. A 2018 study found that both extra virgin and regular olive oil both had good smoke points and are therefore fine to cook with. As extra virgin olive oil is more expensive and has a stronger, more peppery taste it may be best kept for drizzling and dipping rather than cooking with. Refined olive oils, such as light olive oil, are much cheaper and have little or no taste which means it won’t affect the flavour of whatever you are cooking.

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