How do I preserve the nutritional value of virgin olive oil when cooking?

Virgin olive oil has become a major factor in our daily diet. “Its consumption is growing, not only in Greece but worldwide, mainly due to the documented benefits it offers to our health,” claimed Portuguese scientists through a study published in the Food Research International Journal.

It may be the most healthy oil, but when heated it loses many of its valuable ingredients. Antioxidants and phenyl compounds, those ingredients that help prevent cancer and other diseases, are reduced or even destroyed during cooking or frying and the quality of virgin olive oil can decline drastically.
What to do:

  • when cooking we avoid adding the oil right from the start and we add it at the very end, ideally after removing the food from the heat or the oven.
  • if we have already added olive oil while cooking, we keep it at the lowest possible temperature
  • If we want to sauté some of the ingredients first, we start with the least possible amount of olive oil and add the rest at the very end.