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Olive oil at the price of gold (liquid): Other healthy options that experts recommend

It’s on everyone’s lips. The price of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is rising sharply. And the worst thing is that the predictions are like this will continue to grow. Never has the term “liquid gold” been more accurate. Should we pay exorbitant prices if we want to consume the best quality product? Unfortunately, yes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use other oils on the market for various culinary uses.

Four categories of olive oils

EVOO is the jewel in the crown. But there are other possibilities in olive grove oils that we can consider. We can in the market Find the four categories of oils made from olives: EVOO, extra virgin olive oil (VOO), olive (regular) and olive pomace. Each of them has its own characteristics and can be used for different purposes.

For example, if we want to make better use of the characteristics of EVOO, it is advisable to use it in its raw form, for example in salads, sauces and toasts. On the other hand, castor oil is a fantastic option for frying, As our colleagues from the Instituto de la Grasa-CSIC have shown, And much more economical than its other three brothers.

But besides olive oils, there are other alternatives that we can consider in our kitchen. These include sunflower, high-oleic sunflower, canola, corn, flax, soy, palm, avocado, walnut, coconut, hazelnut, etc. Some are better known and easier to find. However, it is also true that some are healthier than others.

What should we look for to know if an oil is healthy?

The main thing is the chemical composition of oils. The content of saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in it, as well as the presence of minor components with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering activity tell us which oil is the most beneficial for health. However, food legislation does not require declaration of the presence of these compounds (except for saturated fatty acids), making it very difficult for the consumer to differentiate according to nutritional quality.

For this reason, the fat institute We have developed a scoring system To classify edible oils and fats according to their nutritional value. To do this, we have taken into account the recommendations of international organizations such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) some components that contribute to the nutritional properties of oils, such as fatty acids, Tocopherols (vitamin E), sterols and polyphenols.

From this qualification we develop a in the ranking Classification of oils and fats. It was not surprising to find this out AOV took first place with 100 points, followed by coconut oil. Other oils and fats were among them. We think that using this scoring system makes it easier for consumers to find out which oils are healthier and make purchasing decisions. They just have to come to the table we show them and see the grade of oil they want to buy.

Which oils are the healthiest beyond VOO

Looking at the table, the best rated oils after VOO are linseed oil and regular olive and olive pomace oils, with 86 points. Derived from flax, it ranks so highly because, although it is not rich in oleic acid (a fatty acid characteristic of olive oil), it is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived omega-3. .

Further down the line, we find sunflower, sesame, avocado, and chia oils, which are rich in oleic acid, or ALA. The rest of the options are still healthy, but not as healthy as the ones mentioned above. The only ones we don’t recommend would be those with a score below 50, as these are animal and vegetable fats with a high content of saturated fatty acids and very few components that contribute to their nutritional value.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, health-wise, EVOO and VOO are equivalent. This is because the genus “extra” refers only to its sensory characteristics, such as aroma and flavor and acidity. None of these attributes contribute to its nutritional quality.

fatty preparations

Perhaps because of the high price of EVOO, fatty preparations, traditionally used in hospitality, are appearing in supermarkets. These are mixtures of oils in different proportions that achieve good nutritional quality, have a very reasonable temperature resistance and are quite effective.

They usually contain the additive E-900 (dimethylpolysiloxane), which acts as an antifoam agent. This ingredient, which is very useful for frying, has recently been investigated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). without detecting health problems in the allowed concentrations.

In conclusion, EVOO is too expensive for some families, and its use can be wasteful depending on the culinary applications its virtues are not used for. Although there are other alternatives, in many cases it is difficult for consumers to make a decision because they do not have enough information. This is where our Nutrition Score for dietary oils and fats can be of great help in finding a compromise between quality, taste and price.

This article was originally published in conversation. you can read here.

Source: El Diario





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