Who does not use olive oil on a daily basis? At least in Spain, it is a custom to use this ingredient for different preparations. We can season, fry, dress… We have many possibilities, since it is very versatile. However, this does not mean that we can use oil for everything. There are people who make a lot of mistakes because they have this mentality. In this article, we will talk about the most common ones, so that you don’t fall into the same trap. Olive oil must be used properly. If you use it wrong, you will cause a disaster.
Properties and benefits of olive oil
The olive oil that we recommend the most, and for good reasons, is extra virgin olive oil. By far, it is the most complete and healthy of all those that you can buy, but this also affects the price, as it is usually somewhat more expensive than the normal olive oil. These are some of the benefits that extra virgin olive oil brings to your health:
- Itboosts the immune system against viruses: this is more than recognized by experts. It is a perfect ally against bacterial and viral infections, since it increases the amount of cells that participate in the defensive process of our body. This provides the organism with greater resistance to external malignant agents.
- Promotes digestion: it reduces gastric acid secretion, which helps to avoid heavy digestions.
- Improves circulation: the Mediterranean diet, which is the most widely followed in European countries such as Spain, includes extra virgin olive oil in its diet. This helps to reduce by up to 66% the risk of suffering from circulation problems in legs and arms. The acid degrees increase arterial vasodilation, and this improves blood circulation.
- Helps memory: believe it or not, the vitamins E and K contained in extra virgin olive oil are very important for maintaining brain health. Thus, they protect memory and learning capacity.
Now that you know these benefits (and there are many more), it’s worth spending a little more money on a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, right? Experts recommend a daily consumption of about 40 milliliters, the equivalent of four tablespoons. Remember that, although it is a vegetable, it is still a fatty ingredient, so it should be consumed regularly, but in moderation.
Common mistakes when consuming and using olive oil
Of all the mistakes people can make, the following are the most common and the ones you should never make, especially since you are aware of them:
- Do not reuse olive oil for frying, for fear that it is harmful: this is an unfounded false belief. Extra virgin olive oil resists the frying process better than any other oil.
- Leave the olive oil bottle open, for convenience during use: the aroma and flavor of the oil is altered by poor preservation. Leaving the bottle open causes an irremediable loss of aromas, and the oil can begin to oxidize and deteriorate. This is especially noticeable with extra virgin olive oil, because it has the most flavor of all.
- Buy a quantity of oil that you are not going to consume soon: although the oil can last in time, some people believe that it should be consumed in more or less 6 weeks so that its properties are not lost. This is not true, and that is why it is not advisable to buy 5-liter bottles that will last for months.
- Placing the bottle of olive oil near a heat source: this can alter its properties and reduce its health benefits. Experts recommend keeping it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and in a preferably dark-colored container.
- Buying “mild” olive oil because you think it has fewer calories: its “mildness” only refers to the degree of acidity, not to its caloric content. According to the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), most varieties of olive oil provide around 890 kilocalories per 100 grams.