Why You Shouldn't Always Cook With Olive Oil

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Why You Shouldn't Always Cook With Olive Oil

For the longest time, the only oil I bought was extra-virgin olive oil.

Then a friend, who was also a chef, told me that there are actually times when olive oil is not the best choice. So I looked into the best uses for olive oil, and when to choose another oil.

When To Use Olive Oil

When you’re making salad dressing or sautéing vegetables over medium heat, olive oil is an excellent choice. Since it has a distinct flavor, use it in dishes where you want to taste it—drizzled over steamed vegetables, soup or bread, for example. Olive oil has more monounsaturated fat than other oils, making it a great choice for heart-healthy cooking.

Find out the difference between extra-virgin olive oil and other olive oil labels and learn the winners of our olive oil taste test.

When To Skip Olive Oil

If you’re cooking over high heat, don’t choose olive oil. Olive oil has a lower smoke point—the point at which an oil literally begins to smoke (olive oil’s is between 365° and 420°F)—than some other oils. When you heat olive oil to its smoke point, the beneficial compounds in oil start to degrade, and potentially health-harming compounds form.

What To Use Instead

Canola oil, on the other hand, has a higher smoke point and is a good choice if you’ll be cooking over high heat, as when you’re roasting vegetables or sautéing food over high heat. It also has a neutral flavor and is packed with heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid, which makes it ideal for baking. It’s also cheaper than olive oil.

From Olive Oil to Canola Oil

To help you make the switch and leave olive oil on the shelf (at least for now), click through to find recipes that use canola oil to make everything from breakfast to a tasty dinner appetizer.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Use canola oil to create the perfect breakfast muffin.

Click here for the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Grilled Apples With Cheese & Honey

Dessert meets the cheese plate when you drizzle grilled apples and flavorful cheese with honey and toasted pecans for a quick and healthy finish to any meal for two.

Click here for the recipe: Grilled Apples With Cheese & Honey

Honey-Mustard Turkey Cutlets & Potatoes

Potatoes, leeks and turkey burst with intense flavor when roasted with honey, mustard and curry. Serve with: Steamed snow peas and carrots and a glass of white wine.

Click here for the recipe: Honey-Mustard Turkey Cutlets & Potatoes

Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

If you can’t find sour cherries, don’t fret—it’s also delicious with sweet cherries. The filling has a hint of clove and honey, which gives it a novel flavor. Serve this cherry pie with your favorite light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Click here for the recipe: Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

Hungarian Apple Soup

This savory apple soup for two gets body from Yukon Gold potatoes and a touch of heat from paprika. Float some cocktail shrimp or a mound of lump crabmeat in each bowl to make it a main course.

Click here for the recipe: Hungarian Apple Soup

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Serve this dense, fudgy pudding cake with vanilla frozen yogurt.

Click here for the recipe: Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Middle Eastern Burgers

Exotic-tasting spices and chopped prunes give Middle Eastern flair to these truly succulent burgers. Serve with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce, slices of ripe tomato, lettuce and sharp red onion.

Click here for the recipe: Middle Eastern Burgers

Miso-Glazed Scallops With Soba Noodles

This Japanese-inspired dish uses one sauce to make the marinade for the scallops and the caramelized pan sauce for the noodles. A good pairing would be a simple green salad.

Click here for the recipe: Miso-Glazed Scallops With Soba Noodles

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By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. Associate Nutrition Editor for EatingWell Magazine

For the longest time, the only oil I bought was extra-virgin olive oil. After all, it's high in heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Then a friend, who was also a chef, told me that there are actually times when olive oil is not the best choice. So I looked into the best uses for olive oil, and when to choose another oil.

Check out the slideshow above to learn about olive oil alternatives.

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