Coach Alicia Fong

Just another weblog

Health tip for week April 12th

  • Don’t use extra virgin olive oil to cook.

I know that many people have been taught by many chefs on The Food Network to cook with extra virgin olive oil.  Although extra virgin olive oil has many benefits to our health, cooking with olive oil is actually toxic.

Olive oil contains a large amount of monounsaturated fat which comes from the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) called oleic acid. It is worth noting in this discussion of MUFAs that the oleic acid found in olive oil has been the subject of expanding research interest when it comes to insulin resistance, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have made it clear that oleic acid can directly alter the activity of certain cancer genes and appears to have anti-cancer effects.  It may also help to lower a person’s risk of insulin resistance as well as favorably altering some of the blood fat patterns that can be associated with risk of cardiovascular disease.

To get the benefits of olive oil, it is important to enjoy it when its MUFAs are best protected, which means at heats below 250˚F (121˚C).  In other words, it is at best when it is raw and uncooked.

Now, I’m going to explain why cooking with olive oil is bad.

1)      Any monounsaturated fat heated to smoking point turns into a trans-fat, which is worse for you than all other fats put together.  Olive oil in particular has a low smoke/flash point meaning it breaks down under heat faster than most. And since olive oil has a much lower smoking point than, say, groundnut oil, almost any cooking activity beyond the gentlest of sweating will bring about this bad-fat transformation.

2)      When olive oil is heated to smoking point, the structure of monounsaturated fat becomes unstable and wreaks havoc on the cells in your body. It creates an imbalance on the cellular level that can inhibit prostaglandin production which can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.  It also contributes to oxidation and free radical damage in the body, which is linked to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases and premature aging.

3)      When you first put room temperature olive oil into a pan, it’s green and vibrant- filled with vitamins and anti-oxidants.  But as the temperature rises, all those nutrients are literally burned out of the oil, along with the color, and toxic fumes start to rise from the pan.  Therefore, as you are cooking with it, you are inhaling full of toxins.

Therefore, when incorporating oil into your diet, it would be wise to use extra-virgin olive oil on foods (such as salads) and opt for an oil that will not be damaged by high temperatures like coconut oil when cooking.

So if you plan on using a fat to cook with, your clear choice is coconut oil.  Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid which is a proven antiviral and immune system builder.


April 12, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. What if you are allergic to coconut oil? Please email me other oils I can use while cooking. thank you

    Comment by Tina Fargnoli | April 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Organic lard. Thanks for reading.

      Comment by coachfong | April 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. Coach, great article its now up to us as coaches,trainers,practitioners educate our clients and make them aware of issues such as these.The thing is a lot of people are resistant to change without understanding that their choices affect their health and wellbeing, small steps like replacing olive oil with coconut oil is but a small step in the right direction.

    Keep up the fantastic blogs.


    Comment by Craig | April 19, 2010 | Reply

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