PODERE COGNO   -   COOKING & HEALTH

 

 

Cooking with olive oil

 

Extra virgin olive oil is extremely healthy and is the basis for the “Mediterranean Diet”.

It is highly recommended for cooking, enhancng flavours both in protracted cookng where small quantities of oil are necessary due to its increase in volume at high temperatures and in grilled and fried dishes due to its high “smoke point”.

A correct coupling of oil-food can be obtained, bearing in mind that oil should not cover the taste of food, but enhance it. It is advisable to use:
- light fruity oil on delicate food, such as cooked vegetables, fish, white meat, for frying, to prepare sweets and cakes;
- medium fruity oil, slightly bitter and spicy, for sauces, salads, soups and pies;
- intense fruity oil, highly bitter and spicy, for strong foods both raw or for long cooking such as stewed, grilled meat, game and legumes.
     

There is an oil for every dish and nearly all other fats can be substituted by olive oil: white sauce becomes  extremely tasty and light, while cakes such as shortcrust or puff pastries have an incredible fragrance.

Health in extra virgin olive oil

Scientific research has proved that high quality extravirgin olive oil  is recommended in healthy diets since sodium and cholesterol are absent, but many minor components such as polyphenols and vitamins are present.

Monounsaturated fats are preponderant as  against polyunsaturated (in large amounts in seed oils and which form free radicals and accelerate the process of aging and the onset of some cancers) and saturated fats (present mainly in fats of animal origin which cause arteriosclerosis and heart attacks).

It has been scientifically proved that constant use of high quality extra virgin olive oil reduces “bad” cholesterol, protects arteries, stomach and liver, favours childhood development and reduces mental deterioration in old age.

In particular: 

polyphenols and tochopherols

- are powerful antioxidants;

- hinder biological peri-oxidization caused by free radicals, limiting cell aging;

- protect from onset of some cancers, are anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory.

 

Monounsaturated fats

- reduce glucose levels in diabetics

- reduce blood pressure,,

- reduce secretion of gastric acid in the intestine

- improve bile function, preventing stone formation

- produce less pancreatic juice 

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