Olive oil is a natural oil that has been consumed for centuries. Hydrogenated oils are used in the food industry to extend the shelf life of fried foods. So is olive oil hydrogenated? This question has been in the minds of people who want to understand whether there are trans fats in olive oil and safe to consume.
Hydrogenated oils are high in trans fats that have been linked to strokes, diabetes, and obesity. So we will look into what hydrogenation means and discuss whether it applies to olive oil and whether there are trans fats in it. We are also going to compare canola and olive oil. Read on!
What is hydrogenated?
Hydrogenation refers to the chemical reaction between hydrogen molecules and other elements/ compounds in the presence of a catalyst. In the food industry, manufacturers add hydrogen into liquid oil to turn it into solid fat.
Hydrogenated oils come in 2 types; wholly (fully) and partially hydrogenated oil. Partially hydrogenated fat, also referred to as trans fat, is mainly used in baked goods, snacks, coffee creamers, and stick margarine. The fats help prolong their shelf life.
Trans fat was safe for consumption until 2015 when the FDA declared that trans fat is not safe. Fully hydrogenated oil, just like its name suggests, is fully or near wholly hydrogenated oil.
Both trans fat and fully hydrogenated fats are safe for consumption but not necessarily suitable for consumption. This is because the foods containing the fats are mainly processed and include added sugars and salt, which aren’t good for your health. It is safe to have fruits and vegetables for good health.
No olive oil is not hydrogenated
Olive oil is not hydrogenated and won’t risk your health. Research has shown that olive oil is beneficial for your heart’s health and is rich in monounsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats in olive oil take around 75% of the total composition of fats and have meager chances of oxidizing. Oxidation creates unsuitable conditions that promote the chemical breakdown of the oil.
Some people have argued that olive oil generates trans fats when used in frying. Whereas heating oil indeed interferes with the chemical composition of oil, using it to fry does not create any trans fats. Keep in mind that trans fats are formed when hydrogenating the oil partially.
It is, however, important not to overheat olive oil past the smoking point. Smoking point refers to the temperatures that fat burns. When olive oil overheats, its phytochemical is destroyed. Burned oil has decreased nutrients and flavor altogether.
Olive oil trans fat
Trans fats can occur naturally or artificially in fats. The artificial fats are created in industrial production when hydrogen is added into oils to turn them into solid. Natural trans fat only occurs in the guts of animals and foods like meat and milk.
Once you eat trans fats, the LDL (bad cholesterol) increases while the good cholesterol decreases. That increases the chances of heart complications that might lead to death. Olive oil has a pleasant flavor and is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and K with antioxidant properties.
Olive oils smoking point is relatively high when compared to some cheap olive oil varieties. When exposed to air or light, the smoking point reduces significantly. So it is necessary to store your oil in dark places. Turning oil into trans fats takes several hours and cannot happen under normal cooking conditions.
It can only turn to trans fat if it is reused severally or heated to extremely high temperatures. It is also good to use other oils with high smoking points instead of extra virgin olive oil in instances where you will be cooking at those extreme temperatures.
Other than increasing the bad cholesterol levels in your body, trans fats also:
- Increases the chances of coronary heart disease
- Insulin resistance in the body
What type of fat is olive oil?
Olive oil is a loved fat worldwide. Fats can either be good or bad alike. The good fats are the unsaturated fats, while the bad fats are those that contain trans fat. Some fats also fall in between and are referred to as saturated fats. These saturated fats are, on one side, good for our health and, on the other side, bad.
Olive oil is good unsaturated fat. One way you can identify unsaturated fats is they are always in liquid form at room temperature. The two unsaturated fats in olive oil include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are omega-9 fatty acids, mainly found in some whole foods and freshly processed oils. Olive oil contains pretty high monounsaturated fats beneficial to our bodies. These fats play a role in:
- Balancing cholesterol levels in the body
- Reducing the risk of chronic diseases
- Controlling blood sugars
- Eliminating plagues in the arteries
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats benefit our bodies in the same way. Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 and omega 6. You should consume foods rich in these two fatty acids to benefit from them since our bodies do not produce them.
Does olive oil have trans fat?
Trans fatty acids are added to oils during their production. The presence of these trans fats depends on the type of olive oil in question. Extra virgin oil does not contain any trans fat.
The regular olive oil, which is cheaper, contains traces of trans fats necessary to prolong their shelf life. Consuming this fat even in tiny might bring about health complications. A 2% calorie intake of trans fat increases the chances of heart disease by 23%.
So it is good to ensure you reduce the daily intake of trans fat in your diet. How do you do that?
- Replace trans fats with unsaturated fats.
- Read through the nutritional facts of foods that you purchase at stores.
- Ask for the type of oil used when eating out.
- Balance your diet with vegetables, whole grains, dairy, low-fat products, fish, nuts, and fruits.
- Limit intake of baked goods like muffins, cakes, cookies, crackers, and pies.
- Use extra virgin oil that’s more natural than the regular olive oil.
Olive oil and canola oils contain a high percentage of?
Olive oil is extracted by pressing olive fruits, while canola oil is produced from the seeds of rapeseed. These two oils have high percentages of monounsaturated fats that are healthy and beneficial to the body.
This oil’s popularity and the fact that they contain monounsaturated fats make them easily switchable between uses. They are heart-healthy, but the truth is that these two oils differ from each other even though they share similar benefits. So how does olive oil contrast from canola oil?
Olive oil is pressed from the olive fruit, while canola is from the rapeseed plant.
Olive oils flavor is fruity with a pure and light flavor, while canola oil has a neutral taste.
While olive oil contains antioxidants, canola oil doesn’t. Antioxidants help protect the oil from oxidation. This means that canola oil quickly becomes rancid compared to olive oil.
Olive oil has the highest smoking point of 4680 F; the extra virgin oil has 4100 F, while canola has 4450 F
Is olive oil essential to our bodies?
Yes, it is essential in our bodies. This fat helps in:
- Maintaining good weight
- Fighting Alzheimer’s disease
- contains anti-cancer properties
- Treats rheumatoid arthritis
- It contains antibacterial properties that fight the harmful bacteria in our bodies.
- Boosts hair and skin health
- Improves digestion in the body
- Reducing aging
- Preventing gallstones
- Fighting depression and mood disorders.
Frequently asked questions
Is hydrogenated oil bad?
Yes, the oil has been linked to increased risk to the health of the human heart.
Are trans fats created when you use olive oil to fry?
Trans fats from olive oil only if it is used over and over again. Heating to extremely high temperatures could also risk the formation of trans fat. However, frying rarely creates trans fats when fried at the correct temperatures without exceeding the oil’s smoking point.
Is extra virgin oil hydrogenated?
No! extra virgin oil contains the healthy monounsaturated fats that help in maintaining a healthy heart. It is also antioxidant-rich that protects our bodies’ red blood cells from damage.
Is olive oil the same as extra virgin oil?
Extra virgin oil is made by crushing olives into a paste, then pressing and extracting the oil. Olive oil is formed from blending pure olives and processed oils.
So now you understand whether or not olive oil is hydrogenated. Extra virgin olive oil is not hydrogenated, but the regular type of olive oil may contain some trans fats. You should consume regular olive oils in moderation so that you don’t develop health complications. Other than that, olive oil is beneficial to our bodies.