The Paleo List Answers:IS OLIVE OIL PALEO?
There was a time when olive oil was touted as the greatest gift from the healthy Mediterranean diet. Nowadays this unassuming oil is often shoved aside for newer, “healthier” options, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, and in some cases, organic canola oil. We’ll take a look at olive oil’s fall from grace and answer the simple question: is it Paleo?
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is just as it seems: oil pressed from olives. Once harvested, the olives are immediately washed and mashed. In the modern method, the mashed olives are spun in a centrifuge, allowing the oil the drip through a mesh covering. The best quality oil is consumed raw like this, but some types are further filtered to remove all remnants of pulp. You can see the entire process in this YouTube video by National Geographic.
There are plenty of people who avoid olive oil for two main reasons: rumors tell us it a) isn’t heat stable and b) is often impure.
As for the first point, there’s no reason to avoid cold-pressed olive oil for use in salads and topping pizza, but studies show that it isn’t as unstable as once though. According to this study, olive oil was heated to deep-frying conditions for several hours, but didn’t begin to break down until at least the 24th hour.
As for the impurities, there are a lot of articles out there explaining how to select real olive oil. According to tests by the University of California – Davis, approximately 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the U.S. are probably fake. claiming that even the more expensive Italian brands were tainted. You can do your research and study the bottles like a detective, or stick with brands that are known for being legit. According to Lifehacker’s report of the study, these are the brands to buy: California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate, Lucini. Kirkland Organic, Lucero (Ascolano), McEvoy Ranch Organic are also noted by Eat Grown Local.
Is Olive Oil Paleo?
Yes! While you might not want to do your deep-frying in high-quality olive oil, it’s perfectly safe for salad dressings, sauces, pan-frying, and roasting. You don’t have to toss out your coconut and avocado oils, but know that olive oil (from the right brands) is still safe!
If you’re looking for more details on PUFAs and linoleic acid in olive oil, we recommend reading the post listed below by Mark’s Daily Apple.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: