Truth Even delicate extra-virgin oils can take the heat without sacrificing nutrition.This one has been kicking around ever since olive oil became a “good” fat: Cook with premium versions and you heat away the healthful properties. It simply isn’t true.
First of all, heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats aren’t unfavorably altered by heat. They survive a sauté intact. Now, research is showing that other plant-based compounds—the elements that likely give olive oils their complex flavor profiles as well as other healthful properties—can also stand up to standard cooking procedures. They’re surprisingly stable, as long as the oil isn’t heated past its smoking point, which for extra-virgin olive oil is pretty high—about 405°F.