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These days, due to the war in Ukraine, and as it disappears from supermarket shelves, we are seeing sunflower oil become the new pandemic toilet paper.

Given the possible shortage (or price increase), alternatives such as coconut oil or corn oil have begun to be proposed.

Makes sense?

Not in the country of olive trees.

We have local options that are more sustainable, healthier and, surprise!

Also cheaper.

Why is olive oil healthier than sunflower oil?

While

olive oil

is characterized by being rich in

monounsaturated fatty acids

(such as oleic) , polyunsaturated

fatty

acids

(especially linoleic) predominate

in sunflower oil .

And how do all these words affect our mountain body?

On the one hand, these differences become apparent when cooking.

Olive oil fats are more stable and better resistant to high temperatures than sunflower oil fats,

since the latter oxidize more easily.

Therefore, cooking with olive oil oil is considered healthier.

In addition,

virgin and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

are characterized by their polyphenols,

antioxidant compounds with potential effects on human health

, such as the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases or even neurodegenerative diseases.

There is only one small detail: virgin olive oil or EVOO are more expensive than sunflower oil and therefore make the shopping basket more expensive, already affected by the rise in prices in other sectors.

Olive pomace oil: the ugly duckling turned into a swan

Corn oil, coconut oil... does it make sense to promote its consumption as an alternative, as is being proposed by some "experts"?

In no case.

Neither from the nutritional point of view, much less from that of sustainability.

Spain is a country of olive trees and within this family we have a lesser-known alternative, for less than three euros per liter

(that is, cheaper than corn oil), which is olive pomace oil.

For many years it has been considered the ugly duckling of the olive oil family.

And it is true that compared to his older brothers (virgin olive oil or EVOO)

the poor thing lacks "the spark", among other things, those antioxidant phenolic compounds

that make EVOO a potentially cardioprotective food.

But beware!

The fact that it is not nutritionally as interesting as virgin olive oil does not mean that it is not a better alternative to sunflower oil.

How is olive pomace oil obtained?

Unlike virgin olive oil, which

is obtained by an exclusively physical and mechanical extraction process of the olive juice

, olive pomace oil is obtained from an alpeorujo extraction process.

The

alpeorujo

(another word for the cause) is made up of

water, skin, bone and oil residues resulting from the grinding of the olive

.

This extract is refined and then topped (mixed) with a small proportion of extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil.

The result is

an oil with a content of up to 85% monounsaturated fatty acids (that is, "the good ones").

In addition, it may contain up to 2% of compounds with bioactive properties.

As we can see, although EVOO plays in another league from a nutritional and sensory point of view, olive pomace oil also has its little things, especially when compared to other seed oils.

The strengths of olive pomace oil

Some time ago

the CSIC published a comparative study on frying oils

in which interesting data was observed.

For example, that olive pomace oil can be used more than twice as often as the most common seed oils.

In addition,

its smoke point does not reach 230-240ºC, which makes it the most resistant oil to high temperatures

.

Let us remember that frying is not the most recommended cooking technique but, if we resort to it, the ideal is to do it with the most suitable oils.

Summary

Personally

, I would not recommend "switching" to olive pomace oil for those who can afford to use a virgin

or extra virgin olive oil.

I insist: they are different leagues.

However,

I would recommend it as an alternative for those who use sunflower oil for financial reasons.

This crisis could be an opportunity to give olive pomace oil the place it deserves and for the ugly duckling to finally become a swan.

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