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Chefs & Food

How to Replace Unhealthy Fats with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Many professional and home chefs swear by their old-fashioned, butter-laden recipes. But tradition isn’t worth sacrificing your health, especially when you can replace unhealthy fats like butter and highly-processed canola and vegetable oils. Replacing with olive oil is actually quite easy and tasty too if you know how to.

Why Say Goodbye?

First things first – there’s no need to be scared of “fat.” Fat is a major source of energy for our bodies, helping you absorb vitamins and minerals and helping to build cell membranes and nerves. It helps our muscles move and our blood clot.

However, not all fat is created equal. Replacing bad fats with healthier fats is good for your heart, and your waist. Trans fat found in highly-processed foods has zero known health benefits, and should be avoided at all costs. Saturated fats like those in red meat, whole milk dairy products, and coconut oil raise your bad cholesterol and should be limited to under 10% of calories a day according to Harvard Medical School. 

Cooking experts and nutritionists agree that true extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest and most versatile oils to cook and bake with. In 2018, it topped Time Magazine’s list of Best Cooking Oils for Your Health.

What About Other Kinds of Oils?

Extra virgin olive oil isn’t the only healthy fat out there, but it is arguably the best one. 

Registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Liz Weinandy opts for extra virgin olive oil over vegetable oils. “Generally I tell people to use olive oil whenever you can instead of a corn or a soybean oil,” she says. “They’re not necessarily bad for you, but you can get so much more benefit from olive oil.”

The health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are indeed plentiful; extra virgin olive oil can help fight off diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, strokes, cancer, and heart disease. 

Anything Butter Can Do, EVOO Can Do Better

Extra virgin olive oil is best known for its role in salad dressings, but it can do so much more. 

You can use it to:

  • Make sauces and dips
  • Grill
  • Sauté
  • Stir Fry
  • Bake
  • Roast
  • Coat pans (to prevent food from sticking)
  • Season cast-iron cookware
  • Substitute for solid fats (butter and margarine) in recipes

Hard and Fast Rules for Conversion

Cooking and baking are all about ratios, but it’s super simple to become an extra olive oil convert. When you’re baking and a recipe calls for another type of oil like canola or vegetable, it’s as easy as replacing it with the same amount of extra virgin olive oil 1:1. 

When it comes to butter, you should generally use three-quarters the amount of extra virgin olive oil that the recipe calls for in solid fat. For example, if a recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, you’d use 3 tablespoons of olive oil. 

Other type of oil: 1:1

Butter or solid fat: 0.75:1

Differences to Keep in Mind

Unlike butter, you can’t reuse or reheat extra virgin olive oil. It also has a lower smoke point, and if you reach it (accidentally let your oil smoke or catch fire) you should start over because it has started to degrade. 

There’s only one occasion when you’re baking when you can’t substitute a liquid fat for a solid: when you need to whip air into your mixture, like when making frosting.

Choosing the Right Extra Virgin Olive Oil

As with any time you use extra virgin olive oil, you need a high-quality olive oil that tastes good, made by people you trust. 

However, there’s no need to use the bottle in your pantry reserved for drizzling and finishing foods. Texas Olive Ranch’s Everyday Use Line was designed specifically to be a workhorse in your kitchen. It’s made with the same stringent process from our carefully curated crop, and versatile enough to use in any recipe that calls for a less healthy fat.

Shop our Everyday Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil  today at 10% Off and when you use coupon code CONVERT to start swapping out unhealthy fats for heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil in your kitchen.