When you char meat or fish while barbecuing, roasting or cooking it, certain compounds called heterocyclic amines (also called HCA) are released. These constitute one of the main causes of stomach and colon cancer and can be reduced by 80%-90% if the meat you are cooking is marinated in extra virgin olive oil and coated in it when cooking it. It is the antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil that protect the meat from the oxidation process of cooking and the release of harmful heterocyclic amines.
Extra virgin olive oil contains the highest levels of protective antioxidants amongst all other cooking oils, most of which contain no antioxidants at all. During cooking, the combination of the polyphenol antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil and those in contained in fresh vegetables results in an amplified nutritional value that is greater than just the combination of the values of the two.
Not only is it safe to cook with extra virgin olive oil, but it is desirable to do so.
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