Truth be told, even delicate extra virgin oils, such as Little Angel, can take the heat without sacrificing one bit of nutrition. This myth has been kicking around ever since olive oil became known as one of the “good” fats: Cook with premium extra virgin olive oil and you heat away the healthful properties. This is simply not true!
First of all, heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats aren’t necessarily unfavorably altered by heat. They can certainly 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. In fact, they are 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. So, fry and enjoy!