Is olive oil good for everyday cooking

fats and oils

By: Gisela Horlemann - Consumer Service Bavaria

fats and oils are found in many foods and we use them every day.

you are Flavor carrier and refine our food. you are indispensable for the bodybut they also provide calories and, if used incorrectly, can lead to disease.

  • Our Fat Consumption - Data from the 2012 Nutrition Report
  • How much fat is cheap
  • Fats and oils what is the difference
  • What are the components of fats
  • What fats and oils are good for health
  • Important fats and oils:
    • Rapeseed oil and rapeseed kernel oil - the stars among oils
    • Olive oil - Mediterranean and tasty
    • Margarine and other vegetable spreads
    • butter
  • Cooking, frying and deep-frying - what is suitable?
  • Labelling

Fats and oils, along with protein and carbohydrates, are important components of our diet - they ldeliver energy and supply the organism with the eEssential fatty acids linoleic acid and linolenic acid. The body cannot produce this itself and has to get it from food.
Fat is also necessary for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Our fat consumption - data from the nutrition report 2016

The 2012 and 2016 nutrition reports show that overall fat consumption continues to decline. The development of food consumption shows that the consumption of butter has been relatively constant since 2012, that the consumption of spreads and vegetable fats, including margarine, continues to decline (DGE Nutrition Report 2016, p.25). This is positive in terms of overweight and obesity. But that is not the all-clear, just a trend in the right direction, because the daily intake still exceeds the recommended guide value.

How much fat is cheap

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends about 30 percent of the calorie intake from fat in the diet every day.

So if you can eat 2000 calories per day, for example, you can use 600 calories for fat.

Converted, this is about 64 g fat (1 g fat = 9.3 Kcal).

Unfortunately, you still have to subtract what is hidden in food from this amount: in fatty sausage or cheese, in full-fat yoghurt or milk and of course in chips, french fries, in cakes, tarts or sweets. Therefore, at most half, i.e. 32 g, remains for daily use. It is particularly important to use fat sparingly and to select the fats carefully so that both taste and health benefit.

Fats and oils what is the difference.

Basically, fats and oils differ in their melting point, which determines the consistency at room temperature. It does not matter whether they are of vegetable or animal origin.

Fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature
Examples: Palmin (coconut oil), palm kernel oil, vegetable spreads, margarine, butter

Oils are liquid
Examples: olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, palm kernel oil (oil palm)

So that oils do not remain liquid at room temperature, but can be spread and are therefore better suited as a topping on bread and for roasting and baking, industrial help is needed. The fats are hardened.
Example: vegetable spreads.
Hydrogenated fats can contain unwanted trans fats. These are suspected of increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and should therefore be avoided as far as possible. In the ingredient lists of the products, terms such as "hydrogenated", "hydrogenated fats" or "hydrogenated vegetable fat" indicate that they may contain "industrial" trans fatty acids.
The oils of the coconut palm and the oil palm are liquid in the tropics and at our temperatures they are spreadable to solid, they are not hardened, but cleaned, i.e. refined.

What are the components of fats

Dietary fats consist of a glycerine molecule to which 3 fatty acids dock. Depending on which fatty acids they are, fats have different effects.

Saturated fat are components of foods of animal origin, but also of coconut fat and palm kernel oil, and to a small extent also of other vegetable oils.

Monounsaturated fatty acids can be found in animal and vegetable foods, for example in olives and rapeseed oil.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are mainly found in foods of vegetable origin, i.e. in vegetable oils and margarine. A small proportion is also found in foods of animal origin, especially fish. They are desirable in the diet because they provide the healthy essential fatty acids linoleic acid and the omega-3 fatty acids linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.

Most important occurrences

  • Linoleic acid: Sunflower oil and safflower oil
  • Linolenic acid: Linseed oil, rapeseed oil and walnut oil
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid: fatty sea fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon

What fats and oils are good for health

We eat a lot of animal fats through foods such as sausage, cheese or dairy products. Therefore, it is beneficial for preparing food whenever possible vegetable fats and oils to use.

Unfortunately, the 2016 nutrition report also shows that fewer vegetable oils are consumed. This has a rather negative effect on health, as it lowers the vitamin E supply. The DGE therefore recommends using valuable vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, walnut oil and soybean oil in food preparation in order to absorb the polyunsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for the heart and circulatory system. This recommendation was also included in the new "10 rules of the DGE". Sea fish is also recommended once a week for the supply of omega-3 fatty acids.

Important fats and oils: a selection

Rapeseed oil and rapeseed kernel oil - the stars among oils

Rapeseed oil is a nutritionally valuable oil. Its fatty acids consist of about 60 percent monounsaturated oleic acid and 30 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids and this is important for a healthy cardiovascular diet.


Rapeseed oil can be a virgin, unheated oil as well as a refined oil that has been highly purified and heated.
It is made from yellow-flowering rapeseed (Brassica napus), using all of the rapeseed.

Rapeseed oil the "olive oil of the north" is a virgin oil.
Only the rapeseed is pressed here. The black husks of the rapeseed are removed beforehand. Removing the shell before pressing makes it possible that the product only has to be filtered, as undesirable substances such as bitter substances can no longer get into the oil. There are no complex refining processes.

Olive oil - Mediterranean and tasty

Olive oil has 70 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, mostly oleic acid. Polyunsaturated fats make up about ten percent. It has a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels.

For olive oil, the olives are washed, crushed and crushed together with the kernels. After several steps, the oil is separated from the liquid and the pomace.

Is offered depending on the production process

  • extra virgin olive oil cold-pressed oil, cold-pressed and gently produced without excessive exposure to temperature; from the first pressing
  • Extra virgin olive oil cold-pressed oil, cold-pressed and gently produced without excessive exposure to temperature. Not quite as good in taste as extra virgin olive oil.
  • rarely available from us. Olive oil refined oil, heat treated and purified

VIS Article Mediterranean Diet

Margarine and other vegetable spreads:

Margarine and vegetable spreads have long been considered particularly healthy. However, they are industrially manufactured and therefore not natural products and may contain hydrogenated fats.

They consist of a mixture of mainly vegetable fats as well as water or skimmed milk and often also whey protein. It is a water in oil mixture that is created by stirring, kneading and cooling.
Margarine must have a fat content of 80 to 90 percent.
Vegetable spreads contain around 70 percent fat and are increasingly being offered with the addition of butter.


Years ago butter was considered to be significantly worse for nutrition than margarine. It contains a large number of fatty acids, the health consequences of which have not yet been fully researched. However, it is being assessed more and more positively.

Butter is made from cream. The shell of the fat globules tear through beating. The spheres agglomerate and form a malleable mass.
Butter must have a fat content of 80 - 90 percent.


Stiftung Warentest carries out regular tests on the quality of the oils and fats. For example:
07/26/2017 Margarine put to the test: competition for butter
07/26/2017 FAQ Butter and margarine: Which fat is better?
01/30/2017 Olive oil in the test: Oils from the supermarket and the discounter

Cooking, frying and deep-frying - what is suitable?

Cold dishes:
For the "cold kitchen" high quality native oils are recommended; Above all, rapeseed and olive oil should not be missing in any kitchen. Depending on your taste, bread can also be coated with butter and margarine
The mix is ​​important - for taste and health.

When heated it gets harder. Only a few native oils are inherently heat-stable and retain their full taste. The more saturated fatty acids there are, the higher the smoke point. This describes the temperature at which a fat begins to smell sticky, smoke and decompose. A high proportion of monounsaturated oleic acid also gives fat greater heat resistance.

Virgin olive oil is heat-stable up to 180 ° C. Because it consists of around 15-20 percent saturated fatty acids and around 75 percent of monounsaturated oleic acid. So it is suitable for gentle roasting and deep-frying.

Rapeseed oil also has a relatively high oleic acid content of 60 percent and is therefore more heat-resistant in its native form than other native oils. Therefore, rapeseed oil is also suitable for more intense heating.

Strong heating and deep-frying:
Usually it is better to switch to simple, highly heatable fats and only add a little butter or cold-pressed oils for the taste at the end.

Simple refined edible oils are well suited for strong heating. They can be recognized by the fact that they do not contain any special identification. There is then only rapeseed oil, olive oil or sunflower oil on the package without additives such as "extra virgin" or "cold-pressed".

As well High oleic oils, from the organic trade. These are oils from special sunflower, rapeseed and thistle varieties that have been cultivated to have a higher oleic acid content. They are cold-pressed, but can withstand temperatures of up to 210 ° C, i.e. roasting heat. High oleic oils are treated with steam after pressing, but in contrast to extracted and refined oils from conventional production, they still contain natural coloring and flavoring substances.

Coconut oil, palm oil and refined palm kernel oil can withstand high temperatures. The fats naturally have a very high proportion of saturated fatty acids and are therefore solid.
Coconut and palm kernel fat, however, are heavily processed and have long transport routes. Because huge areas of rainforest are cleared for the cultivation of the oil palm, especially in Southeast Asia, palm oil and refined palm kernel fat are not recommended for ecological reasons. Palm oil is also a common ingredient in margarine.

In contrast to butter is also suitable Clarified butter good for the hot kitchen. Because it consists of 99.8 percent pure butter fat. But you shouldn't expect clarified butter to exceed around 170 ° C.


Since December 2014, fats and oils have to be listed with your name in the list of ingredients: e.g. soybean oil, rapeseed oil or palm oil. The term "vegetable fat" is no longer sufficient. Thus, the consumer can now consciously decide for or against a fat or oil.

The Free State of Bavaria provides you with independent, science-based information on consumer protection on this website.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer individual legal information and personal advice. We are also not allowed to warn companies that behave in an anti-competitive manner ourselves.
If you have any questions about your specific situation, please contact the contact points listed under Service.