Olive oil, as well as any polyunsaturated oils, are very sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. Over time, or exposure to any of these elements, the oils can develop free radicals and become rancid. Free radicals cause damage to our cells that lead to aging and the development of atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes to name a few. We cannot tell when oils have spoiled, so here are some suggestions for protecting your oils:
- Only buy oils that are stored in dark colored bottles (light protection)
- Keep them stored in the refrigerator (heat prevention)
- Keep the bottles tightly sealed (oxygen protection)
- Buy small quantities that you will consume in a 9-month time period
- If you’re planning to cook with polyunsaturated oils, add some water to keep the pan cool enough to prevent heat damage.