For the longest time, it has been accepted that olive oil, specifically Extra Virgin Olive Oil, should be used for only garnishing and, at the most, light frying.
The popular (and incorrect) position was that high heat cooking should be done with oils with high smoking points. The problem is that the whole smoking point related “safe cooking” theory is a lie. Smoking point is not relevant to toxic oxidised fatty acids. Most vegetable oils don’t need to be heated upto their smoking points to become toxic. They become so at much lower temperatures.
But now, if one study is to be believed, the best oil for all types of cooking is, in fact Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
During the study, the researchers heated various oils, both slowly and quickly (to mimic slow and fast cooking methods), and then analysed them for degree of oxidation, the current oxidative stability, the smoke point, fatty acid profile (including trans fats), and other toxic byproducts called polar compounds.
What the researches found was that, surprisingly, Extra Virgin Olive Oil performed the best across the board, followed by coconut oil.
Of course, this is just one study and there needs to be a lot more research done before we can safely switch to Extra Virgin Olive Oil for all types of cooking. However, it does look like we may have been wrong about Extra Virgin Olive Oil.