When you take on a vegan lifestyle, it means giving up a lot of the food products that most of us take for granted. But what about olive oil? Can you still cook with this versatile oil if you’re following a vegan diet?
The Short Answer:
Yes! Olive oil is perfectly acceptable for a vegan lifestyle.
The Long Answer:
When you’re a vegan, it’s incredibly easy to accidentally fall off the wagon. A lot of restaurants cook in butter and there are hidden animal byproducts in everything.
Butter is a popular fat to cook in, but what about oils? Olive oil is one of the most common oils in the world and I’m happy to report that it contains no animal byproducts whatsoever, earning it a nice spot on the list of vegan approved foods!
Olive oil is one of the few oils extracted from a fruit and it contains a lot of flavorful and healthy compounds within. What’s more, it’s very aromatic.
Olive oil is made by pressing nearly ripe olives into a paste and squeezing the oil out from them. The initial extraction is extra virgin olive oil. Both the olives and their pits are ground and the paste is added to water to allow the oil molecules to concentrate and band together. The paste is put onto mats and either pressed again or put into a centrifuge which separates the oil out.
Olive oil is high in monosaturated fats but quite low in saturated and polyunsaturated fats. That means vegans should find it a perfectly acceptable addition to their lifestyle.
The thing to remember with olive oil is that a little goes a long way. While monosaturated fat is one of the “good fats,” remember that olive oil is essentially a liquid fat and shouldn’t be consumed in excess. That also makes it wonderful for those vegans also trying to follow a keto diet.