Fried Fish: Don't Get Hooked - Berkeley Wellness News letter

 Here is the Link:

You may have caught recent news reports that fried fish can cause heart problems. But that's no reason to hang up the fishing reel.

A large study in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure found that eating fried fish at least once a week was associated with a 48 percent higher risk of heart failure.

This wasn't the first study to raise red flags about fried fish. A 2005 study, for instance, linked frequent consumption of fried fish to a 44 percent increased risk of stroke. And findings from a study in Neurology suggested that one reason why people in the "stroke belt" states of the South have higher rates of stroke is that Southerners eat more fried fish than other Americans.

Still, you shouldn't stop eating fish. After all, the latest study, which included only women, also reaffirmed that fish is good for your heart--if you broil or bake it. Those who ate five or more servings a week of baked/broiled fish over a 10-year period had a 30 percent reduced risk of heart failure, compared to women who ate less than one serving a month. Fattier fish such as salmon (which are higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fats) were most protective.

What's the catch?

There are several reasons why fried fish may not have the same health benefits as baked or broiled fish. First, the types of fish that are typically fried (haddock, cod, catfish, and other white fish) tend to be low in omega-3s. Even in the Circulation study, white fish that was baked or broiled was less protective than fattier fish. Moreover, frying may further reduce omega-3s, some research indicates. Frying also adds calories, especially if the fish is batter-fried, and this can contribute to weight gain and increased health risks.

Another snag in the line: When oils are heated to high temperature, they form potentially harmful compounds, especially when the oil is reused over long periods, as is common in fast-food and other restaurants. And many restaurants still fry with partially hydrogenated oils (a source of trans fats) or highly saturated beef tallow, both of which have adverse effects on cholesterol.

Keep in mind, too, that eating fried fish may be a marker for a less-healthy lifestyle in general. In fact, though researchers control for most such factors, the women in the study who ate more fried fish also ate fewer fruits and vegetables, were less physically active, and were more likely to smoke, for example, than those who ate their fish baked or broiled.

Better fishing

Eating fried fish on occasion is fine, especially if you serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and carrots, say, and baked (not fried) potatoes. But you're best off choosing omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and baking, poaching, or broiling it. Aim for at least two servings a week of a variety of (non-fried) fatty fish.

If you do fry, keep these tips in mind:

  • Pan-frying is better than deep-frying. Use a small amount of oil and don't add the fish until the oil is hot (but never so hot that the oil smokes).
  • Olive oil is good for pan-frying. It is more stable when heated (and thus forms fewer byproducts) than corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and canola oils.
  • Don't bread the fish--the coating absorbs more oil.
  • Use fresh oil every time you fry. It may be hard to avoid reused oil in restaurants, however.
  • If you eat fried fish or other fried foods at restaurants, ask whether they use partially hydrogenated oils. Some have switched to healthier oils.


The many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil - Julie Butler


olive oil patents1 | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

What do a heart disease treatment, an anti-viral agent, croissants, a fuel additive, sausage and soap all have in common?

As you’ll soon see, they all capitalize on the versatile and powerful properties of the natural compounds found in olives and olive oil.

The compounds have long been key ingredients in natural remedies and are now harnessed in modern health treatments. But Olive Oil Times wanted to find out some of the newest ideas for applying the benefits of olives and olive oil.

Our search of patent applications revealed a range of inventions, underscoring yet again that this is far from your typical fruit.

Which of these applications would you be most likely to try?


For Full Articel see :



Reduce body fat and prevent heart disease icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

From Spain comes the invention of a new family of compounds – derived from the olive oil antioxidant hydroxytyrosol – said to be effective for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other eating disorders.

According to the application, these hydroxytyrosol ethers can modulate the activity of the receptor CB1 – key in appetite control – “inducing satiety, controlling intake and reducing body fat.”

They can also prevent and treat the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein – linked with hardening of the arteries – it says.

A natural anti-inflammatory icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

The olive extract hydroxytyrosol also features in new compositions for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory disorders, one of the biggest health problem in the world, according to the patent application.

While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories(NSAIDs) are among the most used drugs used to treat such disorders, their long-term use can have big side-effects. And the biological impact of alternative, ‘natural’ compounds is often inadequate, it says.

“Surprisingly, it has been found, however, that a combination of hydroxytyrosol and chondroitin synergistically enhances anti-inflammatory activity, collagen formation and cartilage build-up and repair.”

It may be especially useful in treating and preventing inflammatory disorders, such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, skin inflammation, and skin aging, the application claims.

Antiviral effective on bird flu icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

A Japanese invention also uses hydroxytyrosol, this time as the active ingredient in what is described as a new antiviral agent.

According to the application, it’s an anti-influenza virus agent that also has an effect on bird flu, yet is highly safe for humans and animals to take.

Hydroxytyrosol is found in various parts of the olive tree, including the olive fruit, leaves, stems and roots.

Fight colds icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

And a new nasal spray uses the olive extract hydroxytyrosol – this time combined with the hop extract xanthohumol – for the prevention and treatment of colds , the application states.

Probiotic enriched table olives icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

The intake of probiotics stimulates the growth of beneficial microorganisms, reduces the amount of pathogens and strengthens the body’s natural defences. But many probiotic products are dairy-based, which is a problem for those with lactose intolerance.

From Italy, however, comes an invention for probiotic-enriched table olives said to be “an effective means to treat or prevent intestinal disorders or restore the intestinal flora after antibiotic therapy“ and that can also be consumed by the lactose-intolerant.

Among the advantages claimed are the possibility of incorporating helpful bifidobacteria microorganisms which struggle to thrive in fermented milk products.

Topical treatment for herpes icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

Olive oil is also crucial in a new treatment for herpes-related illnesses.

The commonly used antiviral drug aciclovir is not very water soluble and has poor oral bioavailability but Spanish inventors say their pharmaceutical composition combining the drug with olive oil and a solubilizing agent makes possible topical treatments such as gels and creams that provide better drug delivery and more effective treatment.

Hydroxytyrosol promotes muscle health icon external link | The Many Wonders of Olives and Olive Oil | olive oil basics

Another application uses olive extracts comprising hydroxytyrosol to protect muscles during exercise, promote recovery from injuries, and relieve muscle soreness.

The olive extracts can decrease post-exercise lactic acid build-up and increase levels of glutathione. This means that they activate the body’s own anti-oxidant mechanisms, as well as acting as an anti-oxidant on their own, it says.

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The Truth about Olive Oil.

 Tom Mueller is the leading expert on what olive oil is all about and how it flows through the industry. He has written a great book, which I recommend and one day I'll get him here for a talk. Here is a link to his buyers guide on his website:

How Heat, Light and Oxygen Harm Olive Oil


Posted on May 22 2012 | Categorized in: World of Olive Oil

By Julie Butler
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

Ayton 435x323 | How Heat, Light and Oxygen Harm Olive Oil | world
Researcher Jamie Ayton at the Australian Oils Research Laboratory

A three-year study by Australian scientists confirms that oxygen, light and heat are indeed among extra virgin olive oil’s worst enemies.

The study also provides the best available guidance for gauging the shelf life and use-by date for olive oils, Jamie Ayton, Rodney J. Mailer and Kerrie Graham state in their report.

The bottom line in “The Effect of Storage Conditions on Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality (PDF)” is that olive oil should be stored at cool temperatures, away from light and without exposure to oxygen.

“Not just in the short term, but throughout the life of the oil, which includes during the transport, storage and marketing of the oil, as well as when the oil has reached its final destination…the consumer” they say.

“Otherwise, the olive oil can deteriorate so much that it can no longer be classified as extra virgin olive oil, at a huge expense to growers.”

Test results

The study found that high storage temperature and oxygen exposure negatively affect the sensory profile of olive oils. Over time at higher temperatures, the compounds that cause pleasant flavours and aromas in olive oil change and instead cause unpleasant ones. Rancidity develops sooner and free fatty acid levels rise faster.

Similarly, when exposed to oxygen, rancidity starts to develop and olive oil’s sensory properties quickly and significantly decline.

Exposure to light causes a substantial loss of antioxidants, especially tocopherols, and an increase in rancidity compared to oil stored in the dark.

Meanwhile, all three affect – though to different degrees – an oil’s colour. “This is important as the first ‘sensory’ assessment a consumer makes is by assessing the colour of the oil they are going to purchase” the report says..

Study method

Funded by Australia’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and the Australian Olive Association, the intensive research tracked nine Australian EVOOs over three years, using 882 bottles of olive oil.

  • To test the effect of temperature, samples were stored at 15°C, 22°C and 37°C.
  • To test for oxygen exposure, some were stored with the bottle lid only loosely attached and 10 mL of oil was removed each month to ensure the head space in the bottle contained oxygen.
  • To test for light exposure, samples were stored in clear bottles exposed to sunlight and fluorescent light.
  • Chemical parameters for oxidation and ageing, and the sensory characteristics of the oils, were analysed every three months.


Lead researcher Jamie Ayton, an edible oils chemist at the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Australian Oils Research Laboratory, in Wagga Wagga, spoke to Olive Oil Times about the project.

Is there any average shelf life for olive oil? Taking your research into account, how could a producer calculate a best-before or use-by date for their olive oil?

Many factors affect the shelf life of an olive oil, such as the initial oil matrix as well as the conditions the oils are stored under. Oils which have low total polyphenols levels and high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids will have a shorter shelf life than those which are more robust (i.e. high polyphenols and low polyunsaturated fatty acid content).

As you can see from the results in our report, there is no “blanket” statement which can apply to all oils. The general industry view is that oils which are more than 18-24 months old are reaching the outer limits of their shelf life. Having said that, some of the oils in our project were still classified as EVOO after 36 months under “reasonable” storage conditions.

After the oil has deteriorated, there are no health implications with using it, it is just that it may no longer be classified as EVOO according to standards criteria (IOC or AS5264-2011).

What should shops and consumers do?

Retailers should ensure that temperature is regulated sufficiently. I would suggest less than 25 degrees C would be preferable. Oils should also have minimal exposure to light and radiant heat from lights in supermarkets.

Prior to this, warehousing and transport conditions should be managed in order to have the minimum impact on the oil.

Consumers should follow similar advice. The oil should be stored in the dark at cool temperatures, for example at the back of a kitchen cupboard – not on the windowsill or near the stove top. Once the bottle is opened, exposure to oxygen will occur, therefore the oil should be used quickly, while still fresh.


“The Effect of Storage Conditions on Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality” (PDF)
Info on Jamie Ayton

Is it Time for an Oil Change in the Kitchen? - New York Times 2010

 I have been asked a lot recently about cooking with olive oil. Here is a good article about that topic from the NYT.


Essentially, you can cook (fry) with good evoo (extra virgin olive oil), but you lose the flavours. The author found the the smoke point for a typical refined oil like canola was around 475F and for the good evoo, it was around 450F.

One thing to note: EVOO is pure and alive, while refined oils have been heated, de-ordorized and treated with chemicals to increase their shelf life.