Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month
Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a...

Rob has always loved to set goals; every year on his birthday he sets a new goal for...

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Lifestyle

Meet Rob: 50 Years Old & Running a Marathon a Month

Rob has always loved to set goals; every year on his birthday he sets a new goal for himself and he’s a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. 10 years ago, when he turned 40, Rob entered into a 50-mile race in Haliburton. This race was meant to be a great way to spend his time and would encourage him to continue to exercise as if he were younger – but, little did he know, that was only the beginning.

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays
5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the...

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."?!?

It can be the most wonderful time of the year, but, it can also be more hectic, stressful, tough, and lonely for many. So, here are a few, unfinished, imperfect, tinsel covered lifelines I'd like to extend to you. I hope you find a few of them helpful. 

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...
What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

What we can Learn from Charlie...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about...

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Lifestyle

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about core activation and stabilization of the lower back from that very cartoon. 

Feeling Stressed?
Feeling Stressed?

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most...

Feeling Stressed?

Lifestyle

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most stressful? And with stress comes aches and pains, heart disease, and depression. Take a step back, before your stress becomes too much to handle, and learn a bit more about your stress and how it can best be managed.

How Can I Burn Fat?
How Can I Burn Fat?

How Can I Burn Fat?

When I teach classes, I often get asked: "how can I burn fat?" or "will...

How Can I Burn Fat?

Lifestyle

How Can I Burn Fat?

When I teach classes, I often get asked: "how can I burn fat?" or "will doing this class help me lose my belly?" Because these are some of the most frequently asked questions I get from our Members, I thought it was time to explore fat burning more in depth.

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab
The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

The TAC's Newest Addition: The...

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto...

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

Lifestyle

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto Athletic Club’s Strength Lab, the Club’s newest space, is now open to Members. But before you step into the space, let us answer some of the questions we’ve already heard from Members!

A Night of Promise
A Night of Promise

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the...

A Night of Promise

Lifestyle

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is doing and explain why we're so proud to support the JDRF and  their continued mission to better the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes.

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40
A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

A Celebration 40 Years in the...

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s...

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Lifestyle

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s overall look and feel to the offerings, nothing is as it once was, and yet, at the very core, it remains the same. Take a moment to look back on the past incredible 40 years as the Club readies to celebrate it's 40th Anniversary this week.

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss
5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk...

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in...

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in January. I want to think about, and talk about, it NOW. Read on to find 5 truths about weight loss you may not know. PLUS an incredibly scrumptious Quinoa Sundae recipe!

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court
From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

From the Corporate Office to NBA...

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and...

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Lifestyle

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and wellness of athletes and individuals alike. Regular massage therapy improves circulation, which promotes healing - as it brings rich blood supply to damaged, stiff, and tense muscles.

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection
First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

First Stop on Your Tour through the...

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks,...

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

Lifestyle

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks, unforgettable moments, and unmistakable monuments that immediately jump out to you? The team at the Adelaide Club believes there absolutely are! So, they've created their Toronto Collection to highlight their favourite images that best represent the city they call home.

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight
Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl's Transformation: Member...

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet...

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Lifestyle

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet and then knew it was time to add fitness back into the plan. After training with Mike for 6 months, Cheryl has lost an additional 34 lbs and has seen an 11% reduction in her body fat! 

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful
5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time...

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I...

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I know. Pretty clich√© this time of year. But gratitude is such a powerful, positive emotion, I just couldn’t help myself.

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate
7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy...

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat...

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Lifestyle

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat excessively. I mean, who can blame us? But, this year is going to be different, and here’s why…we’ve got the top SEVEN tips to help you with portion control that will, ultimately, help to stave off the holiday bulge.

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?
Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from...

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Lifestyle

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from many joint and tendon disorders. Everyone with soft tissue injuries can benefit from shockwave therapy.

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason
Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Take Your Golf Game to the Next...

Now that fall is upon us, let's face it - the golf season is winding down. Insert...

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Lifestyle

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Now that fall is upon us, let's face it - the golf season is winding down. Insert sad face. For some, that would mean putting the clubs away until spring and spending your winter dreaming about the course; instead, you can use this fall and winter to assess, train smart, and strengthen your body-swing connection.

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!
5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling...

I’ve been thinking a lot about …

…being...

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

I’ve been thinking a lot about …

…being overwhelmed.  Lots of starts and restarts happening around us right now.  All that change is awesome.  It’s crucial for growth, ongoing engagement, stimulation, and, ultimately, a happy fulfilled life.  And it can be crushingly overwhelming sometimes.

Member Spotlight: Michael
Member Spotlight: Michael

Member Spotlight: Michael

Most clients come to a session with their personal trainer ready to work, but very few...

Member Spotlight: Michael

Lifestyle

Member Spotlight: Michael

Most clients come to a session with their personal trainer ready to work, but very few come as prepared as Michael! Beginning in 2006, Michael has joined me at the Toronto Athletic Club three times a week for training; and we’ve been consistently working together ever since.

What it Takes to be an Ironman...
What it Takes to be an Ironman...

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

On August 19th, 2018, just under 3000 eager athletes, including 581 first...

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

Lifestyle

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

On August 19th, 2018, just under 3000 eager athletes, including 581 first timers, ages 18-80, raced in the 6th Annual Ironman Mont Tremblant. I was included in these athletes, along with our members Darcy and Tom Wefers and Louise Engelmann.

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness
Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Self-Care Strategies for Stress...

Did you know that August is Wellness Month? While we near the end of the month, we...

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Lifestyle

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Did you know that August is Wellness Month? While we near the end of the month, we wanted to share a few strategies that you can (and should) incorporate into your daily life to reduce your stress and improve your overall well-being all year long! 

Is It Safe to Cook with Olive Oil?

Is It Safe to Cook with Olive Oil?
Posted: Jan 23, 2015
Olive oil extraction can be traced back to as early as 4500 BC so we have a long history of its use in agriculture, and cooking. Due to its abundance, easy access and the good press on its health benefits (reducing the risk of heart disease, and possibly certain cancers, diabetes and Alzheimers), just about everyone has a bottle of olive oil in their cupboard. Most people assume it to be good for cooking. To test this out, I did my own kitchen experiment, which is laid out below. But first, a little background on why it matters.

All oils are sensitive to heat, oxygen and light to varying degrees – dependent on their growing conditions, processing, storage and fatty acid make-up. Exposure to too much heat, especially when an oil is repeatedly heated, can catalyze the formation of the cancer-causing, cell mutating and hormone disrupting PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Too much light or exposure to air generates oxidation and free radicals that contribute to all degenerative diseases.

In the case of olive oil, its tolerance to heat is somewhere between 275 – 410ºF, with most extra virgins averaging 375ºF. As mentioned above, the differences are determined by the olive varietal, growing conditions, fatty acid composition, the process used to extract it, storage conditions, and who you ask. If you heat olive oil higher than its tolerance, precious plant phenols and the Vitamin E are destroyed. Both polyphenols and Vitamin E have been identified as the main benefactors to heart health. Overheating, not only minimizes the nourishment, but it leads to the formation of the potentially problematic PAH’s. To be clear, it is unlikely that occasional exposure the PAH’s will cause much harm, as our detoxification system lead by our stalwart liver is equipped to handle a reasonable load. However we all need to be conscious of consistent and accumulated exposure. We have far less control over the the PAH’s that are floating around our environment due to the fumes from vehicle exhaust, asphalt, coal combustion, wood-burning fires, agricultural burning and hazardous waste sites. However where we can exert more control is by minimizing exposure to PAH’s from cigarette and tobacco smoke, eating grilled and charred meat or other grilled foods, consuming non-organic foods grown in contaminated soils and processed foods, and yes, by not overheating oils.

All this to say that heating olive oil too high, is of itself, not likely to cause harm – but where we can take control, we must do what we can to keep the PAH’s at bay.

Using olive oil for cooking is not a free for all – fry at will, whatever and however long you want. Not if you want to give yourself all the opportunities that you can to be healthy.

With all this in mind, I wondered how long I could be sauteing/frying my food before the oil would heat beyond its capacity. So here is my kitchen experiment.

olive oil experiment

I used four different frying pans:

1. ceramic non-stick (Green Earth Frying pan by Ozeri)

2. stainless steel Lagostina

3. non-stick Caphalon

4. cast iron pan.


Along with a grill thermometer and a bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil by Emile Noel, I determined the time it took for the pan to reach various temperatures. I made the assumption that if the surface of the pan was at a particular temperature, then the oil right next to the thermometer would be at the same or a similar temperature. We have a gas stove and I kept it on medium-high heat (3rd mark from the highest), which I would most commonly use for sautéing vegetables. The table below shows the results.

Temp
Ceramic Green Pan Stainless Steel Calphalon Non-stick Cast Iron
250 3:36
(minutes: seconds) 2:22 3:33 3:25
300 2:52 stopped due to
smoke 4:04
350 4:52 3:19 4:45
400 5:38 3:44
stopped due
to smoke

450 6:40 4:15

After the green ceramic pan had cooled, I tested heating the olive oil on medium heat for ten minutes and the temperature never went above 310ºF, so the oil never smoked. I then turned it up to high heat and it smoked at 1 minute, 15 seconds.

Here are the conclusions that I drew from my little kitchen experiment:
•The pan that is used will determine how long an oil can withstand cooking. The ceramic green pan won out over all the others with the solid advantage of being an even and reliable conductor of heat without ever reaching too-high a heat (while being left on medium). Note however, that all the pans were older than the ceramic one. Age may play a part in the efficiency and heat conduction of a pan.
•Reheating is known to cause quicker breakdown of an oil. This was confirmed by my experiment of initially using medium heat and then shifting to high heat.
•It appears that we can use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for sautéing in most pans, as long as we keep it to medium heat and cook it for less than 4 minutes. In a ceramic pan we likely have the option of longer cooking times.

Buy your extra virgin olive oils in dark glass bottles to ensure that there isn’t any unnecessary exposure to light. Cap the bottles as soon as you complete your pour. Cook on medium-high heat for limited amounts of time, dependent on the pan that you’re using (generally less than 4 minutes) or low to medium heat for longer times to ensure that you optimize olive oils health gifts.

Resources
http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastemin/minimize/factshts/pahs.pdf
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=121&tid=25
http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/chemical-characteristics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil#Nutrition
Pellegrini N, Visioli F, Buratti S, et al. Direct analysis of total antioxidant activity of olive oil and studies on the influence of heating. J Agric Food Chem 2001 May;49(5):2532-8.
Vissers MN, Zock PL, Katan MB. Bioavailability and antioxidant effects of olive oil phenols in humans: a review. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004
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