Carnival will soon be here, so time has come to get out our pans and start making fritters! Speaking of which, we would like to correct a common misconception, that is to say that extra virgin olive oil should never be used for frying, because it is too precious. No one doubts that it is the best oil for dressing, but fewer of us know that it should also be our first choice for cooking. Why? When we cook, the heat we use can cause a degradation of fatty compounds. Oils obtained from olives are both extremely resistant to alterations, hence ideal for frying, and excellent for our health, since they are rich in anti-oxidising compounds. On average, olive oil contains about 75% oleic acid, 15% saturated fatty acids and 10% linoleic acid. It also contains polyphenols and various other antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids). As well as being pleasant and digestible, it helps protect our cardiovascular system because it lowers the overall level of cholesterol in our blood, in particular that of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), while boosting that of HDL (the so-called “good” cholesterol). In brief, with olive oil pleasure goes hand in hand with healthiness!