The link below is to a Spanish study that indicates that real extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart because of the phenol compounds. This is similar to a previous article in our blog on real extra virgin olive oil and cancer. This is important because, once again, it is not just because olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat that makes it good for the heart but because real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds. These phenol compounds reduce inflammation which is a major cause of heart disease. And, once again, only real extra virgin olive oil contains phenol compounds.
Below is the best article I have read on cooking with extra virgin olive oil. In essence, the phenolitic compounds found in high quality extra virgin olive oil protect the oil during the cooking process so it does not break down into harmful substances. Low quality olive oils do not have these compounds so it is actually more harmful, not less harmful, to cook with them. There are many other factors that make high quality extra virgin olive oil the best choice for cooking. I highly recommend reading the entire article.
Below is a fun article on making flatbread with olive oil from the New York Times. It is amazing how versatile olive oil can be. I keep learning new ways to use it which encourages me to also conduct my own experiments.