"Sales of extra-virgin olive oil hit a record £71m last year, which means it now accounts for more than 30% - the largest share - of the UK oil market. These figures have led some people to conclude that we're adopting "a healthier, Mediterranean diet".
There are as many things wrong with that statement as with the over-use of the oil in the first place. Yes, as a mono-unsaturated fat, it is healthier than animal fats, but that's not what we're normally substituting it for: usually, we use it in preference to other oils - predominantly sunflower oil - which is poly-unsaturated and, as such, healthier than both olive oil and butter. In practice, any monounsaturate heated to smoking point turns into a trans fat, which is worse for you than all other fats put together. And since olive oil has a much lower smoking point than, say, groundnut oil, almost any cooking activity beyond the gentlest of sweating will bring about this bad-fat transformation. In any case, except in dishes such as ratatouille, which showcase the oil as much as other ingredients, I would never use olive oil for cooking, but rather for dressings."
The good news: the market is booming
The bad news: dont use it for cooking. in Lebanon, many people in villages still fry egges with olive oil. i personally dislike the taste of cooked olive oil, but it is an acquired taste and some people love it. I only eat it raw, but in large quantities, and only my own olive oil, which I harvest by hand and I take to the mill. The Guardian article forgets something: monounsaturated fats like olive oil raise the good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL), while polyunsaturates lower both.
Dont badmouth olive oil. And dont cook with it.