Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Olives and TomatoesMountains of information have been published about the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet and, in particular, olive oil. Condensing and filtering the information is not always easy. Here is a conservative summary of the many healthful advantages to extra virgin olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is distinguished from all other oils (even other grades of olive oil) in that it is richly endowed with a unique combination of monounsaturated fats, polyphenols and phytosterols. A consistent body of scientific evidence exists that diets rich in these three natural components are associated with:

  • lower levels of “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and higher levels of “good cholesterol” (HDL).
  • lower levels of heart-unfriendly oxidized LDL’s.
  • reduced DNA oxidative damage which in turn is related to a reduced risk of some cancers.
  • reduced incidence of hypertension.
  • improved glycemic control, which is particularly advantageous to diabetic patients.

Fresh extra virgins contain higher levels of these beneficial components. Suggested consumption is two daily tablespoons of high quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably in place of other fats.

Be aware that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and its health-promoting nutrients. Always store olive oil in a dark, room-temperature cupboard. Also, the flavor and nutrients of extra virgin olive oil slowly degrade over time, so it is best used within two years of harvest and within a few months of opening.

Mayo Clinic
Olive Oil Times
Richard Gawel, Slick Extra Virgin

21 Responses to Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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  6. I live in a Mediterranean country, where olive trees grow in public parks and boulevards.

    Sad to say, the best olive oil in the country is exported for hard currency.
    Is it possible to make superb olive oil from ‘standard’ olives?

    If you DON’T know, please DON’T answer.I ALWAYS get cold-pressed oil, with acid content < 1%. That doesn't guarantee taste.

  7. Olive Oil says:

    What is the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil apart from the taste? Why is it dearer?

    • lulu says:

      Hope this help.
      – Extra-virgin olive oil Comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries; the percentage is far higher in the Mediterranean countries (Greece: 80%, Italy: 45%, Spain 30%). It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
      – Virgin olive oil Comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 1.5%, and is judged to have a good taste.
      – Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
      – Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 2% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
      – Olive pomace oil is refined pomace olive oil often blended with some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. It has a more neutral flavor than pure or virgin olive oil, making it unfashionable among connoisseurs; however, it has the same fat composition as regular olive oil, giving it the same health benefits. It also has a high smoke point, and thus is widely used in restaurants as well as home cooking in some countries.
      – Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
      -Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil, but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters.

  8. I am baking a chocolate cake, and the recipe calls for 70ml vegetable oil. However, the only oil we have is sunflower oil. Can I use this, and will it make a difference to the taste of the cake?

    • The olive lady says:

      Ssunflower oil, you most certainly may use olive oil in your baking. I do! It is moister, richer and healthier! Win win.

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  11. Ramon Delio says:

    I do accept as true with all of the ideas you’ve offered to your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies. May you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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  13. Its really good article, i got more information about Olive Oil from your article.

  14. Natraj says:

    advise whether we can use extra virgin olive oil for fried foods

  15. Natraj says:

    please advise this oil can be used for fry foods

  16. Good advice you have mentioned here I like this info so much! Thank you so very much for sharing it! i want know which oil in second position after Olive oil, plz suggest me.

  17. SANDEEP TOPPO says:

    Plzz contact me for Extra Virgin Olive Oils ,,,,,because i am working in this oil only …7858094365…….

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  19. search says:

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