# The Best Type of Olive Oil for Your Health

As published in Body Ecology website  Jan 5th 2012

If you have ever used a fine quality olive oil in a salad dressing or drizzled it over a warm winter stew, then you know how a good olive oil has the ability to brighten up any dish.

What makes an olive oil taste good? First and foremost: how it is processed.

  • If you buy virgin or extra-virgin olive oil at the store, you are purchasing oil that has not undergone any chemical treatment.
  • When oil is refined, this means that chemicals have been used to remove taste and to neutralize acid content.
  • Any oil that reads “pure olive oil” is typically a blend of virgin and refined olive oil.

Refined olive oil is considered to be of lesser quality than extra-virgin olive oil. Not only have the natural flavors of the olive been removed, but chemicals are used in its processing.

The grassy, sometimes fruity notes that a good olive oil can carry in flavor are desirable. It is also the mark of good quality oil.
Olive oil can be heart healthy when it is used correctly… But cooking with olive oil may do more harm than good to your health since olive oil will oxidize and turn rancid when exposed to heat.

Besides flavor, there are is another reason why you want to spend a little extra time locating good quality olive oil: your health.

Many people consider olive oil to be one of the healthiest oils available. And the research shows that olive oil is indeed heart healthy, when used correctly. Using olive oil correctly means that you understand its monounsaturated nature.

Olive oil is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. A fatty acid is just another way of saying a fat molecule.

Because olive oil is monounsaturated, this means that it is not as delicate as flax oil or the oil from cold-water fish, which are polyunsaturated. However, as an unsaturated oil, it still will oxidize and go rancid under the right conditions.

There are several reasons why you do not want to cook with olive oil.

Unsaturated fats, whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, are most likely to oxidize under the right conditions. So what causes unsaturated fatty acids to oxidize? Three things:

  1. Light
  2. Air
  3. Heat

This is why extra-virgin olive oil has the potential to taste so delicious! Because it has been minimally processed and exposed to the least amount of light, air, and heat.

If your olive oil does not have flavor, then it has been overly processed, and it is most likely doing more harm than good in your body. Unfortunately, the same is true if you cook with olive oil.

Many people cook with olive oil because it is a “heart healthy” oil, but olive oil should not be used at high temperatures.

Cold Pressed or Ice Pressed?

You will find that the olive oil with the most nuance of flavor will also be the best for your health. Light, air, and heat can all potentially damage an unsaturated oil and affect its flavor.

“Cold pressed” is not exactly what you would imagine. When extra-virgin olive oil is cold pressed, this means that it is exposed to temperatures ranging from 35°-55° Celsius (95°-131° Fahrenheit). Cold pressing an oil decreases the yield, but it increases flavor and nutritional value. This is why cold pressed oils are generally more expensive on the market shelf.

“Ice pressed” is exactly as the name implies. Ice pressed olive oils are exposed to temperatures ranging from 0°-5° Celsius (32°-41° Fahrenheit). This production method almost entirely preserves both the flavor and the nutritional value of olive oil.

One “ice pressed” oil that has impressed us is Rallis Olive Oil: http://www.rallisoliveoil.com

Use fat to stabilize your moods and your energy levels.

Many of us know that certain fats are good for our bodies, especially olive oil.

But did you know that good quality fats can supply your body with a steady source of energy throughout the day? Most of us reach for carbohydrates when we are looking for energy. But a carbohydrate-rich diet ultimately leads to far more fluctuations in blood sugar than a diet that is rich in healthy fats.

So go ahead! Feel good about eating high-quality fats and know that by choosing the absolute best quality, you are protecting and nourishing your body.

What to Remember Most About This Article:

The way that olive oil is processed can make or break its flavor and quality. Virgin and extra-virgin olive oil have not undergone any chemical processing methods. A good quality olive oil will have grassy, sometimes fruity flavors.

Olive oil is made of monounsaturated fatty acids, meaning that it can go rancid and is not ideal for cooking. Light, air, and heat will cause olive oil to oxidize; olive oil should not be used at high temperatures.

If olive oil does not have any flavor, then it has likely been over processed and will do more harm than good to your body. Olive oil also has the potential to harm your health if it is used in cooking. When used correctly, olive oil is a healthy fat that can boost your energy and stabilize blood sugar better than eating carbohydrates.

10 thoughts on “# The Best Type of Olive Oil for Your Health

  1. Thanks for all your research into this topic. You are a wonderful resource! 🙂 I always took the easy way out with oils and fats and just never used them at all. julia xx

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    • Hi Julia
      I would totally recommend oils and fats…so important for your well being…I will write more about it…but meanwhile add a couple of spoonfuls of cold press if you can organic olive oil, flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil…all SO good of you!

      Like

  2. Hi Galy, I use extra virgin olive oil whenever possible. I also always use it to cook with. It is the first time of have heard that it is harmful used this way so I appreciate this info. I now need to know what “fat” is healthy for cooking. Jill

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    • Hi Jill
      I will be addressing this issue but two answers to this question in short:
      1) Coconut oil, ghee or palm oil
      2) Healthy Sauté Cooking Method
      Healthy Sauté is a cooking method that allows you to have the flavor of sautéed vegetables without using heated oils as research shows that exposing oils to high heat results in the production of oxidised compounds and free radicals detrimental to your health. Oil should added at the end, and this not only maintains the health-promoting nutrients in the oil, but actually produces a much richer flavor.

      I suggest using a stainless steel pan for this cooking method. I do not recommend the use of non-stick pans because recent studies show non-stick coatings may release toxic chemicals and fumes when heated.

      I would start with onions in the healthy sauté because they release their own oil, allowing them to be sautéed without adding any oil. The little bit of liquid that starts with gives the onions a chance to start releasing. By the time they start releasing, the liquid is usually cooked off, so you get a great sautéed flavor.

      Don’t worry if your onions start to stick to the pan. Just keep stirring, and when you add liquid to your pan, it will release what little is stuck to the pan. This actually adds extra flavor to your dish. If the onions look like they are burning, simply turn the heat down and continue to cook.

      How To Healthy Sauté

      Start your Healthy Sauté by heating 1 to 2 TBS of broth in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once the broth begins to bubble, add onions and sauté stirring frequently. After the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, you can then add other ingredients, such as garlic or fresh ginger. Once they have had a chance to cook together for just another minute or two, add other vegetables. This method enables you to have flavourful sautéed vegetables without heating oil. For even richer flavor, toss your sautéed vegetables with a little extra virgin olive oil after removing them from the heat.
      Resource : The World Healthiest Foods” website.

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  3. Thanks for the tip Galy. You hear so much stuff about Olive Oil. I just checked what we bought recently at Costco and it appears I bought the good stuff.

    I’ve just had my left eye cataract removed and replaced with a new lens. Everything is light and bright and clear. Now I have to have the other one done in due course.

    Cheers

    Gera

    Like

    • Hey Gera
      Thank you for your comment..
      Hope your vision get’s back to normal soon..You are brave…so now you will be able to see me 100% so no excuses…
      Take care
      Smiles
      Galy

      Like

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