If you were to open the pantry in the majority of American homes, you would likely find the be-all and end-all cooking fat: olive oil. Olive Oil is the fundamental element of the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet boasts scientifically proven health benefits and human longevity. Despite this, in recent years, cooking with the oil has been cautioned against by countless media outlets. Let’s find out why, and more importantly, what you actually need to know about the heavenly oil.
There is a myriad of blogs and news sources claiming that cooking olive oil in high heat is extremely dangerous, will result in the development of toxins detrimental to one’s health and to choose a different oil. Let’s clear this up. Any oil heated above its smoking point can produce toxic smoke. For olive oil, this number is about 392 degrees Fahrenheit. However, because true Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains antioxidants and resists this toxicity more than most oils. Plus, there is no scientific research to prove that this is harmful to human health. Nevertheless, consumers should be cautioned on the topic of purchasing olive oil.
The type of olive oil you purchase is everything.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the only type of olive oil that retains the true flavor and health benefits of the product. It is 100% pure (with no additives) and is produced by using the first press of the olive harvest. True Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the soul of the Mediterranean Diet. It is processed as little as possible in comparison to ‘Virgin,’ ‘Pure,’ or ‘Light’ olive oil. It contains more than thirty phenols which carry antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which do wonders for the body. Its monounsaturated fats are great for metabolism, especially for cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Consequently, true Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a knock-out when it comes to healthy fats.
Two tablespoons a day can improve cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation and joint pain, and help prevent type two diabetes. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids and has been identified to potentially slow the aging process. However, in order to reap these benefits,as a consumer, you must ensure you are buying real Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
How to buy the real stuff.
So, you ask, how can I find real Extra Virgin Olive Oil to truly taste and reap these incredible health benefits? First and foremost, when shopping, check the label. Where was it actually produced, not just packaged. Secondly, consider buying from any of the following certified reliable sources:
- Italian producers who grow olives and create real Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil certify their product. Look for labels stating “100% Qualitia Italiana.”
- Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced in California. Real California producers who grow olives and create pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil certify their products through the California Olive Oil Commission. Look for made in California and the seal “100% Certified Extra Virgin.”
- Look for products with “NAOOA Certified Oil” label.
- Order from The Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club.
- Whole Foods Market’s Single Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Aim to buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has been harvested or “pressed” less than a year ago. This ensures quality.
Finally, purchase it in small quantities since oil begins to slowly deteriorate once it is opened. Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil is great for your health, tastes delicious, and adds incredible flavor to your food. You will notice a difference.