One thing we can all agree on is that olive oil is delicious! Olive oil is used in some of our favorite dishes from bruschetta to halibut with roasted tomatoes to even olive oil cake!
There are numerous types of olive oil on the market but, how do we know the best type to choose? Let’s investigate.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is a liquid monounsaturated fat traditionally obtained from olives. Unlike saturated and trans-fat, which are solid at room temperature, monounsaturated fats are a healthy type of dietary fat that is of liquid form at room temperature and starts to harden when refrigerated.
5 Grades of Olive Oil:
Extra virgin olive oil is the most common and highest quality olive oil available on the market. To create extra virgin olive oil, olives undergo the process of cold processing which makes this type of olive oil heat resistant. Cold processing allows the extra virgin olive oil to retain most of the natural flavor and aroma from olives when exposed to extreme temperatures.
Virgin olive oil undergoes cold processing as well but, is slightly more acidic than extra virgin olive oil. The taste is more mild than extra virgin olive oil and is best used for salad dressings.
Pure olive is created from either extra virgin or virgin oil with a refined oil. Pure olive oil contains the most amount of Vitamin E compared to other oils and can be used for cooking as well as body massages.
Refined olive oil is considered a moderate quality of oil. Refined olive oil tends to be used when cooking at a high temperature.
Olive Pomace Oil is the lowest quality olive oil available on the market. Pomace olive oil is created from residues and remains after olive pressing is completed. The remaining oil is extracted and mixed with higher-quality oils to improve quality.
Benefits of Olive Oil:
1. Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol level
2. Develops as well as maintains cells
3. Contains average amounts of Vitamin E and K
4. Reduces inflammation
5. May help prevent strokes, Alzheimer disease and Type II Diabetes
6. Aids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
When choosing a type of oil to cook with always try to choose extra virgin olive oil; It truly is superior!