There are debates about which of the vegetable oils are really healthy. Although, these arguments end up being inconclusive, a particular vegetable oil which many have generally agreed to be healthy is olive oil. In fact, olive oil is a mainstay of the popular Mediterranean diet
Olive oil has become quite popular over the years due to its ever-increasing health benefits however, there’s still a lot of misinformation. This often leads to prospective users buying low quality olive oil types as well as using it the wrong way.
There’s a lot of detailed information on this page on olive oil from picking the right brand to how to use it appropriately.
- What is olive oil?
- What are the benefits of olive oil?
- How to choose the right brand of olive oil
- 1. Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2L (2QT 3.6 fl. oz)
- 2. Ellora Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Ltr. Tin/33.8 fl.oz.
- 3. Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 4. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 68 fl Ounce
- 5. Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Liter Tins (Pack of 2)
- How to use olive oil
- Olive oil: other things you should know
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is pressed from olives. This is the fruit from the olive trees. Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated oil, vitamin E, linoleic acid and many other useful nutrients. Olive oil has a long history of health benefits. It was used as an antibacterial agent in ancient times and it is currently still being used for a wide range of health reasons.
What are the benefits of olive oil?
Olive oil can be used as a healthy alternative to mayonnais in salad dressings. Also, this oil has numerous benefits due its vitamin E and phenolic antioxidants which are known to protect against chronic inflammatory disease. Additionally, it is an excellent alternative to many skin and hair creams. Overall, there are many diseases that can be treated or prevented with a diet rich in olive oil.
Olive oil has been linked to preventing the occurrence and recurrence of stroke. In fact, one study shows that older people that use olive oil in cooking and dressing had a lower risk of stroke.
Osteoporosis which occurs when the body loses too much bone while making too little bone. It can be a postmenopausal symptoms as well as a sign of aging. Interestingly, the mediterranean diet has been linked with an increase in the thickness of the bones.
Also, researchers have observed that a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (like that found in olive oil) as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of depression.
>> Skin cancer
Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and this has been linked with the prevention of skin cancer. In fact, consumption of an olive oil rich diet has been associated with the prevention of malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer. This is because olive oil contains oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
How to choose the right brand of olive oil
Some times you may get confused trying to establish a link between labels like extra virgin, pure or organic and the quality of olive oil brands. Well, the factors below are quite useful in helping you ascertaining the quality of any olive oil brand prior to buying.
You may be trying to save a few pounds by buying that inexpensive olive oil brands online. But the truth is great quality is rarely synonymous with low prices. You will have to spend some extra dollars to get a good quality olive oil brand.
The gold standard for olive oil is the extra virgin olive oil. This type of olive oil is not heated or chemically refined in any way. It contains mainly monounsaturated fats. Other components include saturated fats, vitamin E, K, omega 3 and omega 6.
The source of the olive oil brand you choose to buy is very important. For instance, many of the olive oil brands that claim to be sourced from Italy are actually produced in North Africa but packaged in Italy. Generally, when buying olive oil, it is important you look out for the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) or the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) seal. This guarantees purity and freshness of the oil.
Best olive oil brands review: Our top 5 picks
We’ve made the process of choosing the right olive brand easy for you by compiling a list of the top 5 olive oil brands. This list is based on the source of the oil, the manufacturer, buyers’ opinions and other important factors.
1. Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2L (2QT 3.6 fl. oz)
The Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a top brand of olive oil. This particular brand is distinct because it has been cold pressed which maintains its nutritional value. Also, it is an organic extra virgin olive oil that is certified by the USDA.
Kirkland’s Organic Olive Oil is also popular among many olive oil users due to its unique fruity taste. It has been found useful especially in cooking and dressing.
2. Ellora Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Ltr. Tin/33.8 fl.oz.
The Ellora Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a top notch and high grade EU certified olive oil. It is an ethically produced olive oil. This olive oil is of the Koroneiji variety and it is produced in the Kolymvari region of Crete, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It is also known for its fruity aromatic flavour with a characteristic peppery taste.
Many users positively reviewed this oil for especially for its aromatic flavour and pleasant smell. It was also quite useful in salad dressing and drizzle by many others.
3. Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin
The Papa Vince Olive Oilis one of the top brands of extra virgin olive oil. It is unfiltered, unrefined and loaded with antioxidant. The olive oil is cold pressed and it has traces of pepper and tomato flavours.
The essence of the unrefined, unblended and unfiltered nature of this oil is to preserve the nutrients and flavors. The olive oil is of Italian origin and has a shelf life of 4 years. Also it has a low acidity (FFA < .26)
Users on Amazon, especially those that are used to locally grown olive oil state that this olive oil is a perfect alternative. Many users also love the taste and the smell of this extra virgin olive oil.
4. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 68 fl Ounce
The Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil is another excellent olive oil brand. The product is sourced from Italy and it is produced to optimal standard using the cold press method. It has an interesting flavour which is a balance of fruity and spicy. The Colavita Brand has been available since 1912 and their olive oil is a great for cooking. It is also useful for roasting baking dressing and marinades. It is a very healthy choice because it is cholesterol and carbohydrates free.
Buyers reiterate the fact that it is excellent when used as cooking oil. However, many users complain that it has a multicultural origin and it is not solely sourced from Italy as stated on Amazon. The Colavita olive is actually from a mixture of Italian, Spanish and Greek source. Irrespective of this, many still opine that this olive oil brand is of top quality.
5. Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Liter Tins (Pack of 2)
The Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best brands of olive oil available in the market today. This extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed and it’s a well blended mix of Spanish olive oil varieties. It has a mix of a delicate fruity and peppery taste.
Many users opine that this oil is excellent all-round olive oil. The price is good when compared to the level of quality it offers.
How to use olive oil
There are countless applications of olive oil from cooking to skin and hair treatment. Hence the method of use of this oil certainly depends on its reason for use.
In treating hair conditions like dandruff, you can mix a teaspoon of olive oil with lemon and rub directly on your scalp. On the other hand, you can use olive oil to make salad dressing by mixing the oil with egg. This is quite healthy when compared with mayonnaise. Overall, there are countless ways to use extra virgin olive oil. In fact, it is quite interesting with its diverse application to almost any recipe in your kitchen. For example, you can add the oil to your meat prior to grilling. You can also replace butter with olive oil when baking.
Olive oil: other things you should know
Despite its many health benefits, there are a couple of important things to note when using olive oil. First, olive oil is still a fat, hence it contain high level of calories. Generally, you’ll need to be careful with your daily consumption rate. A moderate daily usage of 2 tablespoon daily is ideal.
Also, olive oil should not be overheated as it becomes hydrogenated once exposed to high temperatures. This can even lead to production of trans-fats which is unhealthy.
Finally, some individuals react to certain brands of olive oil. You can apply the oil to your skin for 24 hours, if you observe no reaction, then it’s safe.