We all know some cooking oils are healthier for you than others, but which ones? And Why? Is it all just an old wives’ tale or is there scientific evidence to back it up?
We know everything there is to know about cooking oil, so in this blog post, we’re going to explain why extra virgin olive oil is the healthier option when it comes to cooking.
What’s the difference between regular, virgin, and extra virgin?
Let’s start with the blunt truth - not all oils are equal.
Some are simply better than others.
They are processed with more care, at lower temperatures, and better ingredients are used in their making.
Basic, regular olive oil can be chemically extracted at high temperatures, resulting in a high acidic count. This destroys the natural nutrients and minerals contained in the olive.
Virgin olive oil is of a higher quality than regular olive oil and has an acidity of less than 2%. Chemicals may still be used in the extraction process, but less often and in fewer concentrations. This allows the oil to retain some of the olive’s natural goodness.
Extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, must contain no more than 0.8% acidity.
To get this level, chemicals cannot be used in the extraction method. Only machinery is used to squeeze the oil from the olive, and at low temperatures, ensuring the essential nutrients and minerals are retained.
Why is extra virgin olive oil a healthier option?
There are many surprising health benefits of a high-quality, extra virgin olive oil. Turns out all those old wives’ tales are true, now science has caught up and proven them.
Good for your heart
Olive oil is thought by many to be the reason people in the Mediterranean have astonishing low rates of heart disease, and a higher average life expectancy than the rest of Europe.
Studies also back this up, with olive oil found to lower LDL cholesterol, the bad type of cholesterol, while raising HDL, the good type. HDL cholesterol is considered good because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Good for your brain
Extra virgin olive oil is high in fats, but they are mostly monounsaturated, the “healthy” type of fats.
The human brain is mostly made up of fatty acids, and we need plenty in our daily diet in order to keep performing tasks and think clearly. With its high content of monounsaturated fats, olive oil is fuel for the brain, with studies showing that it helps improve memory, mood and attention.
There are also clinical trials suggesting that olive oil may help fight against the causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
A compound in the oil called oleocanthal may have neuroprotective properties, protecting brain cells from dangerous neurotoxins. Again, this may explain why the peoples of the Mediterranean have noticeably low statistics when it comes to these diseases.
Good for your body
Extra virgin olive oil has been found to help ease the body’s aches and pains.
Studies have shown that olive oil helps with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis as it acts as an anti-inflammatory. Researchers came to the conclusion that only three and a half tablespoons of olive oil were equivalent to 200mg of ibuprofen when reducing inflammation.
Another study in 2015, which was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, found that olive oil had a significant impact not only on chronic inflammation but also on acute inflammatory processes.
The best extra virgin olive oil on the market
With such a vast range of oils available, it’s hard to know if you’re getting a high-quality oil or something cheap and nasty with a nice label.
Luckily, when it comes to Olivado, you know exactly what’s in the bottle.
Our oils are of the very highest quality, cold-pressed with mechanical extraction, with less than 0.8% acidity, making it the very best available on the market.
Our extra virgin olive oil meets every standard set out by the International Olive Council, and all of our oils are produced to the same exacting standards, such as our award-winning extra virgin avocado oil.
If you would like to know more about our range of high-quality, extra virgin oils, please feel free to contact us today.
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.