When you shop for olive oil, you will see that there’s an array of options, which can easily confuse you.
From pure to light and there’s also extra virgin olive oil, you’re probably wondering if there’s any difference in these terms used. Here’s the answer: it’s all about the process that involves extracting the oil, along with the additives used and the free oleic acid levels found in the oil.
When it comes to extra virgin olive oil, this is graded as unrefined oil and is actually the highest quality you can buy. A brand has to meet strict standards in order for it to be labeled extra virgin. It differs in taste as it retains the flavor of real olives and it also has lower levels of oleic acid compared to other varieties out there. Most importantly, this oil contains most of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh olives.
There are no chemicals added to extra virgin olive oil and it is also not altered by temperature. Use extra virgin olive oil for dipping bread, cold dishes, baking, and dressing for salads and gain the following benefits:
- Weight Loss: The star of Mediterranean diets is extra virgin olive oil, consuming about 20 liters of the oil. It is said to be more effective than a low-fat diet.
- Nutritious: Extra virgin olive oil comes with vitamins E and K, along with beneficial fatty acids. It is high in fat, but don’t let this scare you away. The fat, which is mainly monounsaturated fat, is good for you.
- Antioxidants: This oil is also rich in antioxidants, which make it good for our health. Antioxidants are biologically active substances that can help fight serious diseases. Oleocanthal is one of the most notable antioxidants and it is found in extra virgin olive oil, allowing the oil to protect bad cholesterol from oxidation.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Chronic inflammation can cause several diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. The oleic acid in olive oil is the fatty acid in olive oil that is responsible for fighting inflammatory markers, such as C-Reactive Protein. Additionally, the antioxidant oleocanthal works like the commonly used anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.
Although there is lacking evidence, there are health experts who believe that consuming extra virgin olive oil can deter diabetes and can even work wonders for your sex life by improving blood circulation in the body.