Nutrition Composition

Nutrient composition of EVOO

Extra virgin olive oil is a unique and healthy food due to its fat profile as well as the bioactive compounds it contains. Both the fat profile and the bioactive compounds have an impact on not only the health benefits associated with the oil, but also how stable it is during cooking.

Healthy Fats

EVOO has a healthy fat profile, with the majority of fat being monounsaturated.

Bioactive compounds

EVOO contains a variety of plant compounds that have strong antioxidant activity.

Healthy fat profile

The fat profile of EVOO is one of the reasons why it is so healthy. It is predominately made up of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), and the main fatty acid is oleic acid11. EVOO has moderate amounts of saturated fat (16%) and small amounts of polyunsaturated fats (9%) and no trans fats11. Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats, with studies consistently linking a diet high in MUFAs with positive markers of cardiovascular disease, including improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels1620.

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Bioactive compounds

EVOO is a unique oil as it contains a variety of bioactive compounds with strong antioxidant activity. These include polyphenols, α-tocopherols (Vitamin E), and squalene. Evidence shows these bioactive compounds are responsible for many of the health benefits of EVOO as they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties21. Specifically, studies comparing low polyphenol olive oil to high polyphenol EVOO show only the high polyphenol EVOO improved markers for CVD including cholesterol levels, inflammation and blood pressure22.

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