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What is extra virign olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is simply the fresh juice of olives. It is a natural and unrefined cooking oil, made by mechanically pressing olives without the use of chemicals or high heat. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade and quality in the olive oil category, and because it is unrefined it retains the natural antioxidants and polyphenols found in the olive fruit.

Can I cook with extra virgin olive oil?

Yes, you can and should cook with extra virgin olive oil. This is one of the biggest myths about EVOO, however it is false. In fact, extra virgin olive oil is one of the most stable and safe oils to cook with1,2. Many people believe that the smoke point of an oil determines its suitability for cooking, however research has proved this to be incorrect3. Instead, the fat profile (polyunsaturated fats are less stable) and the oxidative stability (level of antioxidants) are more important factors in predicting stability3,4.

What is the difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil?

Many people use the terms olive oil (OO) and extra virgin olive (EVOO) interchangeably; however, they are not the same product. Both oils fall under the ‘olive oil’ category, but they differ in the quality and their health benefits. EVOO is the highest quality and highest grade of olive oil. It is unrefined and processed mechanically without heat or chemicals, meaning it retains the health promoting bioactive compounds. Olive oil (including ‘pure olive oil’) is lower quality and has been refined. During the refining processes the majority of the bioactive compounds are destroyed, which means many of the health benefits are lost.

What are the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits, due to its healthy fat profile and significant quantities of bioactive compounds including antioxidants and polyphenols. There is a strong body of evidence linking extra virgin olive oil with heart health benefits – particularly improvements in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels5. There is also evidence that extra virgin olive oil has benefits for other chronic conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, mental health, cancer, and bone health6.

How much extra virgin olive oil should I have each day?

In order to get the maximum health benefits, research recommends consuming around 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil each day7.

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