Evoo Nutrition

Discover the science behind the health benefits of EVOO

What is extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality oil obtained from the olive fruit. It is extracted by mechanical means, with no heat or chemicals used, making it a natural and unrefined cooking oil. Because it is unrefined, it retains the antioxidants, polyphenols and other bioactive compounds found in the olive fruit. No other cooking oil contains the diverse range of bioactive compounds in the high quantities found in extra virgin olive oil.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern and lifestyle based on the traditional diet of Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain and Italy. It is a mostly plant-based diet and includes extra virgin olive oil as one of the key components – EVOO is used liberally and is the main source of fat in the diet12,13. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most researched eating patterns in the world, and there is a strong body of evidence showing benefits for heart health, mental health, Type 2 Diabetes, and cancer14,15. You can find out more about the Mediterranean diet through the Olive Wellness Institute.

Olive Wellness Institute

Nutrition Composition

Learn about the different components that make up extra virgin olive oil – including its fat profile and the many antioxidants and polyphenols it contains.

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Cooking

EVOO is one of the most stable, healthy and versatile cooking oils. Find out more about what factors impact its stability – including the science behind why smoke point is not the answer.

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Health Benefits

Extra virgin olive oil is a unique food with a wide range of evidence-based health benefits. Find out all the ways EVOO and the Mediterranean diet can improve health – from cardiovascular disease through to mental health.

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FAQs

Find answers to common questions about EVOO and its health benefits to educate healthcare professionals.

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What is extra virgin 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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