Is Your Olive Oil Real? You might be surprised.
If you haven’t taken advantage of the health benefits of olive oil, you’ve been missing out.
Olive oil has proven health benefits that are shown to improve your life expectancy as evidenced by those living in Mediterranean locations. This type of diet includes more fiber and monounsaturated fats (as in olive oil) that provide anti-inflammatory effects found to help combat heart problems (Godman).
In fact, citizens of Mediterranean countries (including Ikaria, a Greek island) are some of the longest living people in the world. Because they use various resources indigenous to their area of the world (local honey, olive oil, and a local “mountain tea” made from dried herbs), researchers believe that these men and women were living up to four years longer than the average life expectancy (Buettner).
The Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil has been linked to the “prevention of diabetes in subjects at high cardiovascular risk (Salas-Salvado) as well as the support of a healthy immune system (Puertollano, et al). The monounsaturated fatty acids are a healthy dietary fat that may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar regulation (Hensrud).
Olive oil can even boost your brain function to support learning and memory (Long).
So how can olive oil benefit you?
Antioxidants – Daily, we are exposed to something called “free radicals” which can affect the cells in our bodies. Antioxidants “neutralize” those free radicals and stop their damage-producing effects — these are nutrients also known as polyphenols.
Lower Cardiovascular Risks – When using olive oil, you’re adding those awesome polyphenols to your diet. This, in turn, can lower your cardiovascular risks by lowering bad cholesterol levels in your body (Putinja).
Vitamins! – In addition to the healthy antioxidants and polyphenals, olive oils boasts multiple vitamins like Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A (“What is in olive oil?”). Vitamin E has multiple uses including preventing heart diseases, combating the symptoms of diabetes, improving muscle strength, and lessening the effects of aging on the skin. Vitamin K’s benefits include helping the blood clot. Vitamin A is known for helping with vision, skin concerns, thyroid problems, sinus infections, and more (WebMD).
Battling Alzheimer’s – Experts have found, through research, that consuming extra virgin olive oil will mean you’re ingesting a “natural protective agent called oleocanthal that protects nerve cells from the kind of damage that occurs in [Alzheimer’s Disease] (Baker).”
Boosting brain power – Remember those antioxidents and polyphenols we mentioned? The more we can remove the free radicals from our brain, the better our brain function will be (Long). Boost your brain power, fight the mental illnesses, and win all around!
Finding Quality Olive Oil: It’s Harder than you Think!
Unfortunately, many of the commercial brands of olive oil are lacking in the polyphenols as well as true international and USDA standards.
So how do you know if you have the high quality olive oil you should be using?
The highest quality of olive oil is known as “extra virgin olive oil” most often abbreviated to EVOO. EVOO is cold-pressed.
Additionally, you want to search for olive oil that is stored in dark bottles and nitrogen purged. These two processes together can defend against two of the biggest enemies to EVOO. Light entering the oil through a clear bottle would create oxidation and would begin to “age” the oil. That would remove those healthy polyphenols that we discussed earlier.
Check for an expiration date on the bottle you purchase. Once opened, follow the expiration date.
Also be mindful of the companies from whom you purchase. Unfortunately, many companies have been producing olive oils that are not actually pure. Instead, they are adulterated with “extras” other than olive oil or don’t even have olive oil in them.
In 2011, a research study showed that 73% of the olive oils sold in California did not meet the standards set for extra virgin olive oil.
That research study (2011) showed that the following companies failed to meet EVOO standards:
- California Olive Ranch
- Cobram Estate
- Filippo Berio
(A 2009 study showed that these brands had failed the EVOO standards test: Bertolli*, Carapelli, Colavita, Filippo Berio*, Mazzola, Mezzetta, Newman’s Own, Pompeian, Rachel Ray, Safeway, Star, Whole Foods. Bertolli and Filippo Berio were presented with class action suits for olive oil fraud in 2014.)
Surprised to see your favorite brand listed?
If you’re looking for quality olive oil from a source you can trust, Purely has the answer.
Harvested and packaged from the exclusive family owned farm, Oleo Monte, of Spain using old world, traditional farming techniques meeting organic standards of Europe and the US. This organic EVOO produced from Picual olives, means you can now cook with olive oil and the assurance that what you have is quality.
Learn more about olive oil and the scandalous world it lives in with Tom Mueller’s Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
Alban, Deane. “Olive Oil: A Best Brain Food (& Smart Buying Tips).” Be Brain Fit. N.p., 20 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Baker, Sherry. “How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Protects against Alzheimer’s.” NaturalNews. N.p., 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Buettner, Dan. “The Island Where People Forget to Die.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Godman, Heidi. “Adopt a Mediterranean Diet Now for Better Health Later – Harvard Health Blog.” Harvard Health Blog RSS. Harvard Health Publications,
06 Nov. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Hensrud, D., MD. “Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Olive Oil: What Are the Health Benefits? Mayo Clinic, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Long, Larissa. “Olive Oil Benefits Include Improved Memory.” Peak Health Advocate RSS. N.p., 08 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Mandel, Ken. “How Olive Oil Fights Depression.” Newsmax Health. N.p., 11 June 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Puertollano, MA, E. Puertollano, G. Alvarez De Cienfuegos, and MA De Pablo. “Significance of olive oil in the host immune resistance to infection.”
National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2007. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Putinja, Isabel. “Olive Oil Polyphenols Reduce Bad Cholesterol and Plaque Formation.” Olive Oil Times. N.p., 20 July 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Salas-Salvadó, Jordi. “Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes With the Mediterranean Diet.” American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Care.
Diabetes Journals, 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
Tallmadge, Katherine. “Is Your Olive Oil As Healthy As You Think? (Op-Ed).” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 06 July 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
“Vitamin A.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
“VITAMIN E: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
“Vitamin K: Uses, Deficiency, Dosage, Food Sources, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
“What Is in Olive Oil?” Olive Oil Source. N.p., 2004. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.