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Extra virgin olive oil is the least-processed of all olive oils and provide a lot of health benefits. It could be described as natural olive juice. Olive offers a perfect ratio of the healthy fats: 

 

 

Fat Type                                                                                 % in Olive Oil

Oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat)                                             55- 85 percent

Linoleic acid (an omega-6 polyunsaturated fat)                            9-10 percent 

Linolenic acid (an omega-3 polyunsaturated fat)                          about 1 percent  

Saturated fat and other substances, such as vitamins, phytochemicals, moisture, and other trace compounds comprise the rest of the oil in an olive. 

 

  • Olive oil is mainly comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids. A healthier type of fat, it reduces total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels.

 

  • High quality extra virgin olive oil, in particular, provides a high content of antioxidants, like polyphenols, vitamins E & K, chlorophyll and carotenoids. Antioxidants are key to strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from the damaging effects of free-radical molecules.

 

  • Olive oil contains anti-inflammatory agents, like oleocanthal, that act as a natural ibuprofen-like substance.

 

Calories

A tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories.

Uses of Olive Oil

Olive oil can be used for :

  • sautéing, browning, stir-frying, deep frying
  • as an ingredient in marinades and sauces such as mayonnaise, pesto, or romesco
  • as a condiment, drizzled over various dishes.
  • as a bread dipper or simply dabbed on a toasted piece of country bread that has been scratched with a clove of garlic

 

Storage

  • When olive oil is exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, it is subject to oxidation and may become bad.
  • With proper storage, extra virgin olive oil in a sealed bottle may last from 3 months to 2 years.
  • As soon as you open the bottle, the oxidation process accelerates and the oil will degrade fairly rapidly. To avoid this, try not to open it too often. Fill a small steel or glass container for day-to-day use and leave the bulk container carefully closed the rest of the time.
  • Place your olive oil in a kitchen cabinet away from the stove and oven.
  • Use within three months after opening.
  • Stay away from plastic containers as the oil can absorb the chemical polyvinyl chloride.
  • Make sure that the container has the ability to be resealed tightly.
  • Always store in a stainless steel or glass container.

Refrigeration of Olive Oil

  • Do not refrigerate. Refrigeration causes condensation to form on the inner part of the container, which may spoil the flavor.
  • Because monounsaturated fat is highly perishable, it may need to be refrigerated. If your home is above 85° F (and there’s no place where it can remain at a constant cooler temperature)
  • If you do not plan to use a larger container of olive oil for over 3 months, it’s wise to use refrigeration.
  • Refrigeration causes the oil to become cloudy and slightly solid. It will return to its liquid state once removed from the refrigerator and placed on the counter for a few minutes. However, its flavor will not be the same. Every time you take olive oil in and out of the refrigerator, it loses its uniqueness.

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