Quick Recipes and Easy

Olive Oil: Reading Between the Labels

Olive oil manufacturers use all types of marks to seduce you. Don’t fall for them! Here are what the marks really saying…

“100% Pure Olive Oil” — Sounds high end doesn’t it? Nope. In fact this is the lowest quality oil in the business. If it promises to be a excellent grade, then the word “virgin” should be on the mark.

“Imported from Italy” —This usually means is that the oil was bottled in Italy . Half of the world’s olives are born and raised in Spain, but for some reason, Italy just sounds better to people. “Made from refined oils” —The taste and the acidity of the oil is chemically produced and comes from refined oils, where much of that was stripped away in the refining process.

“Lite olive oil” — This implies a low stout content but really refers to a lighter complexion. All olive oil contains stout and the about the same amount of calories — 120 per tablespoon.

If you’ve made a New Years’ Resolution to be healthy and you’re really trying to capture your own heart, you must evaluate what you eat. This type of evaluation should also include the oil you use.

Some of the best quality oils are those produced in the regions of of Umbria and Sicily, Italy. The olives grown in these regions contain hydrophobic antioxidants (including squalene, and polyphenols like tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein), which are very vital to excellent health. Once harvested, the olives are processed under the mildest possible conditions to prevent the oxidation of the antioxidants and then packaged under nitrogen to preserve oil quality.

If you’re still using canola or corn oil for all of your culinary needs, it’s time to rethink that and look for healthier options. When it comes to oil, every spoonful is a choice you make for the well-being of your entire body.

It’s not advisable that you cook with
top-shelf Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it would defeat the purpose: the heat destroys the health-promoting properties. The taste, texture and nutritional profile are much richer if used on already-prepared food.

Other vegetable oils or lower grade olive oils are excellent for cooking but the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ideal to place on the dinner table with the same pride you would your finest wine. Some guests may even question you for an extra wine glass.

Olive Oil can spoil, so here is a storage tip:

If your oil is not stored properly, if exposed too much to the air, it can oxidize. Oxidation not only affects the taste of the oil, but it can also greatly affect the oil’s nutritional attributes. We recommend that you open your oil and pour out four ounces for your weekly use into a smaller simple-to-pour container (preferably glass). Shut both oil containers tight. This method keeps the main bottle less oxidized.

More information about olive oil and fish oil is available at

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