Top 5 Health Benefits of Olive Oil

By Elena Paravantes

Olive oil truly is liquid gold with its many health benefits. Considered the most important component of the traditional Mediterranean diet, this extraordinary fruit juice and its effects are still not fully understood. Yet some of the ways olive oil can preserve and improve human health have been firmly established. Here are the five most scientifically supportedhealth benefits of olive oil today.

1|It Can Help Lower Your “Bad” Cholesterol


Top 5 Health Benefits of Olive Oil | Olive Oil Times

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the “bad cholesterol” transports and deposits cholesterol in the tissues and arteries, which can eventually cause plaque and block the artery. Monounsaturated fats can lower LDL thus protecting against atherosclerosis. Plus, this type of fat does not affect the levels of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) known as the “good cholesterol,” which carries all cholesterol away from the arteries, and high levels of which are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.   Continue Reading

Mediterranean Superfood: Olives

Mediterranean Superfood: Olives

Brightly colored vegetables and fruit are typically found on the menu, as are cold-water fish, whole grains and healthy fats, especially extra virgin olive oil. Any of these foods eaten regularly, alone or in combination, might be responsible for improvements in health.

Scientists and health-care providers have increasingly been turning their attention to the fruit of the olive tree and its oil, and in some cases to olive leaves, all with good reason.

Heart Health Benefits

The Mediterranean diet developed in an area of the world where the olive (Olea europaea) has long been cultivated. In turn, olives and olive oil hold a place of prominence on the dinner table, so much so it is estimated that nearly half of all the fat ingested in the region comes from olives.

This is noteworthy because olives are known to be an excellent source of monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), to which many of olive oil’s health benefits have been ascribed, especially its capacity to help prevent heart disease. Both olives and high-quality olive oil have been studied for their potential beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels, their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and their mild blood-thinning effects that may help prevent inappropriate blood clot formation.

Healing Compounds

Olives and olive oil contain a variety of additional compounds that may also offer health benefits. Antioxidant phenols such as hydroxytyrosol possess antimicrobial activity, “thin” the blood, and may help ensure the proper flow of nutrients throughout the body by dilating blood vessels.

Extra Virginity, by Tom Mueller

Olive Oil’s Growers, Chemists, Cooks and Crooks

A few pages into Tom Mueller’s new book, “Extra Virginity,” there’s a funny moment when an olive oil expert holds up a bottle that’s covered with dubious claims: “100 percent Italian,” “cold-pressed,” “extra virgin.” The man shakes his head and says, perhaps with a hint of Don Rickles in his voice, “Extra virgin? What’s this oil got to do with virginity? This is a whore.”


The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, By Tom Mueller

These are sentences to savor. They underscore this book’s project, which is to demonstrate the brazen fraud in the olive oil industry and to teach readers how to sniff out the good stuff. These are also, sad to say, among this book’s few digestible lines. Earnest and sentimental from start to last, “Extra Virginity” doesn’t have a shrewd or slutty bone in its body. It’s an unintentional master class in how to say waxy and embalming things about fresh food.

Mr. Mueller is an American writer who lives in Italy. And not just anywhere in Italy but, his dust flap reveals, in a description that’s the prose equivalent of Corinthian leather upholstery, “in a medieval stone farmhouse surrounded by olive groves in the Ligurian countryside outside of Genoa.” Continue Reading

California Olive Oils Challenge Europe’s

AMERICAN food lovers have long taken for granted that only olive oils from the Mediterranean are worth buying — preferably with an olive tree, an Italian flag and some words like “authentic cold pressed” on the bottle.

But in the last decade, California producers have mounted a major new effort to bring back the domestic olive oil industry, planting thousands of acres, building new mills and producing oils that can be fresher, purer and cheaper than all but the finest imports.

The California olive oil trade, started by 16th-century Spanish missionaries, was almost dead 10 years ago, except for small-scale producers along the Pacific Coast and in the wine country. Continue Reading

Heating Olive Oil

Heating Olive Oil

Article credits: The Olive Oil Source

One of the questions we are asked most often is what happens when olive oil is heated and/or used for frying. The important thing about cooking with any oil (olive or otherwise) is not to heat the oil over its smoke point (also referred to as smoking point). The smoke point refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down. The substance smokes or burns, and gives food an unpleasant taste. But what is the smoke point of olive oil? Depending on where you look for an answer, you may get vastly different ideas. Continue Reading