Best Olive Oil: The Many Uses And Benefits Of Olive Oil
Olive oil is a healthy alternative to canola oil and butter. There are many health benefits associated with this food, but you need to choose a quality product to get the most out of cooking with olive oil. Here is what you need to know about selecting the best olive oil.
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How We Chose Our Ratings
We looked at four different things when comparing and rating olive oils:
- Grade: We selected extra virgin olive oil since this is the best quality you can find.
- Transparency: We looked at how much information the brand shares about its products. We gave higher ratings to the brands that are transparent about the sourcing and production process.
- Brand: We selected well-known brands with a good reputation. We gave higher ratings to the brands that oversee the entire production process.
- Reviews: We looked at reviews from shoppers to select the oils with the best taste and smell.
Top Seven Best Olive Oils
These are the best products we were able to find. These seven extra virgin olive oils meet high-quality standards and have all the health benefits associated with this food.
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Colavita sources olives from Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. The brand seems to have long-standing relations with its suppliers, and the label of each bottle will tell you which countries the olives came from.
We like that the brand is transparent about where the olives come from, but keep in mind that the blend of oil will change with each bottle. The flavor of the oil can change from one bottle to another.
This is an extra virgin olive oil extracted via cold pressing. The total fat content is 21 percent. This product has earned the North American Olive Oil Association quality seal.
It is ideal for cooking vegetables, pasta and rice dishes, and for marinades. If you want something you can use to cook red meat, look for an olive oil with a smoother flavor.
Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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This is the best olive oil if you want a product with a full-bodied flavor. We like that you can choose from different sizes. The product is available in a 48, 68, and 128-ounce bottle.
This is an extra virgin olive oil extracted via cold pressing. The brand has obtained the USDA Quality seal as well as a non-GMO certification.
People love the flavor of this olive oil and say it is perfect for dips, salad dressings, and marinades. However, the olives are sourced from a total of ten different countries. The brand seems to use the same blend of olives for each batch since the full-bodied flavor is mentioned in a majority of reviews.
The brand doesn’t share any information about quality control, and using ten different sources for the olives might impact the quality of the product.
Sky Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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This is a USDA-certified organic product. Sky Organics sources its olives from a single location in Greece.
This extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed and is never filtered to preserve its nutritional value. This is a high-quality organic product that would be perfect for cooking and skin health since it is free of chemicals.
It comes in a dark bottle to protect the oil from sunlight. We think this is a high-quality product, and most of the reviews mention a very pleasant fruity taste.
Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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This is the best olive oil if you would like to purchase large quantities. This olive oil comes in a 2 quarts and 3.6 fluid ounces bottle, which is a great value.
The olives are sourced from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. People love the taste and smell of the oil and say there is a recognizable olive flavor. The brand has a USDA Organic certification.
The fat content seems slightly higher than other extra virgin oils at 22 percent. The main drawback of the product is the container. This extra virgin olive oil comes in a plastic bottle. A glass bottle would have been more durable given that two quarts of olive oil should last for several months.
Ellora Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Glass Spray Bottle
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We like this olive oil because the brand has a non-GMO certification and sources its olives from a single location in Greece. There is only one variety of olives that is used to make this olive oil. These olives give the oil a rich fruity taste, and you will always get this same taste if you buy this product again in the future.
The brand is very transparent about where the olive oil comes from. The extra virgin olive oil is extracted via cold pressing.
We also like the container. The olive oil comes in a glass spray bottle, which is perfect if you want to use a small quantity of oil to coat a pan. The spray bottle would also be convenient if you want to use the oil for hair or skin health. However, the spray bottle wouldn’t be convenient if you like to drizzle olive oil on your food.
Colavita Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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This olive oil is slightly different from the other products we recommended since there are flavors added to the oil. This is an extra virgin olive oil with a natural garlic flavor. The label of the product mentions other natural flavors without giving more details.
This olive oil could be an interesting option if you enjoy garlic flavor and want an oil you can use for marinades.
The brand doesn’t share a lot of information about where the olives come from, but we assume the sourcing process is similar to the one used for the other Colavity product we reviewed above.
Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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This is the best olive oil if you are looking for a luxury product or want a high-quality olive oil you can give as a gift. This is also the most expensive extra virgin olive oil we found, but we think this product is worth it.
The olives come from a single source in Sicily. A single variety of olives is used. They give the oil a green and grassy flavor. Some people also say there are hints of tomatoes, artichokes, and peppers.
The oil is entirely made by a family business. Fresh olives are used to achieve a low acidity content, and the oil is never filtered. Using fresh olives gives the oil a unique taste and makes the fruity flavor stand out.
The product has received excellent reviews, and we like the fact that the same business grows the olives and extracts the oil.
Because of the price, this olive oil isn’t a good choice if you plan on using it as cooking oil or want olive oil for homemade remedies. However, this product would be perfect for a gourmet dish.
The Benefits Of Extra Virgin Oil And How To Find The Best Olive Oil
You need to gain a better understanding of how olive oil grades work to choose a quality product. Here is everything you need to know about finding the best olive oil.
The Different Grades Of Olive Oil
There are different ways to extract oil from olives and the process used impacts price, quality, and benefits. Some products are a blend of different oils with varying quality or contain a blend of olive and vegetable oils.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality you can find. A mechanical extraction process such as cold pressing is used. The olives are typically crushed once. If cold pressing is used more than once, you won’t see ‘first press’ on the label.
Extra virgin olive oil has to meet certain requirements regarding free fatty acid and peroxide content. The thresholds vary from one governing body to another, but the requirements are similar.
Manufacturers will typically select the best quality olives to make extra virgin olive oil and meet these standards.
Virgin oil has to meet similar standards. The oil has to be extracted mechanically, and the finished product has to meet certain requirements regarding peroxide and fatty acid content. However, the acidity level of virgin oil can be higher than for extra virgin olive oil, which impacts the taste of the oil.
Pure olive oil and pomace olive oil are extracted with chemical solvents, which can damage nutrients. Extra virgin or virgin oil is typically added to pure olive oil to improve the taste and smell. Pomace olive oil is extracted from the pulp that is leftover from cold pressing.
Pure oil and pomace oil are more affordable, but keep in mind that you won’t get all the health benefits of olive oil with these products.
You can also find refined olive oil. This oil is chemically extracted, and the smell, taste, and odor of the oil are often removed. A small quantity of extra virgin olive oil is sometimes added to restore the taste and smell. Some brands present refined oil as a ‘light’ version of olive oil, which keep in mind that fat content is typically not lower.
These are the standards used by the International Olive Council and the California Olive Oil Council. The USDA uses a different system to grade olive oil.
The USDA uses letters to indicate the quality of olive oil. A product can receive a grade of A, B, C, or D in function of its fatty acid content, odor, and flavor. This scale doesn’t take the extraction method of the oil into consideration.
The Benefits Of Extra Virgin And Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in monosaturated fats such as omega-6 and omega-3. Monosaturated fats don’t result in weight gain since they are easy to break down. This makes olive oil the perfect substitute for butter and vegetable oil if you want to lose weight.
There are many health benefits associated with omega-6 and omega-3, including regulating cholesterol levels, improving bone health, and reducing your risks of heart disease. Monosaturated fats are also good for skin and hair health. These fats aren’t damaged by high heat, which means you can use olive oil for cooking and still get all these benefits.
Olive oil is also rich in oleic acid, which reduces inflammation and is believed to reduce your risks of developing cancer. Oleic acid reduces inflammation and is believed to reduce the risks of cancer.
Studies have found that olive oil can help with reducing risks of stroke and heart disease. People who incorporate olive oil in their diet are more likely to be in good overall health.
Other Benefits Of Olive Oil
Cooking with olive oil is healthier than using canola oil or butter. However, there are other benefits associated with olive oil.
You can apply olive oil directly on your skin to reduce acne and treat burns. Massaging olive oil into your skin can also help with wrinkles and stretch marks.
Because olive oil improves blood flow when massaged into the skin, you can use it to address hair loss and scalp health. You can even use a few drops of olive oil to help loosen ear wax.
Olive oil also has a moisturizing effect. You can use it to for homemade face masks, apply it on your hair, or use it for nail health.
There are many benefits associated with olive oil, but it is important to choose a high-quality product to get all these benefits. Selecting a quality olive oil should be easy now that you know what to look for. The products we recommended are a good place to start but don’t hesitate to do some research on your own.
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Clara was born and grew up in Great Britain, and although she’s now happier with the weather in North Carolina where she resides with her partner, she does miss the ubiquitous teacakes. She graduated from a master’s in literature and worked for about 5 years at local news magazines as a reporter.