Olive Oil

Good-quality olive oil contains important vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants. This oil is also noted to be gentle on your digestive system, and may help in preventing gallstones and soothe ulcers.

Olive is not just a dietary staple in the Mediterranean region, but also enjoys the reputation of being a healthy oil in the United States. It is valued not only for its flavor, but also for its range of wellness benefits. Learn more about this plant-based oil — its uses (why I recommend drizzling it cold on salads, not cooking with it), health value, and how to identify and avoid good oil that’s gone bad.

Olive oil is pressed from fresh olives and is made mainly in the Mediterranean, mostly in Italy, Spain, and Greece. It is available all year round. Just like in wine-making, several factors affect the character of the oil, including climate, soil, and the way the olives are harvested and pressed.

The flavor, smell, and color of olive oil can vary significantly, based on its origin and whether it is extra virgin (finest grade) or not. Generally, the hotter the country, the more robust the flavor will be.

One hundred grams (3.5oz) of olive oil has 100 grams of fat — monounsaturated (77 grams), polyunsaturated (8.4 grams), and saturated (13.5 grams).

Apart from its large amount of unsaturated fats that make it very prone to oxidative damage, extra virgin olive oil has a significant drawback even when used cold: it’s still extremely perishable. It contains chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid quite quickly.