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Olive Oil & You

Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are both made from olives, but the method of extracting the oil is different. As a result, they have different colors, tastes, and health properties. Most olives aren’t eaten fresh because of their bitterness. They’re usually cured and fermented or pressed into olive oil. The fat of olives is extracted to make extra virgin olive oil, which is known as an excellent oil for cooking. Olive oil also has many documented skin benefits.

Olive oil comes from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. Olives are a traditional crop of the Mediterranean region. People make olive oil by pressing whole olives.

People use olive oil in cooking, cosmetics, medicine, soaps, and as a fuel for traditional lamps. Olive oil originally came from the Mediterranean, but today, it is popular around the world.

In the diet, people preserve olives in olive oil or salted water. They eat them whole or chopped and added to pizzas and other dishes.

Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet. It is rich in antioxidants. The main fat it contains is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which experts consider a healthful fat.

People who consume this diet appear to have a higher life expectancy, including a lower chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases, compared with people who follow other diets.

The antioxidants in olive oil may help protect the body from cellular damage that can lead to a range of health conditions and diseases. Extra virgin olive oil has a bitter flavor, but it contains more antioxidants than other types, as it undergoes the least processing.

The USDA grade olive oil depending on its flavor, odor, absence of defects, and acidity.

U.S. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): This has an excellent flavor and odor, and a free fatty acid content of 0.8 g or less per 100g (0.8%).

U.S. Virgin Olive Oil: This has a reasonably good flavor and odor, and a free fatty acid content of 2g or less per 100g (less than 2%).

U.S. Virgin Olive Oil Not Fit For Human Consumption Without Further Processing: This is a virgin oil of poor flavor and odor. It is not intended for food use.

U.S. Olive Oil: This is an oil mix of both virgin and refined oils.

U.S. Refined Olive Oil: This is an oil made from refined oils with some restrictions on the processing.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture , 1 tbsp, or 13.5 grams (g) of olive oil, provides:

  • 119 calories

  • 13.5 g of fat, of which 1.86 g is saturated

  • 1.9 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E

  • 8.13 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin

This process of extracting oil is known as “cold-pressing,” meaning the oil is derived without heat. Cold-pressed oils may be higher in nutrients, but they have a shorter shelf-life, take longer to produce and usually result in smaller quantities.

“Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help to decrease the risk of blood clots, improve blood lipid levels, decrease blood pressure, protect against irregular heartbeats and suppress inflammation, thereby supporting brain health and decreasing the risk of some cancers

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that women ages 19 to 50 consume 12 grams of omega-6 fatty acids each day, while men ages 19 to 50 should consume 17 grams of omega-6 fatty acids daily

  • Extra-virgin olive oil.

  • Olive oil.

  • Extra-light tasting olive oil.

When buying olive oil, it is best to choose an extra virgin olive oil, as this undergoes less processing and is more likely to retain its antioxidant content. Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoke point of 376 °F (191°C), so it is safe to use for most cooking methods.

Although, it is rare occurrence, olive oil can also cause allergy. It results in rashes, itchiness of the skin, hives, diarrhea as well as nausea. Olive oil is considered to be good for health, and many cook their food in this oil. An allergic reaction to vegetable oil is definitely an adverse reaction. Olive fruit and olive oil allergies are rare but can occur. In fact, your body can develop an allergy to any food.

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