The Benefits of Olive Oil

Virgin Olive Oil,

Plus Olive Oil Pasta Recipes

Most cooking oils are functional but not great-tasting. Of the many benefits of olive oil, however, delicious, full-bodied taste is first. I cook almost exclusively with olive oil now, even light-frying in it.

The health benefits of olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, are amazing as well. Just think how many times we hear olive oil and breast cancer together on a positive note. The combination of great taste and nutrition in cooking with olive oil is unbeatable; it's a true gourmet food.

Olive Oil Health Benefits

Real extra virgin olive oil is monounsaturated oil, rich in antioxidants, like vitamin E. When not refined and heat treated, its one thousand nutrients work together synergistically to create many health benefits. Olive oil even retains its healthy qualities in cooking.

One of the main components of the ultra-healthy Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Some of the health benefits of olive oil:

  • reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL), so it's very good for the heart.
  • significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer
  • prevents the cell-and-tissue-damaging effects of free radicals
  • promotes good digestion and relieves many stomach disorders
  • stimulates the metabolism
  • moisturizes skin and strengthens fingernails
  • promotes healthy nervous system development in children, even the unborn
  • contains anti-aging properties

To capture all the benefits of olive oil, buy only 100% cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, unfiltered. This means it has not been chemically refined or heat treated, which destroys its healthful properties and great taste. If it's certified "Organic" that's even better. Unfiltered olive oil looks a little cloudy; that's okay. The real deal will always come in a tinted glass bottle or metal can because it's better for the oil.

We highly recommend Bariani Olive Oil . It's made the healthy, old-fashioned way right here in my neck of the woods, the Sacramento Valley. Slightly unripe olives are hand-picked, stone ground, and cold pressed within hours. In fact, the label has both the pick and press dates on it, so you know it's fresh.

The Bariani web site lists all the stores where you can find Bariani Olive Oil, or you can order it straight from the family. The Bariani family story is quite interesting and has been featured on numerous news and homemaking shows. Take a look at some of the video while you're on the site.

    Note: 100% extra virgin olive oil is hard to find in the United States. The U.S. is not governed by the International Olive Oil Council, the way European countries are, so labeling here is often misleading, if not downright deceitful. Don't be fooled by the terms "Pure" or "Light" olive oil; they're not pure or light. It may even say "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" on the label but contain a blend of olive oil and other oils, commonly hazelnut or sunflower oil. These are cheap, highly refined oils, even toxic. Avoid Olive-Pomace Oil like the plague. And remember, if it doesn't say "100% extra virgin olive oil" on the label, it probably isn't.

American Heart Association, FDA, California Olive Oil Council, International Olive Oil Council, Beyond Health

Here are a couple of quick and easy olive oil pasta recipes: 

Rigatoni and Broccoli 

Shrimp Fettuccine 

More Tutorials Like the Benefits of Olive Oil


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