A guide to what olive oil you should choose and what makes olive oil so healthy for your body
Olive oil is one of the most nurturing oils in the world. But what makes olive oil so healthy. Also, with so much variety to choose from, which one is the most recommendable for you?
Here you will learn the most important things about olive oil, why it is so beneficial for your well-being and what characterizes high-quality olive oil.
It is full of healthy fats and is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is touted as so healthy. Olive oil is by no means a panacea – but it is very tasty, versatile, and it has numerous unexpected health effects.
Olive oil is obtained from olives that grow on the olive tree. A high-quality oil should be extra virgin and produced through cold pressing.
People do not only use it as an ingredient in pesto sauce but also as a healthy oil for cooking, roasting, in healthy salads, dips (see guacamole recipe) and even as natural cosmetics.
However, you have to be careful to pick the right oil as there are big quality differences!
The following ingredients are contained in olive oil and make it one of the healthiest oils in the world:
Saturated fat: 14%
This proportion of saturated fatty acids is manageable and significantly lower than in animal products.
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 73%
This is due to oleic acid, the most important fatty acid in olive oil. The oleic acid is one reason why it is so healthy.
It is said to have numerous health effects, which we will talk about in the article linked below. In addition, oleic acid is a preferred form of storage of fat by the body because it is very stable.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 11%
The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) account for only a few percentage points. These are predominantly omega-6 fatty acids, which can favor inflammation in the body in excess.
However, the proportion in olive oil is very manageable and the presence of a large amount of oleic acid compensates for it.
If you are concerned about these omega-6 fatty acids, make sure you have enough healthy omega-3 fatty acids from fish, algae, seafood, organic eggs and meat from pasture husbandry.
Olive oil is full of healthy antioxidants. The most valuable and best known of these are oleuropein, oleocanthal and hydroxytyrosol.
They protect the valuable oil from going rancid, give it its bitter note and are also very healthy.
Like most vegetable oils, olive oil also has a lot of vitamin E (14.3 mg / 100 ml). This protects the oil from light and sun and prevents it from becoming rancid.
Vitamin E is very stable and, therefore, abundant even after a long period of storage or after heating.
Interim conclusion ingredients
Due to the sum of its numerous healthy ingredients, we can classify olive oil as a highly valuable oil. It is also very stable and is suitable for both cold and warm kitchens. Healthy olive oil should not be missing in any kitchen.
How many calories does olive oil contain?
1- 100 ml of the oil contain 884 kcal
2- A tablespoon (tbsp) contains 119 kcal
3- A teaspoon (tsp) contains 40 kcal
Oil/fat is the most energy-dense macronutrient. A small amount of oil has more calories than you think. Of course, it is true that too much fat quickly leads to an excess of calories and, therefore, can lead to some extra pounds on the hips.
In the case of olive oil, however, you would save calories in the wrong place. Why? Quite simply: This oil is not only very filling but also extremely healthy and tasty.
You should use this oil appropriately to make your food more palatable. But be careful not to use too much so as not to unnecessarily increase the calories of a meal.
Which olive oil is the best?
First of all, there is no such thing as “the best olive oil”. Thousands of manufacturers, large and small throughout the Mediterranean, produce first-class olive oil in small work and in a centuries-old family tradition. Choosing the best from these would not lead anywhere.
However, there is one that I would like to recommend a little later.
If you want to buy good olive oil, I have listed the most important quality criteria here that you can use as a guide. The small list should help you to distinguish high quality from low-quality olive oil.
Quality criteria for high-quality olive oil
Dark glass bottle (protection from light)
Virgin, extra native
Slightly bitter and astringent taste (these are the antioxidants)
Better not from the discounter (often cheated)
Better not from Italy (very often cheated)
Harvested and grown in the Mediterranean, ideally in Greece (consistently the best experience).
These are not many quality criteria, but they make the difference between bad and good oil.
Research over the past ten years has shown that the Mafia controls a large part of the trade in olive oil in Italy.
Laboratory tests showed that most of the olive oil from Italy was stretched with cheap rapeseed oil or sunflower oil or blended with poor quality olive oil.
That is why I believe that one should avoid olive oil from Italy and better switch to products from Greece (also from Mallorca).
Even if Italian is often the cheaper option, I recommend that you pay attention to the quality and rather spend one dollar more. In the end, your body will thank you for it.
I got the best results and experiences with olive oil from Greece, more precisely from the islands of Crete and Lesbos.
I buy this oil from the Mediterranean cuisine-oriented grocer in my neighborhood. In large supermarkets with more choice, or in the said southern grocery stores, you will usually find numerous olive oils to choose from.
Now, that you know what makes olive oil so healthy, you can select a high-quality oil using the quality criteria listed above.
What are your experiences with olive oil so far? Do you like the taste of it, and are you using it regularly for your meal preparations?
Share your stories with us in a comment below. We are always glad to read from you!
Remember that you are unique, special highly appreciated and endlessly loved. Thank you, dear co-creator, for existing and, through your being, helping to make this world a better place for all of us.