Olive oil is one of the main pillars of the Mediterranean diet. People have cooked with olive oil for thousands of years. High-quality olive oil provides a wide range of health benefits, and its fatty acids are your heart’s best friends.
Medical experts agree that the Mediterranean diet plan can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This diet includes healthy portion of olive oil, which is good for those who try to lose weight, strengthen bones, and improve the brain function. Olive oil treats anxiety, and normalizes the bowel movement.
It is packed with phenolic acid which gives its acidic and bitter taste, and makes it good for your heart. Extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which reduces the fatty tissue load to the system. Vitamins K and E are good for your skin. Olive oil contains no carbs and protein.
What is extra virgin olive oil?
“Virgin” does not say much about the quality of the oil, and it doesn’t confirm that it is added pure. It is all about the process of manufacturing. Experts have recognized 4 grades of virgin olive oil. The oil with the lowest quality is only used in the production of soap, and it is never consumed. The additional virgin oil contains the highest grade. It has the best taste and fragrance. And yes, it is cold-pressed. Producers warm it on 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Given that people have gone crazy for extra virgin olive oil, some producers have decided to sell fake products. A group of researchers at the University of California did a few tests on the brands in the US labelled as “extra virgin oil.” The results were terrifying! More than 70% of the extra virgin olive oil in the States is fake. Can you believe this?
So, next time you reach for a bottle of “extra virgin olive oil,” choose carefully. You probably need to know the best way to determine if the oil is fake. Keep in mind that both original and fake oil have a similar taste. Try to find another way of checking whether your oil is fake.
What’s fake olive oil?
It is usually a mix of pure olive oil and sunflower oil. In some countries it is a blend of several oils. Fake oil may be a combination of soybean and sunflower oil.
Some “extra virgin oil” brands contain chlorophyll and beta carotene. Always, I mean always read the tags of your extra virgin olive oil. Some brands are advertised as healthy, but there are nothing but a bunch of fake products. The latest research has shown that Filippo Berio, Mezzetta, Bertolli, Mazzola, Whole meals, Colavita, Newman’s own and Star are the fake one.
How to know if your olive is fake?
Always cool your “extra virgin oil.” If the oil gets thicker, it means that it packs more mono-saturated fats. This does not exclude the possibility that it contains canola, sunflower or other oils. Here is the truth. If your oil does not get thicker at all, you have not bought the real thing.
If your oil does not light the oil lamp for longer, it is not the original product. Of course, this is not a 100% accurate test, but extra virgin olive oil maintains the flame for longer. Buying oil from your neighborhood farmers is the safest deal. This is your best bet, because Italian olive oil is standard, which is not the case with oils from other countries.
Look for Certification
Check for 3rd party qualification on the packaging of your product. The Australian Olive Association and The California Olive oil Council have trustworthy seals. If you are more interested in Italian olive oil, look for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) seals.
Here is a list of fake olive oil brands:
- Newman’s Own
- Whole Foods
And these are the good guys:
- California Olive Ranch
- Lucero (Ascolano)
- McEvoy Ranch Organic
- Kirkland Organic
- Cobram Estate