Olive Oil – It’s Good Food and Good for You

Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats to consume. It is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit.

 The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidants. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels.

 Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil's protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs.

 Types of olive oil

Olive oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives and comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved. Varieties include:

 Extra virgin - considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the olives – contains the highest levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E.
Virgin - from the second pressing.
Pure - undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining.
Extra light - undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavor – can sometimes be cut with other vegetable oils.

 How to care for your olive oil

Resist the temptation to place your beautiful bottle of olive oil on the windowsill. Light and heat are the #1 enemy of oil. Keep olive oil in a cool and dark place, tightly sealed. Oxygen promotes rancidity. Olive oil is like other oils and can easily go rancid when exposed to air, light or high temperatures.

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