Tag Archive for: Olive oil health benefits

Cup of olive oil with olives, leaves and bread - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Should I Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Should I Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Is extra virgin olive oil extra special?

So maybe you were gifted a beautiful olive oil spout, or perhaps you were idly browsing online when you fell in love with an absolutely divine olive oil pourer, and now you’re wondering how to put it to legitimate use. Do you fill it with oil? Do you fill it with olive oil? Dagnabbit, do you fill it with extra virgin oil?
Only a few years ago, a few people had even heard of extra virgin olive oil. To confess, the first time I heard the expression, I embarrassed myself completely by imagining (out loud!) it meant some kind of ancient sleazy application of olive oil as used by depraved individuals during Roman orgies–scout’s honor.
However, in the intervening years, it’s gone from near-total obscurity and alarming schoolboy misconception about imagination-defying “unimaginable orgies” to mainstream health benefit extraordinaire. Going by expense alone, you would be forgiven for thinking that extra virgin olive oil was the main ingredient in the Elixir of Eternal Youth. Is its reputation deserved though?

Bottles of olive oil lined up - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Should I Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil?The difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil

If you were to stack up a bunch of olive oil bottles next to another bunch of extra virgin olive oil bottles, you’d soon notice that, in general, the oil in the extra virgin bottles is always darker than the oil in the other bottles. You might conclude that the difference between the two kinds of olive oil is therefore reflected in their color, and you might start pumping for darker shades of olive oil in the hope of scoring extra virgin oil on the cheap. Well, you’d be wrong.
Producers grade olive oil by the amount of free oleic acid contained in the oil. Now, you might not know what that means, but as a layperson, you can take it to mean that producers grade olive oil by its acidity.
To appreciate why acidity matters in olive oil, understand that its fatty acids break down into oleic acids. Thus, the less oily, fatty goodness it has, the more acidic it will be.

Refined and unrefined olive oil compared

The word “refined” in “refined oil” doesn’t imply “better”, although I believe that unscrupulous marketers have piggybacked on that common understanding of the word. As used in “refined oil”, the word means processed or treated. If you translate that in your head to “artificial”, I’d not argue with you.
Producers refine olive oil to remove impurities, and they bleach it to improve its color to make it more “olive oily” and match the color the boys and girls in marketing tell them their research says it ought to be.
By the time they’re done, olive oil producers have removed the color, flavor, aroma, and many of the health benefits occurring in pure olive oil, and that “pure olive oil”, that unrefined product? Yep, natural, unprocessed olive oil is what we know as extra virgin oil.

Olive oil pouring from bottle into pan - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Should I Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil?Yes, extra virgin olive oil really is extra special

Actually, extra virgin olive oil really does uphold its end of the bargain in delivering health benefits. Here are just a few:
It has numerous antioxidants that help fight cancers and stroke and has excellent anti-aging properties
Contains a high number of important anti-inflammatories that help fight Type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s
Packed full of monounsaturated fat (that helps fight heart disease)
It has several essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K (anti-blood clotting), Vitamin E (an antioxidant), and Omegas 3-and-6 (anti-anxiety and brain food properties).
As you can see, extra virgin oil touts some serious health credentials, and the fact is, regularly using extra virgin olive oil can deliver on these promises. It’s not just a clever marketing ploy dreamt up by cynical, mendacious marketing execs.

If extra virgin olive oil is “all that,” why don’t we all buy it?

In a single word? Expense.
Extra virgin olive oil isn’t cheap, and it isn’t going to get cheaper. For once, there really is a cost-benefit relationship that wasn’t just dreamt up in some brightly lit hellhole corner office in an advertising agency.
This is the real deal, and it is a testament to the peculiarities of human society that pure, unrefined stuff is more expensive than its treated, processed, refined relative. (Have you ever wondered why soda is often cheaper than bottled water?)

Should I buy extra virgin olive oil?

Unfortunately, more than one producer appears to have played fast and loose with their “extra virgin olive oil” product, cutting it with refined oils, some of which didn’t even come from olives but from soy and other vegetables!
If you can afford it, the answer to the question “Should I buy extra virgin olive oil?” is a resounding “Yes!” Not only does it have an actual taste, but as explained earlier, its health benefits are truly outstanding. However, much of what is being sold as extra virgin oil simply isn’t, and these intense flavors can interfere with your cooking. Using genuine extra virgin oil is therefore a compromise on many levels, and each individual has to decide whether to buy it for themselves, given their particular circumstances.

Olive oil in decorative bottle with branches and olives - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Is Olive Oil Good for You?

Is Olive Oil Good for You?

There aren’t many simple cooking ingredients known that are as versatile as olive oil.

Olive oil can be added to any dish, whether as a cooking base, to thicken a sauce, or even as the star of the show. Olive oil has a distinct taste that pairs with almost everything and is frequently used in high volumes in Mediterranean dishes. If that wasn’t enough, this miraculous oil has a myriad of health benefits, the chief of which is it combats against heart disease.
In this recipe, we’ll show you how to highlight olive oil in your next dish, regardless if it’s for an impressive dinner party, or just kicking back with a good movie.

Olive oil in bowl surrounded by olive leaves - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Is Olive Oil Good for You?Benefits Of Adding Olive Oil To Your Diet

Olive oil is known for its flavor and accessibility, and also as a great substitute for all methods of cooking, but not many know the extent of its health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is clinically proven to extend life expectancy, largely due to the application of olive oil to most recipes. Break out the olive oil pourer, as olive oil has 3 main benefits:

1. High levels of HDL fat

Your body uses HDL fat as a buffer against LDL fat, or the “bad” kind of fat. HDL fat is responsible for improved cardiovascular health, as it helps reduce cholesterol, clears arterial blockages, and coats the blood vessels with a protective lining. The smooth flow of this healthy fat also helps to lower blood pressure and helps break the buildup of blood clots, which are the primary cause of strokes and heart disease.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants help your body in many different ways. Firstly, antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory property which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling inside and outside the body. This helps treat acne, scars, bloating, and chronic inflammation. Antioxidants also help reduce oxidative damage from free radicals, which have shown to be a primary concern for cancer-causing molecules.

3. Lower your risk of neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy are some of the world’s most common neurodegenerative diseases, which have multiple causes. One feature of these illnesses is due to plaque buildup in blood vessels and neurons in the brain. Olive oil helps not only prevent the buildup of plaque in these nerves but also coats them in a protective layer, reducing the chance of further damage.

pile of red serrano peppers - Olive Oil Pour Spouts Is Olive Oil Good for You?Spicy Grilled Serrano Olive Oil Salsa Verde Recipe

Enhance your next meal with this decadent sauce. Serrano peppers are usually hot, but when grilled they are reduced to mild and smoky heat, making it a perfect pairing for meat, fish, and even as a nacho/chip dip. The dip can easily be turned into a vegetable stew with grilled eggplant, grilled tomatoes, olives, and some feta cheese.


  • 7 Serrano Chiles (adjust to your heat preference by adding bell peppers)
  • Basil, to taste
  • Cilantro, to taste
  • Parsley, to taste
  • 1-1.5 cups of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste


1. Set the grill to slightly past its medium setting. Place all Serrano chiles on the grill by threading them through a skewer, as it makes the flip easier, producing a bolder and more uniform taste. Let them char and soften for about 5-7 minutes. Once finished, remove and let cool completely – don’t forget to remove the stems, if any.
2. Chop your parsley, cilantro, and basil into fine bits. It is recommended to use fresh herbs for this recipe, as dried seasoning does not highlight the taste of the olive oil. You can add as much of these herbs as you want, but aim for about 2 cups of each as a standard.
3. Add the herbs, olive oil, and vinegar into a pot or food processor, and pulse/beat until it has a thick and uniform texture. Chop the Serrano peppers and add to the mixture, pulsing and mixing until all ingredients combine into a green and oily salsa consistency. You will notice the prominence of olive oil in this step.
4. Sauce should be made about 24 hours before applying it to other cooked foods for the best taste. Serve with pasta, salmon, steak, grilled vegetables, or even as a nacho dip. For added texture and flavor, lightly drizzle oil from your olive oil spout in a zig-zag motion, creating both a pleasure for the eyes and the taste buds.