What does extra virgin olive oil do?In addition to a pleasurable taste, extra virgin olive oil has potential health benefits including reduced risk of coronary heart disease, reduced risk of breast and colorectal cancers, and improved blood sugar control (see What It Does). Some of these benefits are associated with high amounts of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oils, as well as high concentrations of oleic acid.
How much olive oil should I take?Health benefits with extra virgin olive oil have been associated with intakes of about 2 to 4 tablespoons per day -- particularly when this replaces saturated fats (see What It Does).
Which are the best and worst extra virgin olive oils?Although all ten of the popular extra virgin olive oils selected for review by ConsumerLab.com passed chemical testing, analysis of flavor and aroma by an expert olive oil taster raised questions about the quality of seven products — grading them as not extra virgin, and some even as "lampante," meaning unfit for human consumption What CL Found.
Among those considered "extra virgin," CL selected two as its Top Picks -- one that is mild and one that is moderate in robustness. Both have excellent flavor and aroma, correct chemistry, a high concentration of polyphenols and oleic acid, and are moderate in cost. Use the Results table to compare the test results (including ,polyphenol levels, which ranged from 149 mg/kg to 436 mg/kg -- a 193% difference!), taste descriptions, prices, and other features of products.
How to buy, use, and store olive oil?Buy olive oil in a dark-colored glass bottle to protect it from light (and/or store it in a dark cabinet), and don't worry about the color of the oil — it's not a reliable indicator of quality or flavor. If cooking with olive oil, limit use to later stages of cooking, keeping heating time to a minimum (see ConsumerTips).
Safety and side effects of olive oilOlive oil is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it may interact with certain medications (see Concerns and Cautions).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review
Most Failed to Be Approved. Find the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Avoid Problems.
Extra virgin olive oils compared in this review
California Olive Ranch 100% California Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Medium
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Everyday Blend
Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lucini Italia Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spectrum Culinary Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Trader Joe's Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Which extra virgin olive oils passed our tests of quality -- including laboratory testing and expert sensory testing -- and which did not
- ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks, representing the best quality extra virgin olive oils at the best price -- we found that cost does not always reflect quality
- How extra virgin olive oils compare in anti-oxidant polyphenol levels, oleic acid levels and freshness
- The health benefits of olive oil
- How to buy, use, store, and cook with extra virgin olive oil, including the reliability of the "fridge test" for olive oil quality
- Cautions when using extra virgin olive oil along with prescription medications
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