On average, Americans spend over $700 million dollars a year on Olive Oil… I think we can all agree that for that price, we should be getting the real deal.
However, recent reports show just the opposite: A staggering 75-80% of all “extra virgin” olive oil sold in America is in fact fraudulent. Despite what Americans think they are paying for, they are really paying for low-grade olive oils mixed with filler oils like soybean oil and sunflower oil.
The truth is, the majority of olive oil sold in stores today, contains very little to no “extra virgin olive oil”.
And I know it’s hard to believe that we, as consumers, can fall victim to food fraud and not even know it. But, the truth speaks for itself. Even when purchasing the pricier, what-should-be “quality” oil, it still doesn’t guarantee you’ll be consuming authentic olive oil – despite what it says on the label.
To get the most nutritional bang for your buck you must ensure your olive oil is authentic.
When browsing the grocery store, it is important to look beyond the glitzy “extra virgin” label.
Beyond the Label
If it’s authenticity and purity that you’re looking for, make sure to look for olive oil verified by trusted organizations. For your imported olive oil, look for an International Olive Council (IOC) logo. Olive oil verified by the IOC ensures the purity of Extra Virgin, Virgin and ordinary Olive Oil through rigorous scientific testing. And if you are curious about the quality of domestic, California grown olive oil, seek the California Olive Oil Councils (COOC) logo.
Verifying that your olive oil meets these standards is the only way to ensure you’re truly getting what you’re paying for.
Heart Healthy, Cholesterol Balancing & Cancer Preventing
The difference between real olive oil and fake olive oil goes far beyond just authenticity. Besides taste, the most significant difference is nutrition. “Fake” olive oil lacks any nutritional benefit and in most cases is actually detrimental to one’s health. On the other hand, authentic olive oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects – similar to that of the ibuprofen drug… without all the potential side effects.
To take full advantage of the medicinal benefits of olive oil, look no further than (certified) organic, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil which contains the most oleic acid; over 70% more than any other olive oil.
What is Oleic Acid?
Oleic Acid is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that has been proven to be effective in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system and lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol and increasing HDL “good” cholesterol.
However, where olives and olive oils really shine through is their ability to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases due to their naturally anti-inflammatory effects.
A 2011 study published in Neurology showed just this. Researchers found that adults who regularly consumed olive oil cut their risk of stroke by 41% in comparison to those who didn’t consume it.
This significant difference is made possible through the rich amount of polyphenols present in olives that prevent plaque buildup and unwanted calcification.
And if you’re a lady, you may want to make authentic olive oil a staple in your diet. Studies have shown that women who consumed about 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day were 30% less likely to suffer from breast cancer… and it doesn’t stop there. These healthy, monounsaturated fats have the ability to turn off cancer promoting genes and trigger self-destruction within colon, prostate and skin cancer cells.
Organic Opulence’s Pick
When looking for a quality olive oil (that is also affordable), I always like to recommend my favorite go-to Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Bragg, which is available at most natural food grocers.
This olive oil is absolutely delicious, rich in texture and perfect for just about any dish. Most importantly this Greek olive oil is unrefined, organic and exceeds all of the standards set by the International Olive Council (IOC) for purity.
… And trust me, you’ll taste the difference.
For more information regarding the topics discussed in this article feel free to visit the following resources:
Bragg Extra Virgin Olive Oil
International Olive Council
Effects of Olive Oil Phenolic Compounds on Inflammation in the Prevention and Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease
Bioactive compounds from extra virgin olive oils: Correlation between phenolic content and oxidative stress cell protection
Mediterranean diet and colorectal cancer: A systematic review
Olive Oil Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk
Olive oil, other dietary fats, and the risk of breast cancer (Italy)
Very nice article. Very helpful….I preach this to my patients. Now I have an actual brand to suggest! Thank you!
This is fantastic! So glad that you found this article relevant to your practice Dr. Kandel.
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