Fresh From the Press: The Facts About Olive Oil
By: Angela Finn, Dietetic Intern and Lisa Zarny, MS, RD, CD-N, Clinical Nutrition Manager
Many would agree that olive oil is an acceptable oil to use when cooking, especially since it is one of the oldest known culinary oils and is considered “heart-healthy”. However, which one is best to use? Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil the best? What about Virgin Olive Oil, or Light Olive Oil, or Refined Olive Oil? While all olive oils are known for providing a source of heart-friendly mono-unsaturated fat, not all olive oils are the same. The difference in the grade of olive oils is not the amount of fat or calories, but instead the proportions of refined oil in the given blend, the free fatty acid content, and the flavor.
The free fatty acidity is a direct measure of the quality of the oil, and reflects the care of the olive oil taken right from blossoming and pressing, to the eventual sale and consumption.
The different grades of olive oils are:
Information adapted from: https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/olive-oil-and-olive-pomace-oil-grades-and-standards