A jug full of olive oil being poured into a bowl, next to some olives.

Benefits of olive oil

Olive oil is a natural fat made from pressed olives. Dieticians encourage people to choose olive oil above other fats, like butter, coconut oil, and ghee, for its enhanced health benefits1 .

In this article, we’ll advise which type of olive oil you should choose. Then we’ll look at its health benefits, explain its nutritional content, and advise you of any risks.

Types of olive oil

There are nearly as many olive oils as there are groves in the Mediterranean. Talk to a Spaniard, Greek, or Italian, and all will swear that olive oils from their country are the best. Ask Italians from across the country their opinion on the best olive oil, and all will defend their region’s claim!

Olive oils can be peppery, sweet, or tart, but extra virgin olive oils are always good for you. Extra virgin olive oils are the least refined kind, as no chemicals or heat are used during extraction. Regular or light olive oils are either wholly cold-pressed or are a blend of cold-pressed and processed oils.

Choose extra virgin olive oils for health benefits from antioxidants to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids2 .

Benefits of olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits, including:

  • Support heart health. Olive oil discourages cholesterol oxidisation.

  • Lower blood pressure. Happily, extra virgin olive oil consumers often enjoy lower blood pressure than their olive oil skipping counterparts3 .

  • Support cognition. Olive oil likely supports brain function and protects the brain as we age4 .

Olive oil nutrition profile

One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 13% of your daily recommended vitamin E.

Olive oil is 73% monounsaturated fat5 . Monounsaturated fats encourage heart health by reducing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and has no impact on ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Olive oils contain polyphenols, potent antioxidants that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.Olive oils contain around 50 – 1000mg/kf of polyphenols,v6.

Last Updated: 5th November 2020

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Nutrition