Fats are not all equal

Q: What is the difference between Cold Pressed and Extra Virgin Olive Oil? – Grace

A: The best olive oil is made of a mixture of olives which are “cold pressed.” (The oil is extracted by application of pressure – no chemicals are involved.) Olive oil made by the cold-pressing method is lower in acidity, probably the most important measure of olive oil quality. Of course the color, flavor and aroma are important too. Here’s an explanation of the various types of olive oil:

Extra virgin: This comes from the first pressing of olives. Extra virgin oil is lowest in acidity (one percent) and is considered the finest, fruitiest type of olive oil. Not surprisingly, it is also the most costly. The color of extra virgin oil ranges from a pale yellow to bright green. Usually, the deeper the color, the more intense is the flavor. Use extra virgin oil for salad dressings or instead of butter for dipping bread at the table. Of course, you can use it for everything else, too.

Virgin: This is a first press oil, but the acidity is slightly higher than extra virgin (about 3 percent).

Fino (Italian for “fine”): A blend of extra virgin and virgin oils.

Light: The lightest in color of any kind of olive oil, light oil has no distinctive taste and is recommended for baking or cooking when you don’t want an olive oil flavor. As a result of the refining process, loses some of the healthful qualities of unrefined types.

Cheaper oils are heated to extremely high temperature for long term shelf storage! Bleached and deodorized so you can’t tell they are rancid or a damaging trans fatty acid! Expensive olive oils generally tend to be more flavorful. I would advise against buying large quantities of olive oil to save money as freshness in fats is more important than economics. Once open, try to consume olive oil within six months. Store it in an airtight container. Never ever buy oil in cans! Metal cans release positive metal ions into the food and are depleting its enzymes and oxygen!

You will often find articles suggesting that consuming Olive Oil gives protection against heart disease and cancer, and can help control blood pressure. A study published in the November 1999 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that people in southern Greece, who consume the highest quantities of olive oil are less likely than others to develop rheumatoid arthritis. The truth of the matter is the lack of refined sugar, refined processed fatty foods they consume! A lower raw healthy fat diet is an important answer to a longer, disease free life.

Quality Oils – PLEASE! Only buy oils that have these important qualities below:

• Dark container or tinted glass! As light can make the oil get unnaturally thick, deplete oxygen content and oxidize it.
• FRESHNESS – PRESSING DATE and/or EXPIRATION DATE
• MECHANICALLY COLD PRESSED
• ORGANIC
• TEMPERATURE of pressing should be below 100F!

* For more information on healthy fats please read Dec. 4, 03 Volume 49 newsletter, and read Alternative Health News in this (Dec. 22, 03 edition of Vibrant Health Now).