Olive is oil is nutritious, versatile food byproduct that’s used by millions of people worldwide. Some people use it as a cooking oil, while others use it as a dipping sauce. Unfortunately, though, recent studies are revealing a darker side to the olive oil business. Even though a bottle is labeled “100% olive oil,” it may actually contain other ingredients and fillers. What’s even more shocking is that most consumers can’t tell the difference between authentic and fake olive oil; therefore, they unknowingly purchase and consume a product that is essentially mislabeled.
Why Authentic Olive Oil Is Important
You might be wondering why it’s important to consume authentic olive oil. After all, if you can’t tell the difference between authentic and fake olive oil, there shouldn’t be anything wrong consuming it, right? Well, high-quality olive oil contains numerous beneficial nutrients such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Unlike other types of fats, omega 3 and 6 actually work to lower bad cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease. Of course this is just one of the many reasons why it’s important to ensure your olive oil is real.
Antioxidant Effect of Vitamins
Authentic olive oil also contains beneficial vitamins, one of which is vitamin E. This powerful antioxidant works to protect healthy cells in your body from the dangerous effects of harmful compounds known free radicals. These free radicals are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we use on our skin. Our bodies can naturally fend off small amounts of free radicals, but too many of them can overwhelm us, causing destructive chain reactions that destroy cells. Antioxidants such as vitamin E work to neutralize free radicals, preventing their oxidation effects that lead to cell destruction.
Studies have shown that olive oil also has the ability to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, you should first adjust your diet by increasing the amount of fresh foods you eat and decrease processed foods. In addition, though, olive oil may also be able to help you on your quest to a lower blood pressure. Even if you don’t enjoy eating it plain, you can mix it in with pastas, chicken and other food to flavor it.
Would you have guessed that olive oil can help prevent cancer? While studies are still too early to determine its effectiveness in prevent cancer, many scientists and nutritionists believe its a powerful food capable of protecting the body from cancer.
Olive Oil Authenticity Test
In order to reap the countless health benefits listed above, you must ensure that you’re only consuming 100% authentic olive oil. The University of California recently tested 19 brands of olive oil and found that 69% of them failed to meet the quality standards for extra virgin olive oil. This doesn’t necessarily mean the products weren’t olive oil, but rather they were refined, heated or otherwise processed in a way that adversely affected the quality. The worst offenders, however, were products labeled olive oil that were diluted with canola, nut or seed oil.
The good news is that the University of California study revealed that Lucero, Corto and Costco’s Kirkland Organic olive oils are 100% authentic extra virgin olive oil. If you find these high-quality olive oils available for sale at your local supermarket, go with one of them. In the event you can’t find them, you should look for olive oils made in California. The Sunshine State has rigorous labeling laws that prevent companies from misleading consumers.