Olive oil is a great source of omega 3 fats and can be beneficial when used properly.  Proper use does not include cooking with it, especially above 200 degrees.  Oils have a smoke point; a smoke point is the heat a oil can tolerate before being destroyed.  When that oil is destroyed it completely wipes out the benefits of the oil because it becomes oxidized and rancid.  A oxidized oil becomes harmful to your health because they produce free radicals in your body which can lead to inflammation.  To note on a previous post; cholesterol is not bad, it is the oxidized cholesterol which is harmful. 

With out getting to in depth, my point is, know what oils are good for certain applications.  Olive oil from a good source (organic, cold pressed) is a wonderful option for a dressing or garnish.  Something such as coconut oil or avocado oil may be a better cooking option.  There is a huge array of exotic oils out there, some not so great and others are considered staples of my diet.  Become familiar with not only certain types of oils and their smoke points but also educate yourself on brands.  Below you will find a list of common olive oils, both good and not so good (blended oil frauds).

 

Brands that have meet standards for being true extra virgin olive oil

  • Corto Olive
  • California Olive Ranch
  • Kirkland Organic
  • Lucero (Ascolano)
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
  • Pompeian
Frauds
  • Bertolli
  • Carapelli
  • Colavata
  • Fillippo Berio
  • Mazola
  • Mezzetta
  • Newmans Own
  • Safe Way
  • Star
  • Whole Foods
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