All You Need To Know About Olive Oil
Olive oil has a lot to offer in terms of both nutrition and flavor. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “good” fat. When used in place of saturated fat (such as those found in butter, whole milk and higher fat meats) monounsaturated fat can help to reduce heart disease risk by lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and raising HDL, or “good” cholesterol. In addition, extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols which are nutrients found in plants that work as anti-oxidants to protect cells from free-radical damage that can lead to health problems.
There are a few different types of olive oil, each with unique flavors and uses:
Extra virgin olive oil is the most flavorful and can be used for dressings, marinades or to flavor vegetables, pasta, meat or other foods.
Olive oil has a mild flavor with a hint of fruitiness. It can be used for everyday cooking including grilling, sautéing, roasting, frying and baking.
Light-tasting olive oil is almost flavorless so it is a great choice when you don’t want to alter the taste of your dish. Similar to olive oil, light-tasting olive oil can be used for everyday cooking.
To properly store your olive oil and maintain the quality and flavor, it is important to limit exposure to heat, light and air. Follow these tips from the North American Olive Oil Association:
- Once opened, try to use olive oil within 2-3 months
- Store olive oil in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or pantry
- Use small decanters or containers for tabletop use rather than a large container
- Keep the cap securely closed when not in use.