Olive Oil

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 25. Jun. 2020

Here's what makes olive oil so healthy and what you should look out for when buying it.

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Olive Oil...

  • ...is heart-healthy With nearly 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, olive oil has a favorable effect.
  • ...lowers the risk of diabetes. Studies have shown that those who regularly use olive oil are less likely to develop diabetes. The main reason for this positive effect is the valuable essential fatty acids.
  • ...can be heated. Olive oil can be heated to a relatively high temperature for frying. Only when it starts smoking does it become unhealthy, because it then burns and toxic substances are formed.
  • ...is slimming. The unsaturated fatty acids and high phenols in olive oil stimulate fat burning.
  • ...should be used sparingly. Anyone who wants to save calories and enjoy healthy food at the same time can brush a thin layer of olive oil on the pan for frying without worry.
  • ...is suitable for baking. In the Mediterranean region, olive oil is not only used for hearty pastries such as pizza, focaccia or bread, but the "liquid gold" is also used for cake and cookie dough.
  • ...contains no cholesterol. In contrast to butter and some types of margarine, olive oil is free of cholesterol and therefore inherently perfect as a prevention against arteriosclerosis, heart and circulatory diseases.
  • ...can go rancid. In order to preserve the aroma and valuable ingredients of olive oil as long as possible, dark and cool storage (at room temperature) is important. Otherwise, the fatty acids will oxidize and make the olive oil taste unpleasantly bitter and rancid.

What You Should Know About Olive Oil

Natural olive oil tastes wonderfully aromatic and acts like a spice when cooked. Dark green oil usually has a rather strong aroma and is fruity. Yellowish oil is usually riper and sweeter. Brown or yellow-red colored oil can indicate defects, but is not always the case.

Season

Olive oil is obtained from fresh olives from the beginning of the harvest in November or early December. However, olive oil is available all year round.

Taste

A good olive oil has several nuances of taste, mainly the olive fruit. A good oil tastes tastes of leaves or herbs and somewhat bitter.You should never use oils with a dirty sediment or rancid taste.

If you want to taste olive oil properly, you need to pay attention to a few things. The olive oil should be kept at room temperature. Put a little oil in a shot glass and swing it around so the oil is distributed in the glass. Smell it first, then spread it all over your tongue. Before tasting another oil, neutralize the taste with white bread and water.

How Healthy Is Olive Oil?

Olive oil consists largely of a monounsaturated fatty acid. Studies have shown consumers of olive oil on a large-scale have hardly any heart problems and illnesses, despite their almost wasteful fat consumption. Natural substances, such as the phytosterols in olive oil, have a regulating effect on the metabolism and protect the heart and blood vessels. 

The high content of oleic acid in olive oil could work unfavorably. High-quality, cold pressed olive oil can sometimes be mixed with cheap, refined olive oil or with sunflower or Sojaöl. Such counterfeit olive oils are not harmful to health, they're just not as good for you.

Nutritional values of olive oil per 100 grams  
Calories 884
Protein 0 grams
Fat 100 grams
Carbohydrates 0.2 grams
Fiber 0 grams

Shopping and Cooking Tips

If you especially like the olive aroma of olive oil, don't buy olive oil that's cheap. Olive oil is, just like wine, a natural product that requires a lot of manual work and for this reason can be expensive. 


The most important difference in quality lies in the grade: for "extra virgin olive oil" or "extra virgin," the temperature during pressing must be below 40 degrees so the valuable ingredients are not damaged. "Extra virgin olive oil" is obtained in this way, but may have flavor defects. A best before date, which is still a year or more away, guarantees you a fresh oil from the lastest harvest.


If no place of origin is stated on the bottle, it often contains a mixture of oils from different countries. However, you can also get a mixture despite the indication of origin. The "Protected Designation of Origin" seal tells you all of the production steps that took place with the regions indicated.

What To Make With Olive Oil

The liquid gold of the Mediterranean is versatile in hearty cuisine.

  • Hot: The tart oil is ideal for preparation in the oven, whether you're preparing potatoes, vegetables, fish or pizza. When frying, cold-pressed olive oil should only be made hot enough to give onions or garlic a golden brown color. If, on the other hand, they turn black, the oil is also burnt.
  • Cold: Olive oil works well in sauces, dips and salad dressings — as long as its strong flavor harmonises with the other ingredients. A classic Italian use is, for example, in pesto.
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