There are hosts of brands out there, producing and marketing several types of oil suitable for cooking, baking and drizzling. Among the more popular kinds, there are coconut oil, canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, and many more. But the most versatile and reportedly healthiest of them all is cooking olive oil, favored by consumers around the world over other types.
If you are wondering why, here are seven reasons why olive oil brands are better than any other variety.
Olive oil has healthy fatty acids
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFA and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids or PUFA, which are tagged as good fats, have a number of heart health benefits. Olive oil contains both in significant quantities. The best variety of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains a certain MUFA called oleic acid, which makes up about 75% of the oil content, therefore making olive oil a great option for cooking.
Olive oil has lower saturated fat content
The bad fats or the saturated fats, which cause cholesterol build up in blood vessels and increases risks of cardiac strokes, are in much lower quantities in olive oil than in other popular cooking bases. It has only 14% of saturated fat, as compared to nearly 40% in coconut oil, 65% in butter, and 20% in peanut oil. Vegetable oils brands like soy, canola and sunflower have equally low percentages of saturated fats, but they have other problems too.
Olive oil is not always mechanically processed
Sources of these oils such as soy, corn, canola, cottonseed and sunflower are often treated under extreme mechanical heat and the effects of that treatment remains in the extract. It squeezes out much of the nutritional value and pushes the oil towards early rancidity. On the other hand, premium brands selling top quality organic olive oil, handpick the fruits, sort them manually and cold press them to extract the oil naturally. This is one of the most significant benefits of olive oil.
Olive oil has longer shelf life
When stored in a cool, dry place with its cap sealed tight, olive oil can last for more than 24 months without going rancid or turning into a solid mass, which cannot be said about all other oils. A good olive oil brand sells the product in thick, dark-tinted containers for this very purpose of sustainability.
Olive oil is not genetically modified
Several studies over the years have found soy, sunflower or canola oil to be genetically modified, therefore leading to a plethora of health problems. Olive oil, with its long list of health benefits starting from taking care of the heart, fighting antioxidants right up to preventing cancer, is at the completely other end of the spectrum.
Olive oil packs a punch of flavor
Because of the refinement, most oils do not have any distinct flavor and does nothing for the food except acting as a base. Meanwhile EVOO is known for its fresh, fruity and peppery taste that adds a dash of flavor any dish.
Olive oil is versatile
While most oil brands have limited versions of a particular product, olive oil comes in a wide range of options. Other than EVOO which is best for cooking, there is also virgin, pure, refined, pomace and many other varieties. Moreover, it can also be used as a cosmetic product extensively, which cannot be said about the other oils.
Olive oil is an obvious favorite of home chefs and professionals alike, which is why departmental stores and supermarkets see a lot of bulk olive oil sale. Moreover, the oil’s association with fresh, delicious, nutrition-enriched Mediterranean diet further adds to its popularity. So if people are choosing olive oil over the others, they have some very good reasons to do so.