Olive oil is the fat which is obtained from crushing olives, a fruit that is primarily grown and cultivated in the Mediterranean region. Health and culinary circuits can’t stop raving about the benefits of this wonder oil.
Olive oil with its distinct pungent flavor can add charm to so many of your boring dishes. It packs a healthy punch not only when consumed, olive oil also packs a bevy of skin, hair and beauty benefits too. Here’s a roundup of all the types of Olive Oil that you ever wanted to know about.
What Are The Types of Olive Oil?
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained by crushing or cold-pressing olives and extracting the fresh juice. It is unrefined and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra-virgin olive oil is made, it retains the true flavour of olives, and has a lower level of oleic acid than the other varieties. It has a higher concentration of natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.According to Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta, “Extra Virgin Oil has been subjected to zero processing, and has no additives which makes it bright green in colour and has a strong olive flavor. It also contains only 1% of Oleic Acid and is able to retain all its antioxidants. Regular olive oil, on the other hand, is commercially produced and processed just like any other oil. It contains at least 3-4% of Oleic Acid.”
2. Standard Virgin Oil
Virgin olive oil comes from standard virgin oil production, or cold pressing only, it has an acidity less than 2%, and is known to have a ‘good’ taste, as compared to the Extra Virgin Variety. It cannot contain any refined oil. Virgin olive oil is good for cooking
Pure or blended olive oil: It may be called ‘pure’, but they are mostly a blend of refined olive oil and virgin production oil.
3. Refined Oil
When virgin oils are sent to the processing plant, they undergo chemical processing, which makes them the “refined olive oils.” Here they undergo processing that include heat, chemicals, or filtration. These refined olive have an acidity level of 0.3 percent or less, which also tends to give them a longer shelf life
4. Pomace Oil
There is one of the types of olive oil available in the market called the olive pomace oil. Once the typical, mechanized extraction of olive oil from the olive fruit is done with, about 5 to 8 percent of the oil still remains in the leftover olive pulp or the “pomace.” This oil is called the pomace oil, and is used deemed good for cooking.
5. Lampante Oil
Oil with severe defects, usually from bad fruit or poor processing practices. It is not fit for human consumption until it has been refined.Oil with severe defects, usually from bad fruit or poor processing practices. It is not fit for human consumption until it has been refined.
Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
Olive Oil is packed with several health benefits, Bangalore based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood says ” It is good for your heart, hair, skin and veins, if you massage it on blood clots, the clots would heal soon.”Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND says, “Olive oil is loaded with heart-protective polephenols that lower cholesterol.
It is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties. The mono-saturated fatty acids boosts metabolism and aids weight loss.”Dr. Simran Saini of Fortis Hospital also recommends the oil for its heart healthy properties, “Olive oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids- which improves good cholesterol(HDL). It is also good for digestion, and keeps your hormones balanced.”
How to use Olive Oil for Cooking
Extra virgin olive oil tends to have a subtle golden-green hue with a light peppery flavour. Because it is taken staright out of the fruit and is not refined it has a beautiful crude and pungent smell too. Shilpa Arora ND says, “Always use a good quality extra virgin oil to get all its benefits. It does not have a very high heat point , therefore not quite recommended for frying and heavy cooking.”
Dr. Rupali Datta, advises, “It is better to use extra virgin olive oil only for raw or cold cooking. Indian cooking needs are not suited to substitute this oil for our regular vegetable oil. You can use it in salads, as dressings, for making breads and dips. Light sauteing can also be done using extra virgin olive oil.”
Olive oil also work as a good moisturizer for your skin and hair