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Choosing High Quality Olive Oil

Dr. Weil explains what makes a good quality olive oil. The best olive oil is extra virgin, organic and cold pressed. It is important to protect olive oil because the compounds (polyphenols) in the oil break down when exposed to light and air, decreasing the health benefits it provides.

Read more: How to Choose a Quality Olive Oil

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Video Transcript: Choosing High Quality Olive Oil

I cannot recommend too highly that you use good quality olive oil as your main cooking fat. By good quality, I mean, you have to do a little homework there. Yes only extra virgin olive oil and preferably olive oil that’s, I would use organic, if you can find it. California has a California Olive Oil Commissions, COOC that has a stamp. There’s an International Olive Oil Commission that certifies some European olive oils. The reason you want good quality olive oil is that, to make sure first that it’s really olive oil, but also, olive oil is unique in that it’s got an antioxidant fraction in it, called polyphenols, the same compounds that are in tea and chocolate. That fraction is easily destroyed by exposure to heat, air, mishandling. So the best olive oil will give you that, and that polyphenol fraction accounts for a peppery bite to olive oil. You know, there’s some olive oils, I’ve been working with some olive oil producers and learned how to taste olive oil. It’s very interesting, they sort of slurp it in, mixed with a lot of air, and then you rinse it around your mouth and spit it out. Some olive oils make you cough. They really have a catch at the back of the throat and that’s that polyphenol content. That’s a good thing in olive oil.