Olive oil is widely recognized as a healthy addition to the diet and a good alternative to many other types of oil.
But, olive oil is particularly significant because of the association between olive oil and the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to improved memory and is effective for health overall.
Likewise, olive oil is popular for its taste and is a staple ingredient for many households.
There are even multiple health benefits of olive oil, including the potential for it to help improve cholesterol levels in the blood (1,2,3,4), fight inflammation (5,6)
and potentially help resist some aspects of unhealthy aging (7,8,9).
Recently the FDA annouced that olive oils which are at least 70% oleic acid may claim to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when substituted for saturated fats in your diet.
You can further supplement your reading by visiting Consumerlab for their report on various olive oil products.
Two of the five selections featured below meet or exceed the 70% threshold for oleic acid. Those products are California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin olive oil and Kirkland Extra Virgin olive oil.
In most cases, extra virgin olive oil can be seen as the way to get the most health benefits from olive oil.
This type of olive oil is formed from the first pressing of olives. As a result, it tends to be purer and involves less processing. The site The Olive Oil Source offers a precise definition of the criteria that extra virgin olive oil needs to meet.
For that matter, extra virgin olive oil is extracted without any chemical processes, which is reason enough to choose this form. There are various other standards for extra virgin olive oil and the end result is that the oil tends to be high quality and has an appealing flavor.
However, many people struggle to find the healthiest olive oil brands.
One reason for this is that there are simply so many different options. At the same time, there is also an issue of counterfeit products. The site Food Renegade discusses this issue in detail.
This can include some products that claim to be olive oil but actually include a mixture of oils. Additionally, there are many cases where a brand claims that the product is extra virgin but it really isn’t. After all, you can’t visually tell whether oil is actually extra virgin or not.
Now, because extra virgin olive oil tends to be the best in terms of quality, this is also where the health benefits come from. As a result, the healthiest olive oil brands are typically those that offer legitimate extra virgin olive oil.
There are many options out there, but these are some of the very best. What’s more, you can buy them all from the comfort of your home.
Much of the advice for finding the healthiest olive oil brands suggests that you should focus on olive oil from a region like Sicily that is famous for producing oil. This is entirely true but you can also look for oil that is from closer to home.
In particular, extra virgin olive oil from California is often a good choice, especially as freshness matters for the quality (10).
As a brand, Corto has a good reputation and gets consistently positive reviews, particularly for its extra virgin olive oil.
Furthermore, it was one of the brands that passed the test in a study on fake extra virgin olive oil (11,12). As such, you can be sure that you’re actually getting what the marketing says, rather than a fake product.
California Olive Ranch is a particularly popular brand and it should be no surprise that this also comes from California. As with the previous product, the brand has consistently passed tests ensuring that it is actually extra virgin olive oil (13,14). It is also pure olive oil, rather than a blend, which reinforces the benefits for health. It was tested at 68% for oleic acid content.
At the same time, this is a great option for getting used to extra virgin olive oil as it is a relatively inexpensive product.
Taste tests from various reviewers and customers suggest that this is also appealing in terms of flavor and it is certainly one of the more popular brands on the market.
Kirkland Organic is another one that has done well in tests, meaning that you’re actually getting what the label claims that you are (15,16). On Amazon, the oil is also extremely popular, with more than 450 reviews and an average rating of around 4.5 stars.
As the name suggests, this is also a certified organic brand, which may be appealing if that is your preference. It was tested at a 74% oleci acid content.
Like the previous two options, this oil does come from California. And, to a degree, opinions are mixed about this.
Many people do feel that the healthiest olive oil brands are going to be those that come from Italy, particularly from famous locations.
But, that isn’t necessarily true.
One issue is that olive oil is best when it is fresh and it takes time to get olive oil from Italy to the United States. Additionally, it’s often easy for these brands to mislead consumers and many do.
Even if you do obtain legitimate extra virgin olive oil from Italy, the difference in freshness may mean that you simply may not get the same health benefits than you would from olive oil that was produced in California (17).
Still, there are good options for Italian olive oil too and some companies do produce and import Italian extra virgin olive oil.
If you are looking for a legitimate Italian olive oil, then Iannotta is one brand to go with. The company has a strong emphasis on producing high-quality olive oil and is an example of one of the healthiest olive oil brands.
You can also find out more about the company and their processes on their official site.
Now, it is worth noting that this olive oil is considerably more expensive than the versions that you find produced in California. Likewise, it doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon yet, partly because many people don’t buy it that way.
However, people who love olive oil often swear by the Italian brands, saying that they have a more appealing and rich flavor profile.
This is another one of the healthiest olive oil brands and it also comes from Italy. Specifically, it is produced in Partanna Sicily and tends to be packaged in October from an early harvest.
This brand is more well-known and popular than the previous example and it comes in a tin rather than a bottle. The tin may help to keep the olive oil fresh for longer, especially as it means the oil is not exposed to any light.
Customers note that it is particularly good for drizzling and is low in acidity.
Even if you haven’t tried Italian olive oil before, this brand is a good option. If nothing else, you may find that you prefer the flavor of the Italian brands more, especially if you are looking for something that is a little more unusual.
In many cases because of the debate about freshness, you will probably find that the healthiest olive oil brands are those from California, as long as you stick with a legitimate company (like the ones listed).
Still, if you enjoy the flavor of Italian brands, buying those is still a legitimate option.
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