Olive oil is a fabulous way to spruce up so many dishes with its delicious taste and texture, but did you know it could actually be considered a superfood and should be eaten as much as possible?
It has been shown to ward off cancer (thanks to its powerful antioxidants like Vitamin E) as well as have properties that are anti-inflamatory.
Unlike the solid, artery-clogging fats in butter, olive oil is packed withhealthy monounsaturated fats that may actually lower your risk of heart disease; healthy fats can actually promote good cholesterol and help to regulate your blood sugar. But before you buy your next bottle, make sure you know what you’re getting — and that you’re purchasing the right one for your particular needs.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil comes from the first pressing of olives, making it the highest quality olive oil, containing less than one percent acidity. Known for its perfectly balanced aroma and superior taste, this type of olive oil has a light, delicate flavor thanks to minimal processing. You don’t want to cook with this kind, though, since high heat can damage the flavor and nutrients. Instead, when you want to focus on flavor, for example in salad dressings, soups, marinades, or for dipping hunks of crusty bread.
Virgin Olive Oil comes from the second pressing of slightly riper olives. “Virgin” actually refers to the fact that the olives haven’t had much handling and manipulating, either. It has a bit higher acidity and thus costs less than extra-virgin, but is still known to have a pretty good taste. Use this oil for lightly browning or sauteing vegetables or meat.
Regular (or Pure) Olive Oil, also known as commercial olive oil, has a blander taste and lighter color than its virgin counterpart. This baby has been chemically refined to neutralize the high acid content and strong flavors. This is one of the least expensive types of oil with the lowest nutrient levels. It’s thought of as an all-purpose cooking oil and is best for deep frying or stir-frying due to its higher smoke point.
Light Olive Oil has the exact same fat and calorie content as virgin oil. It’s simply a less pure, more chemically refined mixture of lower-quality oils with some virgin oil added back in. Since it’s virtually flavorless, it works well when baking any sort ofyummy foods!
Here is a great classic Mediterranean salad dressing that’s simple and so good – makes a great marinade for grilled chicken, too.
- 1tablespoon sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2cup fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄2cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1grated lemon, zest of (optional)
Enjoy and best in health!
SOURCE: self.com, Food.com
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