Over the years and through various cooking shows we’ve heard about how good olive oil is and how every household should have a bottle of it. This is supported by the cultivation of olives through the centuries, predating even the Greek and Roman empire. And while I wholeheartedly agree, I don’t think many people know that there are specific types of olive oil used for specific things.
Extra Virgin: This is by far the most expensive of all, and for good reason. It is unrefined and hence has the highest amount of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are extracted from olives. This can only be used as a dressing for salads or for cold dishes because it has a very low smoking point, and changes taste on heating.
Virgin: A grade lower than extra virgin, as it has a high level of oleic acid. Although this too is unrefined, it has a higher smoking point. Used in cooking, baking and sauteing.
Refined: This had a high smoking point and is mainly used for cooking and deep frying. Does not bitter when put on high heat and retains its taste. Inferior in terms of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals compared to extra virgin or virgin.
Pure: This is the most commonly found, it is a mixture of extra virgin or virgin and refined. Usually used for cooking, hair and skin, and preparing other herbal oils.
Olive Pomace Oil: It is used as a furniture polish, for cleaning purposes and for high heat cooking.
- Hair and skin (Pure): it is used for massaging, in treatment for frizzy hair and dandruff, and extremely dry skin.
- Anti-inflammatory (Extra virgin): this helps reduce any inflammation in the body.
- Antioxidants (Extra virgin and Virgin): this helps in strengthening the immunity, improving eyesight and bone health.
- Reduces risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes: unlike most cooking oil, this has a good dose of good fats that is good for the body.
- Prevention of stroke: the properties of olive oil can help prevent strokes and other ailments.
- High in calories, a single tablespoon has 120 calories.
- Contains laxatives, and excess consumption is not recommended.