Olive Oil Benefits and Side Effects - 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
Olive oil is pure liquid fat obtained by pressing olives, without the pits. The mixture is later heated and refined to the level that the manufacturer wants before being bottled.
Olive oil is best used for cooking since it can be used as a topping for bread, drizzled over a salad, or for light frying.
Extra virgin olive oils are graded the highest quality olive oil you can get. Only being allowed to have a maximum acidic value of 0.8%.
To be defined as extra virgin, the olives have to be cold pressed and have its oils extracted without any solvents or other refining treatments.
They're also known to have one of the best flavor profiles. Unlike lesser grade oils, extra virgin oil has all the important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects that gave olive oil its prestige in the Mediterranean, and now globally.
Extra virgin olive oil's smoke point is around 165–190 °C (325–375 °F)
Olive oil is very heart healthy since it's full of monounsaturated fats, They help lower bad LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein), improves your heart health, minimizes heart related diseases and strokes.
The olive oil nutrition facts are amazing since it has 73% of its fat contents coming from monounsaturated fats, 11% from polyunsaturated fats, and 14% are saturated fats.
There's also has a large number of antioxidants. 100 grams of oil gives you 72% vitamin E and 75% vitamin K. That's around 15 milligrams per day of Vitamin E and 90-120 micrograms of vitamin K per day (Females need 90 mcg/d, Males need 120 mcg/d).
These vitamins benefit your overall health by lowering your risk of getting infections and cancer. On top of that, Antioxidants also act as an inflammatory drug, similar to ibuprofen. The pain killer effect of olive oil improves your joint, bone, and gut health.
The olive oil side effects are minimal, only occurring when over consuming and when it becomes rancid due to heat or oxygen exposure.
Extra virgin olive oil is made by first harvesting a bunch of different kinds of olives, they can range by color, taste, nutrients, and ripeness. They're first bunched up and thrown into a wash, to take off the twigs, dirt, and other residues. Afterwards, they head to a stone mill to get cold pressed.
The olive paste is checked for its temperature and then tested for its oleic acid levels (acidity). If all quality checks are passed, the pulp gets stacked and layer between hemp mats to extract the extra virgin olive oil.
The stack of pulp goes into a hydraulic press which squeezes the oil out of the olive paste, it's then collected bellow. At this point, if the liquid is a cloudy golden color, it's a sign of high quality extra virgin olive oil.
An unrefined olive oil is considered to be the most valuable. If the residues are filtered out it becomes a lesser grade product.
The final result is a consumer grade extra virgin olive oil, it's then bottled, sealed, and shipped to global markets.
If you're a male, measure around 1 to 2 ounces of olive oil into a small cup. For females you should use between 4 to 6 ounces of olive oil.
Dab your fingers into the oil and start massaging your scalp while focusing on the driest areas of your head. Then starting from the roots, rub the olive oil towards the end of your hair.
Let your scalp, hair, and hair follicles absorb the oil to moisturize for at least 15 minutes, and no longer than 30 minutes. For women it's best to wear a shower cap while you wait.
Rise the olive oil out of your hair with warm water until the grease is gone!
Break Down and Background
Olive oil is a very healthy and nutritious liquid fat obtained from fresh olives. Coming from the Olea Europaea, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean.
Although it’s popular in North America, it's one of the least consumed oils on the planet.
Extra virgin olive oil is produced by cold pressing whole olives. It’s a healthy option for cooking, pan frying, or when used as a salad dressing.
Olives are ready to be harvested when the outer layer turns cloudy and green, in late September. This is also the time when they’re at their most potent sour and acidity levels.
They become brown with a hint of red through November, and finally darkening to a black around early December. During the later stages of the harvest season they start to have a higher oil content.
Extra virgin olive oil is widely recognized as one of the world’s healthiest oil, and for good reason.
Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can lead to reduced risk factors of heart disease and other complications such as, type 2 diabetes, improved bone health, and brain function.
The best quality olive oil is gathered from the fruit of the olive tree called Olea Europaea, this is a traditional tree located in the Mediterranean region, widely used in Italy.
Most high-quality products come from this region, this specific area cold presses them to create a high-quality virgin alternative.
There are tons of great tasting variants, which is sought after by many collectors, similarly to collecting wine. Some oils are more fruity, while other can be more musty, aromatic, or bitter. Different types of growth methods are used to make California olive oil.
Some of the best extra virgin olive oil products are showcased in New York, where different types of olive oils compete to declare which brand has the best version.
The prestigious event held in new york, every year, is open to all international brands and connoisseurs to bring their best bottle of olive oil.
A diet rich in a healthy extra virgin olive oil can get quite expensive, use your local providers to keep the cost down.
If you see a drastic price difference between a regular and organic cold pressed olive oil it's worth your while.
Stick with the regular olive oil, it’s just as healthy.
The organic branding is sometimes used to drive up the prices.
Here are a few tips to keep your olive oil in a healthy state reducing the rate of any free radicals developing.
The bottle must be made of dark glass. If the bottle is see-through, that lets lots of sunlight through and damages it over time, making it go rancid much easier.
Make sure to store it in an unlit and slightly cool area. Secondly, make sure there's a solid and airtight seal.
Keeping air away from coming into contact with your olive oil is key when looking to prevent harmful chemicals and bacteria from forming over time.
California olive oil is found in almost every major superstore. The United States Department of Agriculture mentions that consuming fats are one of three macronutrients essential for human life and is what makes up a large part of our cells.
Like all other cooking oils, the extra virgin olive oil nutrition facts have no carbohydrates or protein. The number of calories per gram of fat is 9.
A refined olive oil is one of the more sensitive cooking oils when it comes to how easy it can get damaged.
Opt for a high quality extra virgin olive oil, since it has a wide range health benefits.
What makes olive oil have a low smoke point is due to its high oleic acid, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated ratios.
The higher the monounsaturated fatty and oleic acid content, the more sensitive the olive oil is to heat.
You wouldn’t be able to absorb essential vitamins like A, D, E or K without having healthy fats in your diet.
Healthy free fatty acids such as extra virgin olive oils, can even help you fight stress, improve mood swings and nutrition, decrease mental fatigue, and can actually help with weight management and weight loss.
It's also used in cosmetics and washes, medicine, cooking, and is even found some soaps and hair products. These uses originally come from the Mediterranean, but today they’re highly used worldwide.
While the fat macronutrient has a bad reputation, not all fats are bad. In fact, most of them are very good for you, you just have to make the right choices between which type and source would be best.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends a consistent intake of healthy monounsaturated sources of fat.
They’re very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and is also a staple in the Mediterranean diet. These are a healthier type of dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats which are harmful in bigger doses.
They also help with reducing cognitive decline with aging.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most used household cooking oils. But unfortunately, it's one of the most mistreated cooking oils out there.
The key attributes you have to look for on the label is for high quality, extra virgin, and cold pressed.
Using an organic brand isn't necessary, but if you can afford to pay the higher price it's definitely worth it.
The reason why you should get extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is because it's the most organic, nutritious, and natural method of extracting the oil from the fruits.
No chemicals and very minimal heat used it keeps the integrity of the product in great condition but lowers the smoking point of the oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is the premium grade of oil, and when used for cooking it's best used for drizzling, light cooking, or frying.
Lastly, this a helpful tip during cooking. You do not want your cooking lubricant to be smoking before laying your food onto it.
If your oil's smoking you break down all of the good fats and you end up hydrogenating your extra virgin olive oil, which you don’t want to have happen.
A good visual queue to see if you destroyed any of the positives of olive oil is if you see the oil turn cloudy, or clear before adding your food. We highly recommend dumping it and replacing the pan with fresh olive oil.
Olive Oil Health Benefits
The main positive effect of olive oil comes from its abundance of monounsaturated fatty acids. This industry maintains a fatty acid content of up to 73%, on average.
The majority of it is called oleic acid (or Omega-9), which is extremely healthy and great for unclogging your arteries of bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and increasing the amount of good cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
A diet rich in olive oil also helps reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, this is an end result from lowering your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Since olive oil reduces bad cholesterol, this also reduces the risk of heart diseases and strokes which are leading causes of death in North America.
HDL and LDL somewhat cancel each other out by attaching themselves to one another and being filtered out by the liver.
Having some daily improves many areas of your body because of its large amount of antioxidants.
Having 72% of your recommended daily amount of Vitamin E is great for removing harmful bacteria already present in your system and preventing the creation of others.
Another powerful antioxidant is Vitamin K, of which olive oil has 75% of your recommended daily amount. These do not only help fight harmful bacteria but help fight other serious infections such as degeneration.
A study published in Canada states that olive oil is rich in antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory health effects are substantial. It reduces inflammation across the board, helps fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Other than the antioxidants (which help reduce inflammation as well) there is the phenylethanoid compound called oleocanthal, which acts like ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is what mostly makes up Advil and Tylenol, anti-inflammatory drugs.
1. Improves Cardiovascular and Heart Health
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world and observational studies conducted a few decades ago showed that heart disease is less common in the Mediterranean diet.
Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet, one of the main factors contributing to their lower rate of heart disease.
The Mediterranean has always had lower death rates related to cardiovascular diseases compared to other parts of the world. This is strongly linked to their diets containing lots of olive oil.
This statistic led to an extensive study on the Mediterranean diet's effect on overall human health.
It’s now been shown to significantly reduce your cardiac related complications.
Extra virgin olive oil protects your arteries from LDL (bad) cholesterol and from oxidation, helps in lowering inflammation, improves your blood cholesterol, vessel linings.
As well as helping with the prevention of excessive blood clotting which stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Regular consumption of olive oil has also been shown to lower your bloods total pressure, which is one of the biggest contributing risk factors for heart disease and premature death.
In many studies, it’s been proven to reduce the need for blood regulation medications by upwards of 48%.
There are hundreds of studies that prove that extra-virgin olive oils can help maintain and promote heart health benefits and minimize side effects of many diseases due to all of it’s antioxidants.
If you have a history of heart disease, a family history of heart related diseases or any other cardiovascular risks, you may want to include a lot of extra-virgin olive oils in your diet.
2. Full of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
Apart from olive oils beneficial fatty acid content, it also contains a good amount of vitamins E and K which are very powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants are active compounds that help in reducing your risk of multiple chronic heart diseases.
The natural extraction process used to make extra virgin olive oil, which is by cold pressing the olive fruit, ensures it'll retain all of its natural nutrients and antioxidants that would’ve been lost due to excess processing.
Multiple clinical studies show that people who regularly consumed cold pressed extra virgin olive oil had a 42.1% lowered risk of getting a stroke, due to all of the healthy fatty acids.
Multiple studies consistently suggest that having a diet that's rich in olive oil and MUFAs have positive effects on cardiovascular disease markers, such as heart failure, coronary diseases and strokes.
A study revealed that it contains over 30 different types of phenolic acid compounds and polyphenols, phenolic acids are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against harmful cells.
They’re molecules that cause cell damage, contribute to organ diseases, and accelerate the ageing process.
This also reduces markers of chronic inflammation, high or low blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels.
3. Protects Your Heart Against Strokes
Strokes cause the second largest amounts of deaths after heart disease in North America. Strokes are caused by the disruption of blood flow to your brain, due to either a blood clot or bleeding.
It’s closely linked to heart disease and shares many of the same risk factors, including hypertension and high cholesterol.
These side effects are negated by increased oleic acid consumption.
A wide-scale review studied 840,000 people and have found that the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease was the oleic acid found in olive oil.
Another study, conducted in France looked out to compare the effect of olive oil use with your risk of stroke incidence and heart disease.
These findings are on par because most people are starting to frequently use olive oil instead of lesser heart-healthy options within their diets.
Combine this with the high amounts of antioxidants and monounsaturated fat content found in extra virgin olive oil, it becomes obvious as to why it has such a large impact on cardiovascular health.
4. Has Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Consuming olive oil has the beneficial health effect of reducing chronic inflammation, relieving oxidative stress, and mitigating symptoms of heart disease.
The most prevalent health benefits of olive oil is that it helps alleviate symptoms of heart disease.
Chronic inflammation is known to be the leading driver of many diseases, such as breast cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and even obesity.
Research also shows that olive oil is rich in antioxidants like oleic acid.
They can help reduce levels of inflammatory markers found in the bloodstream, C-reactive protein (CRP).
The origin of the anti-inflammatory health benefits of olive oil comes from its antioxidants.
The most effective antioxidant is called oleocanthal, a phenolic compound that has been shown to have the behavior as ibuprofen, a common anti-inflammatory drug that's found in Tylenol and Advil.
Researchers have calculated that the amount of oleocanthal and oleic acid found in 3.5 tablespoons (50 ml) of extra virgin olive oil has the same effect as taking a 10% dose of ibuprofen.
Another study also showed that the antioxidants (vitamin E and K) can hinder genes and other harmful proteins that cause chronic inflammation, a common trigger for breast cancer.
Internal and external inflammation can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, chronic diseases, alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and increases breast cancer risk. Most of the health benefits of olive oil helps reduce and even mitigate these diseases.
5. Improves Hair Care and Scalp Health
Olive oil is a wonderful natural product for proper hair care, health, and maintenance. This also helps with hair growth, resulting in longer and thicker hair.
A high-quality olive oil has positive effects on hair growth more commonly experienced by males, while the benefits of giving strength, body, and shine to the hair is sought after more by females.
Just some of the olive oil health benefits include repairing damaged hair, reduce frizz, detangles, and decrease friction between hair strands.
Applying olive oil to your hair and scalp helps to reduce dandruff, fungus, and scalp dehydration that can prevent dandruff, dry, and flaky skin.
All hair types absorb monounsaturated and saturated fat efficiently. That's why essential oils such as coconut oil and avocado oil are all used to treat dry hair.
The healthy fatty acids and vitamins found in these essential oils help penetrate the hair follicles, which locks moisture and protects the hair.
Research suggests that you can treat your hair simply by using an avocado and olive oil hair mask.
First, mash the avocado in a bowl and then mixing in a tablespoon of olive oil.
When the avocado and olive oil mix is ready, apply it to your hair working from the roots and upwards.
Afterwards, you cover hair with a shower cap and let sit for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. When the essential oils start to condition your hair. Rinse with warm water.
Olive Oil Side Effects and Detriments
One of the most commonly reported issues with olive oil is it’s side effect when used on your skin.
If you naturally have oily skin, acne, or other skin issues it's best to stay away from applying olive oil to your skin for moisture, contrary to whats usually advised.
Most of the negative side effects of olive oil stem from cooking with olive oil with extremely high heat levels in your ovens and pans.
If you noticed it starts to smoke even before cooking, we highly recommend dumping it and replacing your pan with fresh oil instead.
When you hydrogenate the olive oil by having it undergo high heats, expose, you cause adverse negative outcomes that are far from healthy.
It's really common where you see so many recommendations for increasing your olive oil intake, but in return, you start to cook with the oil in a searing hot pan, which destroys all of the health benefits of olive oil and makes it toxic to consume.
A study shows that this process creates a lot of free radicals and increases the bad LDL cholesterol in the oil, which is the exact opposite outcome you're looking for.
Having 72% of your recommended daily amount of Vitamin E is great for removing harmful bacteria already present in your system and preventing the creation of others.
Since it already helps in managing your pressure by lowering it, this can prove troubling for people who already have low blood pressure and that could be dangerous if you increase your intake.
Another side effect of olive oil comes from the gallbladder.
Originating from the liver, it creates bile (waste from the organ) and it’s stored in the gallbladder.
If our bodies start ingesting extra fat it may irritate the gallbladder into secreting the bile, and when it's combined with the fats it might result in stones or blockages.
This issue is only prominent if you consume a large amount of olive oil on a very frequent basis. As always, everything is best in moderation.
When storing extra virgin olive oil please avoid direct light, heat, and oxygen until the time of cooking.
Since olive oil has a high oleic acid content and has a good amount of vitamin E, it fights present free radicals in the body really well.
You don't want to create a double-edged sword where your oil becomes hydrogenated, in turn destroying any beneficial results, and harming you in result of that.
Make sure that you restrict the amount of olive oil you drizzle onto your foods, olive oil is pure fat which sits at 9 calories per gram.
This means 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories, moderation is key to get the most out of your olive oil without going overboard.
When does anyone stop at 1 tablespoon? You’ll end up pouring and eating over 300 to 400 calories otherwise.
Keep close attention to the amount you add to your foods, especially your salad dressings!
Olive Oils' Rating and Recommendation
A diet rich in extra virgin olive oil is one of the best nutritional dense foods you can consume for optimal health benefits, and should be stored in your home for everyday use.
It's extraordinary list of health benefits outmatch the list of side effects by a huge margin. If treated and used properly, it can be a powerhouse of nutrition for your body.
Here’s the full list of the olive oil nutrition facts and health benefits:
Improves Cardiovascular and Heart Health
Full of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
Protects Your Heart Against Strokes
Has Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Improves Hair Care and Scalp Health
The full list of side effects include:
It’s Very Sensitive and Can Easily Burn
Can Cause Stress To Your Liver
When buying olive oil, you need to look for the bottle color, treatment, quality, source, smell, and storage.
Most of the information is provided on the label, and you can buy extra virgin olive oil at any major grocery store.
Also, make sure you opt for the cold pressed and extra virgin olive oil alternative since these versions are the healthiest and lasts the longest in storage.
When storing your olive oil make sure it's in a cool area or room (but not refrigerated), that's unlit, and properly sealed.
After opening a bottle of olive oil, it can last for up to 5 months in storage given the right conditions.
Its healthy amount of antioxidants and monounsaturated contents in extra virgin olive oi;l are perfect for preventing common heart diseases, improved brain health, inflammation, and other cardiovascular complications.
But if you're looking to use an oil mask to moisturize your hair or skin, we'd recommend using a coconut oil base instead.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil's smoking point is 160°C (320°F) and Virgin Olive Oil's smoking point is 216°C (420°F).
1. BMC Med. (2014 May 13) Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the predimed Study
2. Circulation. (2014 April 30) Extra virgin olive oil consumption reduces risk of atrial fibrillation: the predimed trial
3. J Sci Food Agric. (2018 August 23) The effects of different frying oils on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in meatballs and the changes in fatty acid compositions of meatballs and frying oils
4. Am J Clin Nutr. (2007 November 05) A high-fat meal induces low-grade endotoxemia: evidence of a novel mechanism of postprandial inflammation.
5. Deakin University (2018) The Mediterranean diet
6. J Am Coll Cardiol. (2000 November 05) The postprandial effect of components of the Mediterranean diet on endothelial function.
7. Joe Leech (2017 June 04) 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 884||Calories from Fat 884|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 100 g||152 %|
|Saturated Fat 14 g||70 %|
|Polyunsaturated fat 11 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 73 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 2 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 1 mg||0 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 0 g||0 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g||0 %|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A 0 %||Vitamin C 0 %|
|Vitamin E 0 %||Vitamin K 0 %|
|Calcium 0 %||Iron 3 %|
Calories per gram:
Fat: 9 | Carbohydrate: 4 | Protein: 4