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Heart Health

06 May 2011

Does olive oil live up to its image?

There is plenty of evidence that suggests that olive oil is beneficial to health – should you be adding this distinctive oil to your diet?

There is plenty of evidence that suggests that olive oil is beneficial to health – should you be adding this distinctive oil to your diet? Should you replace more affordable oils such as sunflower or canola oil with this costly oil? There are many varieties of olive oil – which do you use? Does "light" olive oil provide fewer kilojoules?

What are the differences between various types of olive oil?

With all the choices of olive oil available, making a choice could be confusing.The important thing to remember is that all types of olive oil are high in monounsaturated fats and that they are all the same in total fat and kilojoules.

  • Extra virgin olive oil has the finest taste and fruity aroma with low acidity (less than 1%)
  • Virgin olive oil has a good flavour and low acidity (less than 2%).
  • Olive oil or Pure olive oil lacks a strong flavour and is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. Pure olive oil simply means that the oil has not been mixed with any other type of oil (e.g. sunflower oil).
  • ‘Light’ olive oil refers to the color and fragrance. It is a refined olive oil lighter in colour and with less flavour – it does not mean a lower fat content or fewer kilojoules.

 

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