Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • October 2017
Written by 

What to look for in olive oil

With the variety of olive oils out there today, the question is: which do you choose and why? What are some factors to consider before purchasing an olive or specialty oil? Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), virgin, light, organic, filtered, pure, cold pressed — the list goes on and on!

Well it depends on why and how you’re going to use your olive or specialty oil. If you’re purchasing for the health value, then hands down the only choice should be is ice pressed organic extra virgin olive oil! Without question this olive oil is in its purest, most raw state when compared to any other olive oil. Expect to pay more, but the health value of this olive oil is through the roof, and should only be consumed with raw foods or ingested alone without heating.

Next of course is considering organic olive oils, cold pressed and extra virgin olive oils. These are OK to cook with to certain temperatures, and still maintain their health value. Keep in mind that EVOOs can also be used as a moisturizer in soap products, sun protection, on skin ailments and so on.

Of course, other than the health value, what makes olive and specialty oils very unique is not only their quality of oil, but other factors like their country of origin, aroma, intensity, deliciousness, fruitiness, peppery taste, etc. For example, if you’re using it to flavor your food, you may want a garlic extra virgin olive oil to complement your pallet.

When you go beyond the ice and cold pressed extra virgin olive oils to virgin, pure, flavored, etc., you compromise the health value of the oil. It’s always best to look beyond the price tag, despite your need to stay within a certain budget, so that you are surely consuming an oil that is healthy for your body. A few ways to do this is to read the labels, or be sure that your oils are poured fresh before you.

Whether you’re purchasing pre-bottled oils in the grocery store or freshly poured oils, it’s important to know a few things to look for other than taste:

  • What region the oil is from, specifically making sure it’s not from multiple as this means the quality of the oil isn’t necessarily EVOO and you can’t trace the harvest date.
  • Be sure that your oils are approved by a reputable certified board such as the International of California Olive Oil Council where they are committed to upholding the highest standards in the olive oil industry.
  • Can you heat this oil? Of course you should be certain you heat your pan completely before adding the oil at medium high heat.

Sadly, the fact is that there are an abundance of adulterated extra virgin olive oils on the market, so be sure to educate yourself! Knowing the farmer and how and where your oil is processed is a huge benefit!

There are a variety of health benefits to consuming ice and cold pressed extra virgin olive oils if that’s why you’re purchasing them. Otherwise, if it’s strictly for the taste, be certain that you are purchasing a flavored olive oil that suits your pallet, yet passes the “purity” tests! Enjoy and don’t forget to “oil well”! 

Kathy Larson

Kathy Larson, CPT, CWC, & Oil Well has been in the Health & Wellness Industry for over 25 years. She’s worked in all realms of wellness and fitness, some of which include education, personal training, fitness equipment sales and a variety of business ownerships that have been awarded national recognition. Kathy’s passion is to educate individuals on how to incorporate healthier living into their daily lives so that they begin to live consciously. She’s the author of “How to Live a Fulfilling Life” — to download, visit Kathy’s purpose at and is to offer a service and products capable of preventing disease, while at the same time serving as a source of healing. Individualized coaching is one of Kathy’s specialties, which focuses on helping you define your personal goals and achieve them! To contact Kathy, email [email protected]

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