The Health Benefits of Olive Oil – Part 2

How to Shop for Olive Oil

When you buy olive oil, ALWAYS buy extra virgin. It’s the only grade that retains the natural health promoting phenols (think antioxidants).

Extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed, which means it’s minimally processed, without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals to extract it. This leaves intact all the beneficial & health promoting phenols.

All other olive oil grades: “virgin,” “pure,” “light,” have been chemically refined to mask defects, and this process destroys the healthful phenols.


Many supermarket shelves are lined with fake olive oil options.

Even if the label says “extra virgin,” you’ve got to be careful, because many supermarket olive oils are either past their best (rancid), not pure (chemically processed) or even counterfeit!

it’s common for “extra virgin olive oil” purchased in most major supermarkets to be diluted with GMO containing canola oil – a particularly harmful highly processed oil that uses harmful solvents (hexane) in the refinement process.

Consuming this type of substandard olive oil can actually contribute to some real health risks, so it’s important to be sure of the source of what you are buying in order to get the most health promoting benefits you can.

It is estimated that up to 70 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold worldwide is watered down with other oils and enhancers!

This has been attributed to the Mafia corruption involved in the production process!

Reason #1 to Avoid Supermarket Olive Oils: They’re Not Fresh!

Olive oil, unlike wine, does not get better with age!

Olives, are a fruit, and maintain their window of peak freshness, flavour and nutritional benefits for about 6 months after they have been harvested.

The problem is, harvest-fresh olive oil is almost impossible to find in supermarkets.

Most olive oil sits for months in warehouse storage & then months or even years on supermarket shelves, growing stale, musty, and rancid. They are technically ‘fine’ but way past their health promoting days…

The Tell-Tale Sign

The producers of sub-standard, mass-market olive oils sold in supermarkets, intentionally omit the harvest dates on the labels, because they don’t want you to know how old, stale, or rancid their oils may be…

When you shop for olive oil, forget the “best before” or “use by” date. This is not the harvest date or the pressing date you are looking for.

(I recommend you check the olive oil in your cupboard right now!)

You need to find extra virgin olive oil or EVOO with a harvest pressing date on the label, no more than 6 months from your date of purchase.

Whenever you shop for olive oil, freshness is the most important factor to gain the nutritional benefits. Health promoting phenols aside, the flavour will also be much nicer! …

I recommend buying online or directly from the producers.

They sell EVOO fresh from the harvest that is bursting with flavour & goodness. You will be amazed at the difference. Once you try the real thing, you will likely never go back to the supermarket kind…

Reason #2 Fake, Mafia–Made Olive Oils

Thanks to the health benefits of real EVOO, demand has increased exponentially worldwide.

However, pure EVOO is expensive, so in order to capitalise on the demand, fake olive oil is labelled & marketed as EVOO.

The profits in counterfeit/ knock off olive oil are estimated to be comparable to drug trafficking with none of the risks…

Cancer Causing Agents in Fake Olive Oils?

Olive oil expert Tom Mueller warns of contaminants and even cancer-causing agents in fake olive oils. He writes:

“Italian investigators have found hydrocarbon residues, pesticides, and other contaminants in fake oils, and pomace oil, a common adulterant, sometimes contains mineral oil as well as PAHs, proven carcinogens that can also damage DNA and the immune system. Then there’s the 1981 case of toxic oil syndrome in Spain, when rapeseed oil adulterated with an industrial additive, sold as olive oil, killed eight hundred people and seriously injured thousands more.”

My Recommendation:

You can find superb, award-winning olive oils by doing your homework online. Located around the world are quite a few dedicated producers – usually family run – who offer their award-winning harvest-fresh olive oils directly to consumers.

Honest Toil

I am currently using Honest Toil Olive Oil from Messinia in Greece. A small family run operation (2 person!)
It is cold pressed, unfiltered, unblended extra virgin olive oil, pressed in the village press in Messinia, Greece.
The oil comes from the family’s own trees, and those of a few other small scale producers in the village, and everything is picked, pressed and packed within a few miles of the trees.

They press the olives the same day they’re picked and usually pack the oil within a week or two, so it really is as direct and as fresh as is possible to be… the difference in oil quality is pretty obvious.
And.. as they have no middleman, they can afford to be really competitively priced given the very high quality!

Click here to order from
*New Harvest Oil will be available from January – please email me here if you are interested to order

Read on for Part 3: How to store your Olive Oil – yep this matters!

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