Extra virgin, light and pure: Know your olive oil well

If you ever bought olive oil from the market, the drastic difference in its pricing would have plainly put you in a fix

 Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
Written by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterUpdated at: May 23, 2019 15:47 IST
Extra virgin, light and pure: Know your olive oil well

Malaria & Dengue Day 2023: Fever Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Guide - Onlymyhealth

We all know the various varieties of olive oils available in the market. We have more or less moved on from sunflower oil to olive oil in Indian kitchens. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives. Not just in cooking, this oil is used for several other beauty purposes as well, making it a versatile replacement to any other unhealthy oil variants. You may have realised that there are three different types of olive oils available in the market. With a drastic difference in its pricing, we often miss out on the need of understanding the difference between them. Extra virgin, light and pure; these are some of the options available in the market. It is interesting to note that each oil has different properties. Read on to know the difference between the three variants of olive oils.

Difference in making

Extra virgin olive oil is extracted from the fruit without any heat. The most expensive out of the three, this oil has the highest amount of nutrients that one can get from the olive fruit. However, the virgin, light and pure oils are extracted with the help of some heat or even mixed with other oils for the final product. The heat given to the olives tends to reduce the benefits that one could get from the fruit. The extra virgin olive oil is extracted from the new crops grown every year. The fresher the olives are the higher amount of nutrients remain intact in the oil for better taste and more significant benefits. 

Also read: Reasons why olive oil is healthy for you

Cooking point 

As we all know that olive oils are not supposed to be cooked after a certain level, each variant of oil, i.e. extra virgin, and light and pure, have a different smoke point, which means its burning temperature. Brunt oil produces chemicals, which can be harmful to the body. The purpose of using olive oil in cooking is defeated once it starts burning. The higher the quality of oil, the higher is the smoking point. Also, as long as the oil is fresh, the smoking point will be higher than the rest. The healthiest of all is the extra virgin olive oil and even the most expensive one. This oil is not suitable for purposes like deep-frying. 

Also read: Can olive oil help treat rheumatoid arthritis?

Difference in colour

When you compare the colour of all the varieties of olive oils, the extra virgin olive oil is darker as compared to the light and the pure ones. The regular olive oil, which includes the pure and light one, has a lighter and brighter shade. They are also differentiated by its acidity level and free oleic acid. The higher the free oleic acid, the higher is the level of fatty acids. 

Here are some tips while using olive oil in cooking: 

  • It works best in salad dressings
  • Use in marinades for meats and fish. 
  • It works best for Italian dishes. A slight drizzle of olive oil gives a unique taste to pasta and pizzas. 
  • Use olive oil instead of butter while making mashed potatoes. 
  • Use olive oil in sauces as it helps in blending of watery ingredients with the oil.
Read more articles on Healthy Diet