Choosing High-Quality Olive Oil | Andrew Weil, M.D.

Olive oil comes in a variety of forms, but Dr. Weil explains what makes a good-quality olive oil. The best olive oil is extra virgin, organic and cold pressed. It is important to protect olive oil because the compounds (polyphenols) in the oil break down when exposed to light and air, decreasing the health benefits it provides.

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How To Choose A High-Quality Olive Oil:

Video Transcript:
I cannot recommend too highly that you use good quality olive oil as your main cooking fat. By good quality, I mean, you have to do a little homework there. Yes only extra virgin olive oil and preferably olive oil that’s, I would use organic, if you can find it. California has a California Olive Oil Commissions, COOC that has a stamp. There’s an International Olive Oil Commission that certifies some European olive oils. The reason you want good quality olive oil is that, to make sure first that it’s really olive oil, but also, olive oil is unique in that it’s got an antioxidant fraction in it, called poly-phenols, the same compounds that are in tea and chocolate. That fraction is easily destroyed by exposure to heat, air, mishandling. So the best olive oil will give you that, and that poly-phenol fraction accounts for a peppery bite to olive oil. You know, there’s some olive oils, I’ve been working with some olive oil producers and learned how to taste olive oil. It’s very interesting, they sort of slurp it in, mixed with a lot of air, and then you rinse it around your mouth and spit it out. Some olive oils make you cough. They really have a catch at the back of the throat and that’s that poly-phenol content. That’s a good thing in olive oil.

10 Replies to “Choosing High-Quality Olive Oil | Andrew Weil, M.D.”

  1. I use EVOO and regular OO all the time (Kirkland brand which is very good). However, I understand that cooking with olive oil at high temperatures renders it actually to become carcinogenic. Is this true? I do not cook with it at high temps and use other oils for that purpose, but I was just curious as to your thoughts. Thanks.

  2. Yes I tried Kirkland Organic Olive Oil and it made the back of my throat burn very mildly at first. I was surprised to later find out this is a sign that the olive oil is higher quality. A study by the University of California researched olve oil brands and found that Kirkland's was one of the better brands, along with California Olive Ranch, Trader Joe's, etc

  3. If you don't tolerate the extra fine olive oil that means your liver has a fatty infiltration (maybe from alcohol) or your liver had in the past hepatitis. Then is better to have olive oil in your diet as little as you tolerate, than to eat many times that amount from other oils like canola oil, soya oil or margarine.

  4. Thanks for the information,-   I knew that some compounds in chocolate and tea are giving a bit bitter taste,  I guess stevia as well, but I never thought of the polyphenols giving that little taste and reaction in the throut in olive oil!  Now I am gonna be very observant while tasting!

  5. I studied Reflexology at a College in South-Africa and I can see the relevance of what you 
    are teaching about meditteranean herbal healing.

  6. The right kind of olive oil can be very beneficial to your health. I recommend organic coconut oil as well for low-to-medium-heat cooking. 

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