Olive oil is also used in natural skin care remedies for its hydrating and nourishing properties. Its antioxidant properties also aid in protecting the skin from environmental stressors. The oil is not just a dietary staple but a multi-purpose elixir that caters to a holistic approach to health. Embracing the best olive oils helps you to make a conscious choice towards a healthier, more flavorful life.
Among other health benefits of using olive oil in your meals:
Heart Health Hero
- Lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol: Oleic acid, the main fat in olive oil, promotes good HDL cholesterol while reducing harmful LDL, contributing to a healthier heart.
- Reduces blood pressure: Studies suggest olive oil can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Fights inflammation: Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may help combat chronic inflammation linked to heart disease and other conditions.
- Antioxidant powerhouse: Packed with antioxidants like hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal, olive oil may help protect cells from damage and reduce cancer risk.
- Gut guardian: Recent research suggests olive oil may promote healthy gut bacteria, potentially lowering the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Breast cancer buddy: Some studies indicate a link between higher olive oil intake and a lower risk of breast cancer.
- Brain booster: Olive oil’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help protect brain cells and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and dementia.
- Alzheimer’s fighter: Studies suggest oleocanthal, found in olive oil, may have properties that help prevent the buildup of plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aids digestion: Olive oil can stimulate bile production, aiding digestion and potentially preventing constipation.
- Blood sugar regulator: Studies suggest olive oil may help regulate blood sugar levels, benefiting those with diabetes or prediabetes.
- Antibacterial warrior: Olive oil’s phenolic compounds may have antibacterial properties, potentially boosting the immune system.
Whether you’re sautéing, roasting, or making a dressing, the best olive oils serve as all-purpose ingredients that add a touch of flavorful moisture to every dish. Have you ever wondered which olive oil is best for your health? Experts unanimously agree that high-quality olive oils offer unparalleled health benefits and rich flavors, but which ones do they prefer? StudyFinds has a curated list of the best olive oils for you by finding the seven products most recommended across 10 expert sites. Share your favorite olive oil in the comments below!
The List: Best Olive Oil for Health, According to Experts
Number one on the list of best olive oil for health is California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “This olive oil is made from 100 percent California-grown olives and is said to have a ‘floral, buttery, and fruity aroma’ with hints of green apple. The moderate price point makes it perfect for everyday use, cooking with olive oil is safe; here’s the truth about its smoke point,” says Well and Good.
The best part about this olive oil is you can enjoy guilty pleasures with less guilt. “As someone who goes through a lot of olive oil on a daily basis, the bottle you’re most likely to see on my counter at any given time is California Olive Ranch. It’s affordable enough that I don’t feel guilty using a decent amount for shallow-frying, and mellow enough that it can take the back seat in marinades (but still not so neutral that the taste totally disappears when I whisk it into a salad dressing). But don’t just take it from me: Many of our experts told me it is their go-to as well,” writes NY Mag.
Travelers enjoy exploring different regions through the unique flavors of their finest olive oils.“This cold-pressed EVOO, which uses olives grown in California, Argentina, Chile, and Portugal is a go-to on my grocery list. It has a mild flavor, which makes it incredibly versatile for all kinds of cooking projects. It’s also affordable, so you don’t have to be too fussy about wasting larger quantities for stews or sautees; you can use it more like a vegetable oil,” shares Mind Body Green.
Number two on the list of best olive oil for health is Frankies 457 Spuntino Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “If you ever wanted to splurge on an olive oil, this is how you’d do it. Frankies, a modern Italian restaurant born in Brooklyn, NY, built their reputation, in part, upon this Sicilian oil. The stuff looks like liquid gold and almost glows with glory. Then you taste it and your entire olive oil world is torn asunder. Expect an almost Sauvignon Blanc-like dryness with an undertow of sweet cream butter,” says Mens Health.
Gourmet cooks prefer high-quality olive oil for its versatility in both cooking and finishing dishes. “Frankies 457 olive oil was created by the chefs and owners of Frankies Spuntino, an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn established in 2004. It’s made with Nocellara del Belice olives from Sicily and has a ripe, bright, fruity flavor with grassy and peppery notes,” writes NBC News.
Home chefs love experimenting with high-end olive oils for new culinary creations. “A mainstay in mindbodygreen’s founders’ kitchen, Frankies is another excellent, flavorful choice—created by the chefs and owners of Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn, NY. This slightly spicy EVOO is USDA-certified organic and made with 100% Nocellara del Belice olives grown in Sicily, Italy,” shares Mind Body Green.
Number three on the list of best olive oil for health is Cobram Estates California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “Whether you’re buying this California Select bottle or one of their more standard offerings, Cobram Estates is a great go-to olive oil to snag at your local supermarket. Not only are their cold-pressed EVOOs great for cooking, but the Sacramento-sourced brand has also won multiple awards for their top-notch taste,” shares Mind Body Green.
Holistic health practitioners often suggest the best olive oils for their overall wellness benefits. “This rich and flavorful organic olive oil comes straight from the Sacramento Valley. It’s said to be a great balance of bitter and peppery flavors. “The company makes an effort to prevent soil erosion and to naturally suppress weeds. It also uses solid byproducts as natural fertilizer,” says Gorin,” says Well and Good.
Imagine a world where your taste buds and your health goals align perfectly – that’s the magic of top-quality olive oil. “Hyland and Lycopolus both say Cobram Estate makes a delicious olive oil. Because of the price point, it would be well suited as an oil for dipping or for dressings, both of which would benefit from something you can use relatively liberally but that is distinctly tasty in its raw form. It’s buttery and grassy at the same time, which is a combo you don’t usually get,” says NY Mag.
Number four on the list of experts for best olive oil for health is Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “I often joke that I’d drink Graza’s olive oil because of how delicious it is. Many other Select staff members agree, as does Barbone, who says its flavor is top notch. It’s packaged in the brand’s signature dark green squeeze bottles to protect the quality of the oil and make dispensing it easy and mess-free, says Barbone. Compared to a bottle with a screw-off cap, the squeeze bottle helps me better control how much oil I’m drizzling into a pan, over fish or into salad, and I find that I use less at once,” writes NBC News.
Every drop is a step towards a healthier lifestyle. “When this arrived, I side-eyed the squeeze-bottle presentation as ‘gimmicky,’ but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is actually a genius packaging choice, especially for an oil that is meant to be used on the stove. This extra virgin olive oil by Graza hails from Jaen, Spain, where much of the world’s olive oil is produced. Made from 100% Picual olives picked towards the end of harvest, it has a distinctively olive aroma but is not at all pungent,” says Insider.
Eco-conscious consumers choose top olive oils for their biodegradable and non-toxic nature. “Graza took the olive oil world by storm when it launched its two signature squeeze bottles in 2022: ‘Sizzle’ (a mellow oil made for cooking) and ‘Drizzle’ (a punchy oil designed for dressing dishes). While both are delicious, Drizzle is the real showstopper. Made from olives grown in Spain, the high-polyphenol, single-origin oil adds a peppery, earthy freshness to any meal. You’re going to want to keep a bottle around for easily finishing off salads, pastas, and pretty much anything else you can get your hands on,” shares Mind Body Green.
Number five on our list of the best olive oils is Kosterina Origina. “Kosterina, one of our favorite women-owned businesses, makes its EVOO with Koroneiki olives grown in southern Greece. This type of olive oil pairs well with savory foods like hummus and pita, says Gil. Kosterina’s oil, which the brand sent me to try, is meant for dipping or using as a finishing oil. It has a spicy, peppery flavor that I could still taste when I used it to make salad dressing. I also drizzled it over a crudité platter, and the olive oil added a welcome kick to otherwise bland raw vegetables,” says NBC News.
Life coaches often mention the best olive oils as a simple swap for a healthier lifestyle. “This lovely olive oil has a lot going for it: It’s cold-pressed and created in small batches. Plus, it uses Greek Koroneiki olives, a varietal that renowned physician and researcher William Li, M.D., recommends since these olives are potent in the bioactive polyphenol compound hydroxytyrosol,” writes Mind Body Green.
From salads to sautés, Virgin Olive Oil is your go-to for adding a nutritious, flavor-packed punch. “When the Reviewed staff voted for our favorite oils, it was nearly a dead split between Brightland and Kosterina. This EVOO brand produces its oil from cold-pressed Greek olives. The result is a fresh-tasting oil with a smooth finish that’s silky on the palate and pleasantly versatile. For how luxurious it tastes, it’s quite affordable. While Brightland’s oil is about 10 cents per mL, Kosterina is just six cents per mL. Since you don’t have to be too precious, given its price, we think Kosterina is the best olive oil for everyday use. Use it to roast and sauté in addition to splashing it over salads,” shares USA Today.
Number six is next. “At the end of the day, not every home cook is going to geek out on olive oil—and that’s okay. If you just want something quality yet affordable and you’re okay with a mild flavor profile, you can’t go wrong with this 2-liter bottle from Costco’s house brand. ‘I always have the Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin around the house and use that for just about everything,’ says Stephen Stryjewski, chef and owner of Link Restaurant Group in New Orleans,” says Forbes.
Parents opt for premium olive oil to create nutritious and delicious meals for their families. “I’ll note up top that this pick comes with two characteristics that Jenkins and Lycopolus deem undesirable: It’s packaged in a plastic container and it contains olive oil pressed from olives across the Mediterranean…I might not use it straight for dipping bread, but I make really punchy salad dressings, and it totally blends into the background. I also make a chile oil where you pour hot oil over chile flakes and scallions, and it sizzles up,” writes NY Mag.
Even Costco has got in on the goodness of olive oil. “Costco isn’t a small company by any means, but Dr. Hyman recommends this cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil that’s organic, kosher, and affordable. (The two-liter bottle is only $15.) Better yet, Costco made a sustainability commitment to maintaining its carbon footprint growth to less than the company sales growth. When producing Kirkland Signature products, the company also stated its goal is that products are respectful of the environment in how they’re produced, grown, harvested, processed, transported, and packaged, and that’s done through traceability, a fair return in the supply chain, and thoughtful sourcing,” shares Well and Good.
Finally, on number seven on the list of best olive oil for health is Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “Colavita is a big seller, and although it failed the Olive Institute’s purity testing back in 2015, Colavita has (allegedly, at least) shaped up: its bottles now bear the label of the North American Olive Oil Association, which is supposed to certify and inspect olive oil for purity and quality standards. Still, you’ve got to view the brand with a little lingering suspicion given its history. It’s a good bulk buy, to its credit, but not the best,” shares Body Nutrition.
Culinary students learn to discern the nuanced flavors of the finest olive oils. “I usually never pick multiple options for a category but these two olive oils are equally deserving of the ‘Best for Cooking’ award. Both are readily available at almost all grocery stores and both are balanced with enough peppery flavor for a salad but a mild enough taste for regular cooking, too. Compared to the Kirkland Olive Oil, these two olive oils have more citrus and pepper flavor but not so much so that they overpower your food,” says All Recipes.
Food critics often highlight the depth of flavor that great olive oil adds to cuisine. “While some may argue that Colavita’s olive oil may be a bit too strong as a finisher for meats, fish, and cheeses, I beg to differ. Its subtle floral flavor would make a wonderful addition to most dishes and it was, by far, one of the smoothest and lightest of the bunch, coating the tongue with a silky-soft texture that wouldn’t detract from anything it’s served on top of. In fact, it would likely enhance it,” writes Today.
What is your favorite dish to add olive oil to? Leave a comment below to let us know.
A Guide to Olive Oil Tasting: From Novice to Connoisseur
Want to become a true olive oil expert? This liquid treasure born from sun-kissed olives deserves more than just a drizzle on your salad. It’s an experience, a symphony of flavors waiting to be discovered. This guide will equip you, whether novice or gourmand, to navigate the world of olive oil tasting.
Preparation is Key:
- Gather your supplies: Small dark glasses, crusty bread, palate cleansers like green apples and water.
- Choose your oils: Start with 3-4 oils of varying intensity (delicate, medium, bold).
- Temperature matters: Aim for room temperature (around 68°F) to fully appreciate the aromas and flavors.
Engage Your Senses:
The Visual: Pour a small amount of oil into your glass. Observe its color – is it golden green, pale yellow, or even tinged with red? This hints at the olive variety and ripeness.
The Swirl: Gently swirl the oil to coat the glass and release its precious perfume. Watch for “legs” – slow-dripping droplets that indicate viscosity.
The Aroma: Cover the glass with your hand, trapping the headspace. Now, take a quick sniff. What do you smell? Fresh herbs, buttery notes, ripe fruit, or even a peppery tingle?
The Sip: Take a small slurp, aerating the oil in your mouth. Coat your tongue and palate. Now, it’s time to listen:
- Fruity: Green apple, banana, tomato leaf – these denote early harvest olives.
- Herbaceous: Grass, artichoke, freshly cut hay – think vibrant and grassy notes.
- Floral: Jasmine, lavender, honey – delicate and fragrant hints.
- Nutty: Almond, hazelnut, walnut – richer, earthier tones from riper olives.
- Peppery: A pleasant tingle on the back of your throat – a sign of freshness and high-quality oil.
- Bitterness: Don’t shy away! A slight bitterness indicates freshly pressed olives, not rancidity.
The Finish: Pay attention to how the oil evolves in your mouth. Does it leave a clean, pleasant tingle, or a greasy residue?
Refine Your Palate:
- Between tastings, cleanse your palate with a bite of apple and water. This neutralizes your taste buds for the next oil.
- Take notes! Write down your observations – color, aroma, flavor profiles, and finish. This will help you identify your preferences and develop your “olive oil vocabulary.”
- Compare and contrast: How do the oils differ? Which fruity notes stand out? Is one peppery, while another smooth and buttery?
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: At olive oil shops, farmers markets, or even in your own kitchen, seek guidance from experts.
- Olive oil tasting is a journey, not a destination. The more you explore, the more nuanced your palate will become.
- Embrace the variety! Different regions, olive types, and pressing methods create a kaleidoscope of flavors.
- Most importantly, have fun! Let your senses guide you, and discover the world of olive oil in all its delicious glory.
Bonus Tip: Pair your olive oil tasting with simple foods like bread, cheese, or tomatoes. This allows the oil’s true character to shine through.
You might also be interested in:
- Mind Body Green
- USA Today
- NY Mag
- Well and Good
- Mens Health
- NBC News
- All Recipes
- Body Nutrition
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article contains affiliate links.