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Olive Oil Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to know to choose the healthiest, tastiest oil and find delicious recipes using olive oil.

There are lots of good reasons to stock your pantry with olive oil. Long the most commonly used oil in the Mediterranean (as much as 25 to 40 percent of calories consumed in this region come from olive oil), extra-virgin olive oil’s healthful properties come from rich levels of monounsaturated fat, which promote “good” cholesterol, as well as abundant polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure.

Olive Oil Shopping Tips

  • Light exposure causes the oil to become rancid and lose its healthful properties—buy extra-virgin olive oil in dark glass bottles and metal cans and store it in a cool, dark place.
  • Bottling and/or expiration dates provide guidance on how long the oil will keep.
  • If you don’t use extra-virgin olive oil regularly, buy small bottles—polyphenols and flavor can diminish as the oil is exposed to air.
  • The color of the oil doesn’t indicate its quality—rather the variety and ripeness of olives used to make it.
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