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The Big Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Regular Olive Oil

which olive oil is best for cooking

Olive oil, something we all know and love a little too well. Olive oil is a basic, staple ingredient if you will, it has so many uses, variations, and a flavor that can enhance almost any dish. However, nowadays, there are so many kinds of oils available on the market that it can be confusing to know which one is best. The truth is that the rating of an oil depends on what you’re wanting to use it for, as different types of oils possess different properties and thus are best suited with the right pairing. Choosing between olive oil vs extra virgin olive oil may make the difference between a good and delicious meal, and here’s why.

What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

To define extra virgin olive oil, one could say that it is olive oil in its purest form. Extra virgin olive oil is also the least processed or refined type of oil available to us, and although they all come from the same source – olives, the outcome is different depending on the processing method used. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted by compressing the oil directly out of olives until you are left with the natural oil that is produced. There are many studied and researched reasons as to why extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat, providing many benefits for our health and bodies. Oil is also graded depending on its acidity levels, which puts the extra virgin kind at number one on the list.

What’s the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

So if all oils come from the same source then how are they so vastly different and is the difference between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil really that noticeable? Well, the truth is yes, there are many differences between the two oils, but that is not to say that one is better than the other. Some of the most noticeable differences one can expect to find when you compare oils include :

  1. Extra virgin olive oil has more polyphenols than regular olive oil, meaning they have more antioxidant qualities.
  2. Extra virgin olive oil has a very specific taste that is quite enjoyable and thus can be eaten in its rawest form for example with bread, whereas regular olive oils are more commonly used for cooking or coating.
  3. Extra virgin olive oil contains fewer chemicals than regular olive oil and thus has more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
  4. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, which means that it will burn faster when cooked with.
  5. Extra virgin olive oil is a lot more expensive than regular olive oil.
  6. Extra virgin olive oil will appear to be a darker shade of yellow than regular olive oil.

Olive Oil vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Cooking

When it comes to the kitchen, which oil is best for cooking is a whole other ball game. Oils operate differently when they are heated, some have a low smoke point which means they will burn faster on high heat, whereas others have a high smoke point and can be used at extremely high temperatures without cooking. This is where the difference between the two is reversed.

Because extra virgin olive oil is so pure and has not been altered by any chemical or temperature changing processes, it doesn’t deal well when being heated and thus is not the best option when it comes to cooking. However, it is delightful as a salad dressing or a dip or simply finish off a meal.

Olive oil, although not the greatest of cooking oil, has a much higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil. Thus, it can withstand the heat and works well when yore trying to fry up some onions, but anything more than that will leave you with a bitter and quite unpleasant after-taste.

Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better Than Olive Oil for Your Health?

Olive Oil for Your Health

When it comes to the health benefits between the two, extra virgin olive oil definitely takes first place, although olive oil is not particularly unhealthy. It is in many ways a good form of fats and has also been processed and chemically altered, whereas extra virgin olive oil is the same product. However, without the extra processing, meaning it is purer, healthier, and has more beneficial properties for the amount of fat and calories it contains.

At the End of the Day

One thing you can take away from comparing extra virgin olive oil vs regular olive oil is that you should save the good, high quality, and expensive stuff for dipping your bread, topping your pasta and creating all kinds of delectable sources, and use the more processed and less healthy versions for frying your chips and veggie nuggets.

If you are really trying to work on your diet, overall nutrient intake, and health and well-being in general then simply switching to extra virgin olive will definitely help you to see a difference and you’ll actually get to enjoy the taste too.

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