Is EVOO “Officially” Healthy? The FDA has Spoken.

Is EVOO “Officially” Healthy? The FDA has Spoken.

Is EVOO “Officially” Healthy? The FDA has Spoken.

At Kosterina, we live for a good EVOO and its impacts on a longer, healthier life. So when the FDA took a second look, we may have done a few (virtual) backflips. But before you break out the pizza and toast to a new food group, the truth is in the olive–and even more reasons to love Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is rethinking their definition of “healthy,” including how a product is classified as a healthy item, based on their nutritional criteria. Whether you follow a clean diet or enjoy some splurges, it’s no secret that eating the rainbow–fruits and veggies, plus whole grains and protein–is good for you. And now, the FDA has added our longtime love, olive oil, to the list. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is great for heart health and reducing inflammation. It also supersedes any of the other popular oils on the market, many of which are falsely marketed as healthy. Do Grapeseed and Sunflower oils ring a bell? Those along with Canola (also called rapeseed oil), Corn oil, Cottonseed oil, Rice bran oil, Safflower oil, and Soy oil are 8 of the most unhealthy vegetable oils. These oils are largely made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), with the good-for-you fats stripped away during processing and bottled into the items you see at your grocery store. 

According to a 2018 study by ScienceDaily, cooking with vegetable oils releases high concentrations of toxic chemicals called aldehydes. These chemicals have been linked to heart disease, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and cancer.  The good news? You can still make a mouth-watering meal without your go-to staple. Clear out your cabinets, EVOO is here to save the day.

Reasons to live and breathe the golden elixir

We love to sing this from the mountaintops–EVOO can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and loaded omega-3 fatty acids, heaven for your skincare routine (hello, morning glow), and a rich addition to your sweet treats and desserts. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil also contains polyphenols, a plant chemical full of antioxidants and found in foods like dark berries, spices, and red wine. The health benefits associated with polyphenols are vast and believed to, “reduce morbidity and/or slow down the development of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases as well as cancer,” as stated in a 2018 study by the National Library of Medicine 

So, what’s the difference between EVOO and regular old olive oil?

We’re so glad you asked. With a flurry of products on the market and product labels as long as your grandma’s shopping list, it’s tough to decipher what you should actually be looking for. Real EVOO has only 100% olive oil–and that’s it! 

The best olive oils are comprised of olives harvested early in the season, when they’re actually green and unripe. The earlier the olive has been picked, the higher the polyphenol content. True EVOO’s are cold-pressed from the first press of the olive. They use a single variety of olives and have at least 55mg/kg of polyphenols. Kosterina has 470 mg/kg of polyphenols in their Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8-10 times the minimum required to be considered EVOO.

On the Greek island of Ikaria, one of the world’s Blue Zones, the consumption of olive oil in those 65 and older has been associated with increased longevity. And some of the world’s longest living people eat EVOO on the daily. So grab a piece of crusty sourbread and a bowl of our favorite dipping oil—it’s good for the heart (and soul).