Often referred to as "liquid gold," olive oil has been used and lauded for its different benefits, as documented in ancient literature. Olive and olive oil's roots can be traced to the Mediterranean region, where olive was used as a symbol of wealth, peace, and fame. It also became a staple in daily life, specifically in diets where olive is used in many different types of dishes, cooked or uncooked. Fast forward to the present times, olive oil is widely used not just in cooking but also for health and beauty.
With many choices of different types, it could be quite hard to choose which bottle of olive oil is the best choice. Here we will lessen that struggle by deciphering what labels like extra-virgin and pure mean and help you pick the best olive oil that suits your taste. To make your choice even easier, we asked nutritionist-dietitian Samantha Morales for some of her comments, tips, and recommendations.
Samantha began her career in clinical nutrition and weight management at a tertiary hospital in Manila, Philippines. Her practice allowed her to give nutrition counseling and plan modified diets for patients with medical conditions. Presently, she does private practice to focus on true holistic wellness - an approach that believes in aligning one's mind, body, and spiritual well-being.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Many use olive oil to make easy salad dressings, for their pasta sauces, and many other dishes. More than the taste that olive oil brings to food, it is known for the many great health benefits it offers. Unlike other oils, olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, contains healthy fatty acids called monosaturated oleic acid. Studies show that this fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins E and K, which help prevent and fight chronic diseases and cell damage caused by free radicals. It is also known that extra-virgin olive oil lowers the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases which is one of the most common causes of death around the world.
Interestingly, people from the Mediterranean region or people who consume a Mediterranean diet have a higher life expectancy and lower risk of dying from heart diseases.
Olive oil is considered fat, and fats are essential to our overall health. Olive oil is high in Vitamin E and antioxidants, improves cholesterol levels (HDL:LDL ratio), and is also anti-inflammatory. It is widely used when making salad dressings and dips because of the amazing flavor it imparts to the dish.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Below we listed the types of olive oil according to grade, ranking from the highest to the lowest. An olive oil's grade can be easily determined by checking the bottle's label.
Extra virgin olive oil is the most popular and widely used among the different types of oil. It is unrefined and cold-pressed. Hence, it is high in antioxidants and vitamin E.
It has a smoke point of 325-375°F (around 162-190°C), which makes it more ideal for salad dressings, dips, no-cook sauces (for example, basil pesto), or for cooking recipes that only require low temperature. Should you wish to use it for cooking your food, make sure you keep an eye on it so as not to reach its smoking point.
Virgin olive oil is usually produced from riper olives. It is created after pressing the extra virgin olive oil. It still has good benefits but not as healthy as the extra virgin olive oil.
Refined olive oil has been processed using heat to create a mild or light tasting and more stable oil, usually used for frying. Compared to extra-virgin and virgin olive oil, these two types do not have the same health benefits extra-virgin olive oil offers. Aside from "Pure," also look out for labels that say "Light" or "Extra Light."
This is usually a combination of extra virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. Refined olive oil is processed olive oil to increase shelf life, neutralize its flavor, and increase its smoke point to 465°F, making it ideal for high-temperature cooking. As a result, it has been stripped off of its antioxidants and nutrients.
Pomace is the solid residue leftover from the production of olive oil. It is then treated with chemical solvents, often hexane. It is then exposed to extremely high temperatures to extract oil that’s usually combined with other low-quality olive oils to somehow add flavor.
"Made in," "product of," "packed in "ーthese are some of the labels you'll also see in a bottle of olive oil. Olive oils that are single-sourced mean that all the processes from pressing to bottling are done in the same country. However, there are olive oils that use a mix of olives from different countries, pressed and packed in various places, and generally, these olive oils tend to be of lesser freshness.
When buying olive oil, you are also faced with a selection from different countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and many more. Here's the catch to itーeach country has a different olive oil flavor and color profile!
Spain, the leading olive oil producer, has olive oil with a fruity and nutty taste with a golden yellow color. Italian olive oil packs a grassy flavor with an herbal aroma, and its color is often dark green in color. Meanwhile, Greek olive oil is green and has a strong flavor and aroma, while French olive oil usually has a milder taste and a pale color.
There are other places aside from Italy, Spain, Greece, and France that offer good quality olive oils. You may also want to try the ones made in Australia, South Africa, California, and Chile - they produce fine, quality olive oils too.
Good quality olive oils come in different shades - from luminescent green to gold to pale straw color. As for the flavor profile, they may range from fruity, herbaceous, slightly bitter, to even spicy.
Unlike wine that gets finer with age, olive oil goes bad relatively quickly, most especially when it is exposed to sunlight and heat. A good quality olive oil should also be in an opaque or dark-colored bottle.
In order to keep the freshness of olive oil, keep it in a cool dark place, purchase in smaller bottles (ideally the amount that you can consume up to six weeks), and make sure to cover the bottle with its cap immediately after using it to prevent oxidation. When buying olive oil, make sure the bottle is tinted or in a tin can (instead of clear plastic or transparent glass bottles) to prevent oxidation.
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Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fruity Flavor and Peppery Pungency With Slight Bitterness
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher and Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
USDA Certified Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Contadina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Made from Freshly-Pressed Hojiblanca Olives
Mix of 15% Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Refined Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Has a Rich and Distinct Flavor, Perfect for Dressings and Marinades
Pomace Olive Oil
Olive Pomace Oil for Deep-Frying and Grilling
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Halal Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Infused With Fig Leaves
Pure Olive Oil
Pure Olive Oil for Sautéing and Light Frying
Unico Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Award-Winning Authentic Olive Oil From Spain
Considered one of the oldest producers of olive oil in Spain, La Española's extra-virgin olive oil belongs to one of the highest quality categories of olive oil. With a bold aroma, fruity flavor, slight peppery pungency, and a pleasant trace of bitterness, this olive oil will leave a lingering taste in your mouth.
This olive oil is also ideal for grilling and deep-frying. That's why it is popular among professionals and commercial establishments. Also, it is one of the olive oil brands that can be used for high-temperature cooking without compromising its overall taste and natural goodness. This can definitely be used in everyday home cooking to make your dish nutritious and extra special.
This olive oil is quite a steal because of its very affordable price and high quality. It boasts its extra-virgin grade, and it is organic and kosher. It has a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties since it is organic. Also, it contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives, such as vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium.
Kirkland is one of the few brands that offer 100% organic olive oil. Since many are now shifting to an organic diet, this one is becoming more popular because it is healthier, and at the same time, it is budget-friendly. It comes in 2 liters, so it is good for everyday use. If you're looking for organic oil at an affordable price, this one is for you.
With only 0.3% acidity content, this olive oil has an intense and full-bodied flavor, which makes it a great finish on meats, pasta, vegetables, and it makes a great dressing for salads and dips as well. It is certified USDA organic which means it only uses organic olives and uses organic farming standards.
Bertolli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil promises to bring out the authentic flavors of any dish. Moreover, it provides our bodies with health benefits, from brain alertness to heart fitness. This is ideal for those on a keto or a paleo diet or those who are vegetarian or vegan since it can provide healthy fats and antioxidants to your meals.
Hojiblanca olives are native to Andalucia, Spain, and they make up 15% of the olive trees in Spain. Contadina olive oil ensures that they only use the finest olives for making premium, extra virgin oil. This olive oil enhances the flavor of food by giving rich olive flavor. It has fresh and fruity tones with an average taste of bitterness.
It is said that Hojiblanca olive oils are reliable and make a great finishing oil for salads, pasta and are widely used in dips and dressing. So, if you are looking for that aroma that's reminiscent of the olive fruit itself, this is the best oil for you.
At only around 400 Pesos per liter, this olive oil is a great choice for businesses or big households. Imported from Italy, it is a mix of refined olive oil and 15% extra-virgin olive oil. Since most of it is refined olive oil, it has a neutral taste and can be used in high-heat cooking, making it perfect for baking, sautéing, grilling, and frying.
It has a light olive flavor that is also ideal as a substitute for butter in cakes, cookies, muffins, and pancakes. So, if you're looking for a very affordable olive oil that is a little more stable and has a light flavor, then this product fits your requirement.
Filippo Berio has passed the North American Olive Oil Association's (NAOOA's) About Olive Oil Quality Seal program for certification of both purity and quality; thus, guaranteeing its authenticity. It can be used daily in almost all dishes as it enhances the flavor of any food with its distinct rich flavor of fresh and fragrant notes of olive.
Its notable taste of olives gives any dish a flavorful and appetizing relish with the promise of being cholesterol-free and gluten-free. It is perfect for salad dressings, sauces, or gravies, drizzling over pasta, marinating meat or vegetables, sauteing fruits or vegetables.
A popular choice for commercial cooking, this olive oil can be reused up to 24 times. It is a good choice for dishes that need to be cooked in high temperatures, making it ideal for deep frying. Because of its high oxidation stability, it keeps its nutrients and makes the food flavorful.
Castelvetere pomace olive oil has a light taste and color. With a mild flavor and aroma, this oil will not overpower flavors of other ingredients but will make them more savory. You will surely enjoy every bite of your favorite dish when you use this oil.
Naturel Olive Oil is from Hojiblanca & Picual from Andalucia in Spain, the world's largest olive oil-producing country. Since it contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, this olive oil promises to give powerful health benefits. It is also Halal-certified, making it a good, healthy choice for almost everything.
A twist to pure extra-virgin olive oil, this product is infused with fig leaves to create a smooth and sweet touch of flavor with a hint of spiciness. This oil is best for dips and dressings, but you can also try it with your other favorite home-cooked recipes.
This brand uses two types of olives - Hojiblanca and Picual olives, which are both cultivated from Spain. This pure olive oil is a good option for dishes that require some sautéing or frying. Compared to extra-virgin or virgin olive oil, pure olive oil has higher heat resistance.
This oil has a more neutral flavor and provides the same nutrients as extra virgin olive oil. It is also ideal for grilling, roasting, and sauteing vegetables and meats. If you're into cooking sumptuous dishes often, this oil can be your best friend.
This premium virgin olive oil uses hand-picked selections of Hojiblanca and Picuda olive from Andalusia, Spain. It is recognized as one of the most elite olive oils worldwide and has won many awards in the most prestigious competitions because of its overall quality and taste.
It has 0g trans fat, no sodium, and promises to be kosher and gluten-free. Goya Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil boasts its great taste of authentic olive oil with guaranteed purity and health benefits. You can also use it for cooking your favorite dishes in medium heat or adding a final touch of flavor to your everyday dishes.
We mentioned above that olive oil's use is not just exclusive to cooking. Olive oil contains antioxidants and vitamins that are all-around good for the body.
If you have damaged or weak hair, use this hair treatment once or twice a week for deep conditioning to make your hair healthy and shiny.
*You may also add other essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil according to your preference
I suggest using extra virgin olive oil when applying to the skin (even hair) since it is rich in Vitamin E. This makes an ideal oil to nourish the most sensitive skin and hair.
When using essential oils, look for certified pure and therapeutic-grade essential oils. Some essential oils in the market are combined with synthetic oils or even mixed with chemicals that may harm your skin and hair.
If you run out of shaving cream, don't you worry! You can use olive oil in place of your usual shaving cream or oil and what's good about it is that it's all-natural. Just make sure that you have a sharp and trusty razor in hand!
Like we mentioned earlier, olive oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It also contains squalene which is extremely hydrating for the skin. After showering, while the skin is still a little damp, apply olive oil all over the body. Unless you decide to use it as a massage oil, remember that when applying, less is more.
When using as a shaving cream alternative or body moisturizer, use the more natural and unprocessed version, which is the extra virgin olive oil instead of the pure olive oil. When you use chemically processed olive oils to apply on your skin, it defeats the purpose - which is to nourish it!
If you still have some questions in your mind regarding olive oils, our expert Samantha Morales has answered them below! Continue reading to find out more.
When you fry food, you expose it to a temperature between 350–375 °F. In this case, pure olive oil can handle this range of temperature since it has a high smoke point of 465°F. However, nutritionally speaking, pure olive oil has lesser health benefits compared to extra virgin olive oil.
As you expose food to high temperatures, nutrients diminish, especially heat-sensitive vitamins such as B-vitamins and Vitamin C, antioxidants, and even enzymes, regardless of the cooking oil you choose to cook with.
To maximize the health benefits, I suggest drizzling extra virgin olive oil on salads or even a tablespoon on your smoothie to increase consumption of good fats and antioxidants and even to add more flavor to your food.
Too much of everything can be harmful to the body. Instead, consume your favorite food with less guilt with their healthy alternatives!
Author: I. Honda
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: La Española | Extra Virgin Olive Oil
No. 2: Kirkland Signature | Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
No. 3: Bertolli | Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
No. 4: Del Monte | Contadina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
No. 5: Kirkland Signature | Olive Oil
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