In the comics, Olive Oyl stirred up trouble between her boyfriend, Popeye, and brutish Bluto. But she was always slick enough to escape from harm's way.
It seems Olive had a way of making things turn out healthier!
But lately there's been some confusion about how Miss Oyl conducts herself: Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) might not be as pure as it claims.
The question is: How do you get the most health benefits from your EVOO and make sure you're getting what you pay for?
First, maximum health benefits from EVOO happen when you “Go to Italy ... with your mouth.”
The mono- and polyunsaturated fats found in olives, olive oil, anchovies, avocados and pine nuts (all Italian favorites), not to mention wild salmon (not so Italian), help keep your arteries clear and inflammation down to a minimum.
Second, real extra-virgin can be hard to get, but it's worth it. EVOO is cold-pressed, first harvest, with only 1 percent acid content; all that preserves taste and nutrient values.
Check your EVOO label to see if it carries a harvest date (two years old is max) PLUS the North American Olive Oil Association or California Olive Oil Council designation. They make sure olive oils are not adulterated or mislabeled. The International Olive Council sets standards for the rest of the world.
Also, avoid oils that say “packaged in” or “distributed from” Spain, Italy, Greece, etc. The label should indicate the origin of the oil itself.
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