Olive Oil – Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, Types and Ways to use

Alpa Momaya

July 7, 2023

In the world of culinary delights and wholesome nutrition, few natural ingredients rival the golden elixir known as olive oil. Revered for millennia for its exquisite taste, unparalleled versatility, and array of health benefits, olive oil stands as a timeless symbol of Mediterranean traditions and modern-day nutritional wisdom.

From the sun-kissed groves of olive trees to the tables of gourmands across the globe, this liquid gold has captivated hearts and palates alike. Beyond its alluring flavor, olive oil boasts a remarkable nutritional profile, brimming with essential nutrients and health-promoting compounds that have intrigued researchers and nutritionists for generations.

In this enlightening article, we embark on a journey to uncover the remarkable qualities of olive oil delving into the scientific evidence that supports its status as a true superfood. We will explore how this simple yet potent ingredient has the power to transform not only our culinary experiences but also our overall well-being.

Nutritional Profile Of Olive Oil

According to USDA, 100 ml of olive oil contains the following nutrients 

  • Calories: 900 kcal
  • Total Fat: 100 g
  • Total Saturated Fat: 15.5 g
  • Total Monosaturated Fats: 68.4 g
  • Total Polyunsaturated Fats: 9.47 g 
  • Iron: 0.56 mg
  • Vitamin E: 20.9 mg
  • Choline: 0.3 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 1 mg

Types of Olive Oil

Using the correct type of olive oil is crucial. There are five primary grades of olive oil – extra virgin oil, virgin oil, refined oil, pure olive oil and olive pomace oil. Each of these olive oils has a different smoke point, and this smoke point determines its usage. An oil with a high smoke point is better suited for cooking purposes. Those with a low smoke point should be used for quick sautees and as dressings for salads

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is the best quality olive oil. It undergoes cold processing, which prevents the natural content from altering after exposure to high temperatures. As a result, it has a low acid content, even lower than virgin oil.

2. Virgin Olive Oil

It is an unrefined form of olive oil extracted using the cold-pressing technique. It has a slightly higher level of acidity content that ranges between 1 to 4 per cent. Another speciality of this oil is that it is temperature resistant. In comparison to extra virgin oil, the taste is milder and is suitable for low-heat cooking. It is also ideal for salad dressing.

3. Pure Olive Oil

Pure olive oil is created by mixing either extra virgin or virgin oil with refined one. It is rich in Vitamin E and is used only for cooking, body massages, and therapies.

4. Refined Olive Oil

It is considered a moderate-quality oil. Refined olive oil primarily comes into use for cooking only. It is appropriate for all cooking techniques, but more so when cooking at a high temperature. It has the same fat content as the above two oils.

5. Olive Pomace Oil

Pomace type is the lowest quality olive oil available in the market. Pomace comes from the residues and the remains left after the fruit’s pressing is completed. Once the actual fruits are pressed, there still remains the residue of oil and water. This remaining oil is extracted and mixed with high-quality oils to improve its quality. But this oil is best suited for massages and other therapies.


Choosing the right type of olive oil is crucial, as each grade has a different smoke point and usage. Extra virgin olive oil is of the highest quality, has a low acid content and is suitable for cold processing. Virgin olive oil is temperature resistant and ideal for low-heat cooking and dressings. Pure olive oil is a blend of extra virgin or virgin oil with refined oil, used for cooking and therapies. Refined olive oil is of moderate-quality and suitable for high-temperature cooking. Olive pomace oil is the lowest quality, derived from residues and best for massages and therapies.

6 Health Benefits of Olive Oil

1. Promotes Heart Health 

Olive oil protects against inflammation. It reduces LDL oxidation (bad cholesterol) and improves the endothelium’s function, lining the blood vessels. It manages blood clotting and lowers blood pressure as well.

According to a study headed by experts from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, those who daily consume at least half a tablespoon of olive oil had a 14 per cent reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and an 18 per cent lower risk for coronary heart disease than those who did not.

2. Reduces the Risk of Cancer 

The rich antioxidant content of olive oil, including phenolic compounds such as oleocanthal and oleuropein, has been linked to its anti-cancer properties. These antioxidants help neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and preventing damage to DNA, which is a major contributor to the development of cancer. Additionally, research shows that oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid abundant in olive oil, has the potential to suppress the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.

Furthermore, olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may also contribute to its cancer-fighting abilities. Research associates chronic inflammation with cancer development, and thus the anti-inflammatory compounds found in olive oil may help inhibit the inflammatory processes that promote tumour growth.

3. Relieves Pain and Inflammation

Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), has been recognised for its potential to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. The remarkable anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil are attributed to its rich content of bioactive compounds, including oleocanthal and oleic acid.

Oleocanthal, a natural phenolic compound found in EVOO, has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. As per research, it helps inhibit the activity of enzymes involved in the inflammatory process, thus reducing pain and inflammation. This natural compound may offer a gentle and effective alternative for individuals seeking relief from chronic pain conditions.

Furthermore, the monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, which is the predominant fat in olive oil, has also been linked to anti-inflammatory effects. Studies indicate that this fatty acid helps modulate the body’s inflammatory response by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. By incorporating olive oil into your diet, you may experience a reduction in inflammatory markers and potentially alleviate pain associated with conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

4. Boosts Bone Health

One of the key factors that contribute to the bone-protective effects of olive oil is its high content of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid. Research suggests that oleic acid may play a role in improving bone mineralisation and reducing bone loss. It has been shown to enhance the absorption of calcium, an essential mineral for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Furthermore, olive oil is rich in phenolic compounds, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As per studies, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can adversely affect bone health and contribute to bone loss. The antioxidants found in olive oil help combat these damaging effects, potentially protecting bone cells from deterioration.

5. Reduces the Risk of CVD and Stroke

The high content of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, in olive oil has been associated with improved cardiovascular health. Research shows that these healthy fats help raise levels of HDL cholesterol (often referred to as “good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL cholesterol (commonly known as “bad” cholesterol”). This beneficial effect on the lipid profile may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque buildup occurs in arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Additionally, the antioxidants found in olive oil, such as vitamin E and phenolic compounds, help combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Studies show that oxidative stress can damage blood vessels and promote the development of atherosclerosis, while chronic inflammation contributes to the progression of CVD. Olive oil’s ability to mitigate these factors can help protect against the development of heart disease.

Moreover, olive oil has been shown to have antithrombotic properties, meaning it helps prevent the formation of blood clots. This is crucial in reducing the risk of stroke, which can occur when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. 

6. Balances Blood Sugar and Prevents Diabetes

It contains healthy fats that are crucial to managing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, olive oil’s good fats help slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Consequently, this controls the sugar levels in the blood.

Studies have shown that olive oil has positive effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. The preventive properties of olive oil were recently proven by a randomized clinical experiment involving 418 healthy individuals. 

Furthermore, the finding of yet another study shows that a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil significantly lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Olive oil offers numerous health benefits, including protection against inflammation, reducing LDL oxidation and improving endothelial function. It also manages blood clotting, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. The rich antioxidant content of olive oil, such as oleocanthal and oleuropein, contributes to its anti-cancer properties by neutralizing free radicals and suppressing cancer cell growth. Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate pain and inflammation, making it beneficial for chronic pain conditions. Furthermore, olive oil supports bone health by improving mineralization and protecting against inflammation. It also reduces the risk of CVD and stroke through its effects on cholesterol, oxidative stress, and blood clotting. Additionally, olive oil helps balance blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Incorporating olive oil into a balanced diet can provide a range of health benefits and support overall well-being.

Ways to Consume Olive Oil

Olive oil is known for its distinctive flavour. It adds zing to everything from pesto sauce to meats to roasted veggies (you can even use milder varieties for baking). Apart from being used in cooking and for dressings, olive oil is famous for other usages. For example, olive oils are part of medicines, beauty products, different soaps, etc. In ancient times people also used olive oils for lighting lamps. Currently, it can serve as an excellent replacement for makeup removers and moisturizers. But if you are opting for olive oil as a moisturizer, please check your skin type first. It is ideal for normal to dry skin. Generally, Pure olive oil is excellent for body and hair massages at home and in spas. It is great for babies too. 

Healthy and Tasty Recipes With Olive Oil

Recipe 1- Basil Pesto Bruschetta

This recipe is a winner, as it abounds in health and flavour while having an appealing look. It contains fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and shredded cheese.


  • Fresh basil leaves: 25 g
  • Toasted pine nuts (toast by heating in a non-stick skillet on medium heat, often stirring, until golden brown): 30 g
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: 55 ml
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese: 55 g
  • Pinch salt (optional)
  • Thick slices of French or sourdough bread, preferably made with part whole-wheat flour: 10


  • Put all of the ingredients except the bread in a small food processor. 
  • Pulse briefly to blend well.
  • Spread about 1/2 tablespoon pesto spread on each bread slice with a drizzle of cheese and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. 
  • Bake for 2-3 mins observing, till bread is lightly toasted and cheese melted.

Recipe 2- Olive Oil Salad

This recipe breaks the stereotype that salads and sprouts are boring. This refreshing salad is made with Brussels sprouts, olive oil, cheese and lemon juice.


  • 450g Brussels sprouts
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 115g pecorino cheese


  • Rinse the sprouts, and let them dry for some time.
  • Remove discoloured leaves and cut the sprouts halfway lengthwise.
  • Slice the sprouts into thin layers and transfer them into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the oil over the sprouts, add salt and toss the mixture.
  • Add lemon juice, black pepper and toss it again. Spread the cheese on the top of the salad and serve it immediately. 

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Pure olive oil is mostly used in the culinary and food preservation industries. Extra virgin olive oil, the highest grade oil available, is high in antioxidants, which aid in the prevention of cellular damage produced by molecules known as free radicals. When purchasing olive oil, pick extra virgin olive oil because it has less processing and is more likely to preserve its antioxidant properties. Because extra virgin olive oil has a high smoke point of 376 °F (191 °C), it can be used in most culinary processes. Drizzle olive oil over salads or mix it into salad dressing. sprinkling it on a newly baked loaf of bread using it when preparing bread instead of other ingredients


In conclusion, olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, offers a myriad of health benefits. From its remarkable nutritional profile to its potential role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, olive oil proves to be a versatile and valuable addition to a healthy diet.

Its rich content of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds provides a range of protective effects, supporting heart health, reducing inflammation, and potentially lowering the risk of certain types of cancer. Additionally, olive oil’s positive impact on bone health and potential benefits in managing pain and inflammation further enhance its reputation as a nutritional powerhouse.

When choosing olive oil, opt for extra virgin olive oil for the highest quality and maximum health benefits. Incorporating olive oil into your daily cooking and meal preparation can not only enhance the flavours of your dishes but also contribute to your overall well-being.

However, it’s important to remember that while olive oil offers many health benefits, it should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized dietary advice and recommendations.

So, embrace the golden elixir that is olive oil and unlock its nutritional power to support your health and well-being for years to come.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can you consume olive oil throughout the year?

A. Yes, from a health perspective, consuming 1-2 tsp of olive oil daily (either on its own or for cooking) over the course of the year can provide an array of health benefits

Q. What are the health benefits of olive oil?

A. Olive oil helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and metabolic conditions, reduction in cancer rates, and other common illnesses.

Q. Can olive oil be reused?

A. No, We should not reuse olive oil that has been exposed to high temperatures as it decomposes and transforms into a toxic chemical medium.

Q. Should one cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

A. Absolutely yes!  Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for sauces, sautés, marinades, and vinaigrettes, in addition to being a fine finishing oil or simply as a dipping sauce for bread.

Q. How many calories are there in olive oil?

A. 1 tablespoon (14g) of olive oil contains 119 calories.

Q. What is olive oil good for?

Extra virgin olive oil is a fantastic supplement to a balanced diet because it is full of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. Additionally, a broad range of advantages have been connected to it, including potential protection against inflammation, heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Q. Is olive oil good for your skin?

Yes, olive oil contains a wealth of beneficial vitamins, lipids, and antioxidants that can help skin look younger. In addition, It hydrates skin by retaining moisture, and its antioxidants may lessen the appearance of age signs.

Q. What are the side effects of olive oil?

Blackheads, inflammations, gallbladder stones, minor to major diarrhoea, skin rashes, acne, acute allergic reactions in persons sensitive to it, and gallbladder stones are some of the side effects of olive oil. So, you must have it in moderation or as directed by your dietician.

Q. Does olive oil thin your blood?

Yes, consuming olive oil at least thrice a week was linked to lower platelet activity, which may reduce blood’s propensity to clot and thus obstruct blood flow.

Q. Is a spoonful of olive oil a day good for you?

Yes, Having half a tablespoon of olive oil per day can keep your heart healthy. According to recent studies, increasing the use of olive oil has a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Olive oil has numerous documented health advantages.

Q. Is olive oil good for hair?

Yes, it is good for your hair. It is enriched with vitamin E. Hence, there are several benefits of olive oil to revive dry, thick hair, and it also claims to maintain strong, healthy hair.

Q. Can I use olive oil every day on my face?

Yes, you can use olive oil on your face. When your skin feels dry or as part of your regular skincare routine, you can use olive oil. After cleaning your skin, apply a thin layer of moisturiser. Use olive oil after applying lotion and before applying makeup since it helps to lock in moisture.

Q. Will olive oil help my hair grow?

Yes, Olive oil is a fantastic choice to grow your hair because it helps to reduce excess sebum buildup. This slows down the creation of new hair follicles and hair. Regular use of olive oil can promote longer hair. Olive oil also nourishes the scalp, which encourages hair development.

Q. Is it good to take olive oil every day?

Yes, when used in moderation, olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats can benefit and complement a balanced diet. Olive oil has several potential health benefits and can assist you in ingesting the appropriate amount of healthy fats.

Q. Is it safe to take olive oil?

Yes, it is safe to consume olive oil. It has several potential health benefits and can assist you in ingesting the appropriate amount of healthy fats.

Reference Links

  1. Replacing unhealthy fats with olive oil could lower heart disease risk:,Chan%20School%20of%20Public%20Health.
  1. Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fatty acid of olive oil, suppresses Her-2/neu (erbB-2) expression and synergistically enhances the growth inhibitory effects of trastuzumab (Herceptin™) in breast cancer cells with Her-2/neu oncogene amplification:
  1. Inflammation and Cancer:,to%20the%20development%20of%20cancer.
  1. Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Olive Oil Polyphenols—The Role of Oleacein and Its Metabolites:,%2Dinflammatory%20activity%20%5B7%5D.
  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes:
  1. Molecular Interactions between Dietary Lipids and Bone Tissue during Aging:
  1. Are Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Mediators of Bone Loss Due to Estrogen Deficiency? A Review of Current Evidence:
  1. Monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol metabolism: implications for dietary recommendations:,has%20been%20noted%20for%20polyunsaturates.
  1. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Atherosclerosis:

About the Author

As the holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from the University of Mumbai, Alpa Momaya has always understood the value of good nutrition in an individual's life. She is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner (Canada) with over 15 years of experience in the field. Specializing in Clinical Nutrition, Pre & Post Natal Diets, and Weight Management, Alpa found her calling as a Sr. Nutritionist with HealthifyMe. Alpa's love for cooking and good nutrition has seen her contribute several recipes to the HealthifyMe database over the years. Additionally, she takes a keen interest in reading and painting.

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43 responses to “Olive Oil – Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, Types and Ways to use”

    • In one of several methods, olive oil can help you fall asleep and sleep better. First, using good olive oil as a sleep treatment might help you relax by reducing everyday inflammation.

    • Though olive oil has various health benefits, coconut oil moisturises skin better than olive oil. For your face or skin care, seek cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.

    • For a long time, people have used olive oil to treat greying hair and hair loss. One of the traditional ways to control hair-related disorders and make your tresses strong is to massage your scalp with olive oil.

    • Olive oil can also significantly raise testosterone levels, lowering the risk of erectile dysfunction.

    • Yes, one teaspoon to one tablespoon a day is a good amount of olive oil to consume. Direct ingestion of olive oil may assist you in obtaining the appropriate dose of healthy fat. -Helpful for constipation: Another advantage of consuming olive oil straight is that it is good for your digestive system.

    • The fragrance of olive oil and coffee combined is not just divine, but it can be termed as a morning elixir. The antioxidants in coffee, the anti-inflammatory effects in olive oil, and a hint of cinnamon helps increase insulin sensitivity.

    • Olive oil may be a safe and healthful method to alleviate constipation and get stools moving again. Olive oil’s lipids can help smooth the insides of the colon, making feces pass easily.

  1. Are the white suspensions found in olive oil harmful to one’s health? Are they an indication of bad olive oil? How are they created?

    • The white suspensions or waxes that form within olive oil are a natural result of its composition. They are formed during storage at low temperatures, which is normal for a product that has not been processed in any manner and retains all of its features as they arrive from the olive mill.

    • It’s widely accepted that 15-30 mLs (two tablespoons) of olive oil each day is adequate to reap a slew of health benefits.

    • If you have acne, using an olive oil soap may help reduce your acne by destroying the bacteria that causes acne. Olive oil is also known for its ability to nourish and moisturise your skin.

    • You can take advantage of the moisturising benefits of olive oil. A mixture of sugar and olive oil can naturally cure severely cracked or dry lips. Simply, exfoliate your lips by rubbing it on them.

    • Applying olive oil to the skin on a regular basis may cause irritation. This could occur if olive oil clogs skin pores or degrades other natural skin oils.

    • Olive oil is a healthy lipid with anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking it on a regular basis may improve your heart, bone, and digestive health, as well as assist balance your blood sugar levels.

    • Olive oil is produced by the olive tree. The fleshy part of the ripening fruit of the olive tree, Olea europaea, is used to extract this oil.

    • Olive oil has a lower smoke point—the temperature at which an oil literally begins to smoke—than certain other oils (olive oils are between 365° and 420°F). When olive oil is heated to its smoke point, the beneficial chemicals begin to break down and possibly harmful ones arise.

    • Oil does not get better with age as wine does. Olive oil generally degrades with age, becoming more acidic and loses its flavour. You’ll receive the best quality olive oil if you use it within a year of the bottle being opened, even though extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of 18 to 24 months from the day it is bottled. Assure good storage of your olive oil by keeping it away from heat, air, and light.

    • After heavy drinking, a tablespoon of olive oil may help you feel a little sober and also soothes your stomach. Olive oil slows the rate of alcohol absorption into the body. Of course, moderate alcohol drinking combined with food consumption is the greatest strategy for preventing intoxication and unpleasant results.

    • Olive oil makes hair shiny and healthy. Even today, it is frequently applied as a mask to dry or coloured hair. Additionally, it was once used in conventional medicine to treat alopecia and hair loss. The squalene and oleic acid in olive oil moisturises hair cuticles and keeps it healthy.

    • The first evaluation of an olive oil may involve examining qualities including colour, flavour, and scent. The colour must range from dark golden-green to pale green. Very light-colored olive oils are either oxidised or aged. The flavour, scent, and colour of olive oil are all strongly influenced by how it is stored.

    • Seed oils should be avoided as much as possible, as they have a higher Omega 6- Omega 3 ratio. Higher levels of omega-6 lead to depression, cancer, and diabetes risk to name a few. However, olive oil can be consumed in limited quantities as a cold oil for salads and quick sautees and bakes. It has a rich flavour and naturally occurring antioxidants.

  2. Thanks for sharing the valuable info and adding keys benefits of olive oil in our regular diet plan. Very nicely Explained. Keep the good work going!!!

  3. Very interesting article! I really enjoyed reading your article. You are providing the best info about olive oil . Thanks for sharing with us, it’s a very useful to us. You have done a excellent Job. Your writing is very simple and easy to understand. Keep Going..

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