The truth about olive oil: Is it really as healthy as people say?

It seems like everyone agrees when it comed to olive oil: it is healthy. Part of that is true and partly due to its high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. However, this does not seem to be the whole truth.

olive oil is it good for you?
© HakanEliacik / GETTY IMAGES
olive oil is it good for you?

Olive oil, which is so highly praised by many, is not always vegan and in some cases not always as healthy as is often claimed. We explain what's behind this.

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It's all in the mix

Olive oil actually has a good reputation (although care should be taken when using it). According to German publication AOK, it can lower cholesterol levels, minimize the risk of arteriosclerosis and is generally good for the cardiovascular system.

However, there is a catch. Unfortunately, not all types of olive oil are any good. As Prof. Dr. Sven-David Müller explains to Fitbook, the composition of olive oil is the main reason for this:

What we generally buy as olive oil in supermarkets in Germany is not the olive oil that is said to have positive effects in studies.
For many years, Ökotest and Stiftung Warentest (German product testing organisations) have been proving that the olive oil we buy in supermarkets at low prices is not olive oil at all, but at most a mixture of different oils, including olive oil.

It's the taste that counts

So if you want to do something good for your health, you should be a little more generous, because: genuine olive oil simply has its price. Expert Dr. Christian Gertz tells Ökotest which characteristics can be used to identify good quality olive oil.

The price definitely plays a role here,

you generally don't get good olive oil for less than 10 euros per liter.

In addition, references to the olive varieties used and the year of harvest on the bottle can indicate good quality. Ultimately, however, one thing above all should reveal what makes good olive oil: its taste.

This article has been translated from Gentside DE

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AOK: Wie gesund ist Olivenöl?

Fitbook: Warum Olivenöl doch nicht so gesund ist, wie viele meinen

Ökotest: Woran erkenne ich gutes Olivenöl?

Is canola oil really bad for your health? Here's what the experts have to say Is canola oil really bad for your health? Here's what the experts have to say