Health benefits of Extra virgin olive oil

At first, lets understand the distinctive features of monounsaturated fats and saturated fats:  

  1. Saturated Fats:

    • Chemical Structure: Saturated fats are called “saturated” due to their specific chemical arrangement. They consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules.
    • Hydrogen Atoms: Saturated fats are “saturated” with hydrogen atoms, meaning they have the maximum possible number of hydrogen atoms and no double bonds in their structure.
    • Physical State: These fats become solid at room temperature (think of butter).
    • Sources:
      • Animal meats (beef, poultry, pork)
      • Certain plant oils (palm kernel, coconut oil)
      • Dairy products (cheese, butter, milk, ice cream)
      • Processed meats (bologna, sausages, bacon)
      • Pre-packaged snacks and desserts (crackers, chips, cookies) .
  2. Monounsaturated Fats:

    • Chemical Structure: Monounsaturated fats contain one double bond in their structure.
    • Physical State: They are typically liquid at room temperature.
    • Examples:
      • Canola oil
      • Olive oil
    • Health Benefits:
      • Monounsaturated fats can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
      • They are associated with reduced risk of heart disease .

Monounsaturated fats are considered healthier than saturated fats due to several reasons:

  1. Heart Health:

    • Saturated fats tend to raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
    • Monounsaturated fats, on the other hand, help maintain a healthy balance between LDL and good cholesterol (HDL). This reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  2. Inflammation Reduction:

    • Saturated fats can trigger inflammation in the body, contributing to chronic diseases.
    • Monounsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory properties, promoting overall health and reducing inflammation.
  3. Impact on Blood Sugar:

    • Saturated fats may impair insulin sensitivity, potentially leading to type 2 diabetes.
    • Monounsaturated fats improve insulin response and help regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. Aging and Cellular Health:

    • Monounsaturated fats play a role in aging gracefully by protecting cells from oxidative stress.
    • Saturated fats may contribute to cellular damage associated with aging.

Image: Olive tree.

The health benefits of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and its impact on aging:

1. Heart Health Champion

Monounsaturated Fats

  • Oleic Acid: EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid. This heart-healthy fat has several benefits:
    • Reduced Inflammation: Oleic acid helps reduce inflammation in blood vessels, promoting cardiovascular health.
    • Improved Cholesterol Levels: Consuming EVOO has been associated with increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol).
    • Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Regular consumption of EVOO is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease.


  • EVOO contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and vitamin E:
    • Protecting Blood Vessels: These antioxidants prevent oxidative damage to blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events.
    • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: By combating inflammation, EVOO contributes to overall heart health.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Wonder


  • Natural Anti-Inflammatory: Oleocanthal, a compound found in EVOO, acts similarly to ibuprofen but without the side effects.
  • Soothing Inflammation: It helps soothe inflammation in the body, benefiting conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

Oleic Acid

  • Inflammation Reduction: Oleic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties extend beyond the heart. It reduces levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), which play a role in various diseases.

3. Brain Boost and Longevity

Brain Health

  • Cognitive Protection: Regular EVOO consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline:
    • Dementia Prevention: The antioxidants in EVOO protect brain cells from oxidative stress, potentially lowering the risk of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Aging Gracefully

  • Cellular Protection: EVOO’s antioxidants combat oxidative stress throughout the body:
    • Skin Health: By protecting skin cells, EVOO may contribute to youthful skin and delay signs of aging.
    • Vitality: Cellular health influences overall vitality, and EVOO plays a role in maintaining it.

4. Diabetes Defense

Blood Sugar Control

  • Insulin Sensitivity: EVOO improves insulin sensitivity, helping regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Type 2 Diabetes Management: Including EVOO in your diet can be beneficial for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.

5. Culinary Versatility

Cooking with EVOO

  • Unlike many oils, EVOO retains its health benefits even at high temperatures. Use it for sautéing, roasting, or drizzling over salads.

Flavourful Delight

  • EVOO elevates the taste of dishes, turning simple meals into gourmet experiences. 

Personally I prefer to pour 1-2 table spoon of EVOO over meat and pasta. Sometimes a hint of lemon gives it even better taste. I also like bit of raw onion and fresh chilli pieces on top of it. I've collected few interesting ways to use EVOO from the internet 😉:
  1. Bread Dipping Oil:

    • Infuse EVOO with herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or garlic).
    • Dip crusty bread into the flavourful oil for a heavenly taste sensation .
  2. Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese:

    • Create a vibrant salad with roasted bell peppers, fresh basil leaves, and creamy burrata cheese.
    • Drizzle EVOO and a Calabrian chili vinaigrette for a smoky, peppery flavour .
  3. Basic Vinaigrette:

    • Mix EVOO with vinegar (such as balsamic or red wine vinegar), Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
    • Use it as a dressing for salads or as a marinade for meats and vegetables .
  4. Epic Baba Ganoush:

    • Prepare a Mediterranean dip using roasted eggplants, spices, and EVOO.
    • Enjoy it with pita bread or fresh veggies .
  5. Creamy Whipped Feta Dip:

    • Combine feta cheese, yogurt, and EVOO for a smooth, flavourful dip.
    • Add spices and nuts for an irresistible texture .
  6. Gremolata:

    • Infuse EVOO with lemon zest, minced garlic, and fresh parsley.
    • Drizzle it over roasted vegetables, meats, or pasta for a zesty kick 

Extra virgin olive oil isn’t just a condiment; it’s a treasure trove of health benefits. By choosing cold-pressed, extra virgin varieties, you’re not only enhancing your culinary creations but also nurturing your body and mind. So, embrace that golden elixir and let it infuse your life with vitality and well-being! 🌿🍽️


  1. Cassia D Muller, Expert Answer on Olive Oil
  2. Healthline: 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil
  3. Cleveland Clinic: Benefits of Olive Oil
  4. Healthy and Natural World: Health Benefits of Olive Oil
  5. Olive Wellness Institute: 11 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil