Interesting Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
Interesting Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

35 Interesting Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published June 22, 2019Updated August 2, 2019
  • Oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil ruptures and kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells.[1]
  • Olive oil is 100% fat.[1]
  • Diets rich in olive oil and other monounsaturated fats slow down the aging of the heart and improve arterial function in the elderly.[1]
  • A diet rich in olive oil reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.[1]
  • Olive oil has been found to positively affect the thickness of bones.[1]
  • Olive Oil Health Benefits
    Olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever
  • A phytonutrient in olive oil called oleocanthal actually mimics the effect of ibuprofen.[1]
  • Olive oil has not been associated with weight gain, and moderate intake may even aid weight loss.[1]
  • Athens is named after the Goddess Athena, who brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift. Her gift of the olive was useful for light, heat, food, medicine, and perfume. Because of its usefulness, it was considered a more peaceful invention than Poseidon's horse.[2]
  • Frying in extra virgin olive oil, instead of boiling, may help foods keep more of their nutrients. The phenols from the olive oil transfer to the food, which makes the food more healthy.[5]
  • The difference between green and black olives is ripeness. Green olives are picked before ripening, and black olives are picked when ripe. There are no nutritional differences between green and black olives.[6]
  • The difference between extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and regular "pure" olive oil is that EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. Regular olive oil is a blend of both cold-pressed and processed oils. While they can be used interchangeably, EVOO is more flavorful, while pure olive oil can be heated to higher temperatures.[8]
  • Athletes in ancient Greece smeared olive oil on their bodies before a competition. The oil made their skin more supple and made them appear, as classical writers described, "like gleaming statues of the gods."[4]
  • Olive oil History
    Athletes believed the oil would help warm up and limber their muscles and protect their skin from the sun

  • In the classical world, olive oil was so prevalent in sports and bathing that small containers for the scented oil, called aryballoi, have been found in hundreds of archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.[4]
  • Renaissance apothecaries used olive oil in a wide range of salves, unguents, folk remedies, and nostrums.[4]
  • During the Middle Ages, Christians who traveled to Jerusalem used ampullae, also called "pilgrim flasks," to collect olive oil at shrines around the Mediterranean. The oil was believed to cure illness and protect against demons.[4]
  • Some 19th century explorers in North Africa believed that the remains of Roman olive oil presses were a part of some lost pagan or cult ritual.[4]
  • An estimated 700 different types of olives grow worldwide, each with a distinctive oil.[4]
  • Olive oil plays a central role in Christian rites and symbolism because it is considered a vehicle of conversion, health, and cleansing.[4]
  • According to the Odysseus legend, after Odysseus emerged, haggard and worn, from a shipwreck, he smeared olive oil on himself. He suddenly appeared as handsome as a god.[4]
  • For much of the classical world, olive oil was not only an essential part of the diet, it was also a link between people and the gods.[4]
  • Olive trees are one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world and have grown in the Mediterranean since the eighth millennium BC.[2]
  • Olive Oil Medical Benefits
    Olive oil has been used for food, religious rituals, fuel, medicines, skin care, and soapmaking

  • According to legend, medieval sorcerers and Renaissance witches used olive oil in their spells and unguents.[4]
  • During the Middle Ages, it was believed that the unguentaria (a ceramic or glass bottle) spread the plague with tainted olive oil.[4]
  • According to an ancient Christian legend, the first olive tree sprouted from Adam's grave and was rooted in his skull.[4]
  • Olive oil is the only commercially significant vegetable oil to be extracted from a fruit rather than from seeds, as in sunflower, canola, and soy oil.[4]
  • The ancient poet Homer nicknamed olive oil "liquid gold."[4]
  • The fats in olive oil "grow" when heated, so less olive oil is needed when cooking or frying than other types of oils.[4]
  • It takes about 11 pounds (5 kg) of pressed olives to make one quart (32 ounces) of extra virgin oil.[7]
  • Olive oil is naturally carbohydrate, sodium, and cholesterol free.[7]
  • Olive Oil Benefits
    Olive oil has extensive health benefits
  • Olive oil is heart healthy. It lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. It also prevents the formation of fatty patches.[1]
  • There are about 800 million olive trees worldwide, growing in places from Australia to California. However, an estimated 98% of the world's olive oil comes from 20 countries that make up the International Olive Oil Council.[7]
  • Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Italy.[7]
  • While Greece is the third largest producer of olive oil, it uses more olive oil per capita than any other country.[7]
  • The world consumes an estimated 2.25 million tons of olive oil annually.[7]
  • Only 4% of olive oil from Italy is pure Italian oil.[3]

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