Choosing a good olive oil is complicated and confusing. And it’s not your fault. Wherever you are in the world, the market is full of poor-quality olive oil, contradictory and confusing information, and the price is not always an accurate indicator of quality.
With Dr. Steven Gundry’s help, renowned cardiologist and olive oil’s biggest fan, we compiled this helpful guide with tips on how to pick the best olive oil for your health.
If you are a fan of The Plant Paradox and are familiar with Dr. Steven Gundry’s older and more recent work, you know he is an olive oil fanatic and even the creator of three exquisite olive oil products. So I thought, what better person to help me compile this guide than Dr. Gundry himself?
The health benefits of olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a daily staple in the Mediterranean diet, and probably why this diet is considered so healthy, despite the refined carbs like pasta and pizza. Top chefs around the world prize olive oil and most nutritionists agree the extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat we can consume.
That’s because extra virgin olive oil contains a significant number of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and it’s the least processed oil available. Research has linked the consumption of good quality extra virgin olive oil to the following health benefits:
- Support for a healthy heart and circulatory system (and may help prevent heart disease)
- Support for a healthy immune system (SOURCE)
- Weight loss support (SOURCE)
- Helping your body combat harmful free radicals (SOURCE)
Dr. Gundry, a renowned cardiologist and cardio-thoracic surgeon thinks that some of the benefits of olive oil are due to oleuropein, one of 30 phenolic compounds in the olive fruit, that gives olives their bitter taste before they ripen. Research has shown that oleuropein may be able to support heart health, among other benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil, if of good quality, it’s a healthy fat with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, hence the health claim that consuming extra virgin olive oil may prevent heart disease (Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Need for Blood Pressure Medication).
How to pick the best olive oil for your health?
In the process of writing this article, I realized I made a few mistakes in the past and bought poor-quality olive oils in grocery stores. Well, we live and learn. The good news is, I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again now that I have this guide.
Read on to find out how to pick the best and healthiest olive oil.
Save more than 25% and up to 45% on Gundry MD Olive oil products and some of the best olive oil for your health.
Go to the product links at the end of this article. Start saving on Gundry MD products and healthy olive oil today!
How much olive oil do you recommend people consume for good health and to reap its health benefits?
Before we get into the guide, I wanted to clarify how much good quality olive oil we should aim to consume to reap its health benefits.
“A liter of olive oil a week“, says Dr. Gundry without hesitation. He gives as an example the populations in the blue zones like Sardinians, Cretes, and Acerois, which have been using olive oil as their primary cooking and finishing fat for thousands of years.
“Take shots if you have to! I always say that the purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth.”
What are the first things we should check on a bottle?
After making sure it’s first cold pressed and organic – the main thing to look for is the PRESS, HARVEST, or PRODUCTION date. Since olives need to be pressed the same day they are harvested, these dates are pretty much the same thing.
However, even if this is important, many manufacturers skip the information about the production date. You don’t want to eat rancid olive oil or anything that’s gone rancid, for that matter. According to Dr. Gundry, when olive oil goes rancid, it develops free radicals that attack your system.
Does olive oil expire?
Yes, it does. Usually, within two or even three years from the production date, if kept in proper conditions (dark, cool), but some experts say that for the best quality, it should be consumed within six months from the PRODUCTION date. That’s why it is good to find an olive oil batch from the latest harvest.
This is a case of “do the best you can, with what you have”. Maybe the best of the best is not always available to us, but we should be aware of what to look for in olive oil to ensure we get the best quality.
After your olive oil bottle is open, you should try to finish it off within six months or less (two or three months will ensure optimal freshness).
What does it mean for olive oil to be polyphenol-rich?
Polyphenols are the main reason we consume olive oil and what gives olive oil its extraordinary health benefits.
The more it makes you cough and burns the back of your throat – the more polyphenols. So, look for olive oil grown in high altitudes (the more stress olive trees undergo, the more polyphenols). Most labels won’t tell you that. But look for flavor profiles on labels that say ‘bitter‘, and ‘peppery‘ and avoid ‘light’ olive oils.
Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil, says Dr. Gundry, is high in polyphenols because the farmer has done everything he can to stress roots: planted in rocks, in the desert, underwatered.
Does it matter where it comes from?
Yes, indeed, but not in the way we would think. There are good quality olive oils everywhere olives are grown: Italy, Greece, Morocco, California, Chile, Australia, Spain, France, Portugal, etc.
But we must be careful with how we read labels as they can trick us. For example, ‘BOTTLED in Italy, or California’ doesn’t mean the olive oil is produced in Italy or California. Looking more carefully at the label, you will probably see multiple countries listed as ‘ORIGIN’.
Do not buy olive oil that has more countries of origin.
To give you an example. California Olive Ranch, a brand easy to find in US stores, makes these two types of olive oil.
One is a ‘Global Blend,’ which, if you look at the label, comes from four different countries: Argentina, Chile, Portugal, and California.
And another one called ‘California Olive Ranch 100% California‘ comes from olives 100% grown on their own farms in California. Well, can you guess which one is the better quality?
When Dr. Gundry endorses The California Olive Ranch olive oil, he refers to the one grown 100% in California.
Full disclosure: I was one of the people buying the blend, mainly because I wasn’t aware the other type existed.
Is it safe to cook with olive oil?
Somehow, especially in the US, there is a misconception that it is unsafe to cook with olive oil, so I wanted to clarify that. Additional to what Dr. Gundry told me below, I would say only to use low to medium heat. High-heat cooking is not healthy anyway, whatever oil you use.
So, how to pick the best olive oil?
You want to look for single-origin, extra virgin, first cold pressed olives and organic olive oil. If all these criteria are met, the olive oil probably comes in a dark glass bottle or tin. Once you open a bottle, don’t forget to store your olive oil in a dark, cool place. Better in your pantry than next to your stove or on the counter.
Look for these indicators for the best quality olive oil:
- Comes in a dark glass bottle or tin.
- It’s first-cold press, extra virgin olive oil.
- Organic is always the best option, but do the best you can.
- It reveals the HARVEST / PRODUCTION / PRESS date (not only the BEST BY date).
- The above date should be as close as possible to the date you are buying to ensure freshness. Preferably, you want olive oil from the latest harvest.
- It’s single-origin olive oil, fully traceable. You can buy good olive oil from any country with tradition, as long as it meets these criteria.
- If you can taste it, the more bitter, or if it burns your throat, the more polyphenols.
Buy Gundry MD Olive Oil
I love the three olive oil products Dr. Gundry created, and they are some of the most intense and flavorful olive oil products I’ve ever tasted. The Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich olive oil is excellent for drinking for health benefits.
On my Ambassador Store, you can SAVE more than 25% on ALL Gundry MD olive oil products. You will find olive oils under food products, or you can use the below direct product links.
Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil
Supercharged with 30x more hydroxytyrosol polyphenols than conventional olive oil, the Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil takes the benefits of this traditional food to the next level.
With its rich, musky intense olive flavor, this sumptuous olive oil is not only a supplement to your health but also the ultimate topper and finishing oil for avocado toast, eggs, salads, and vegetables. You can add it to a smoothie, make pesto, use it as a salad dressing, or just take a shot of it. This is the best olive oil to drink daily.
Buy Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil here and save up to $104.00.
Gundry MD Chef’s Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chef’s Select Organic Olive Oil is a brand new way to enjoy the benefits of high-quality olive oil packaged in a high-grade oil that’s perfect for cooking.
Gundry MD Chef’s Select Organic Olive Oil is grown in an incredibly unique environment in Morocco, known as “LES TERROIRS DE MARRAKECH.” The result is a robust, delicious olive oil you can use to cook healthy, elevated meals for your family.
If you are looking for cooking oils, this is the olive oil you want for your daily healthy cooking.
Save more than 25% when buying Gundry MD Chef’s Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil here on my Ambassador Store. Stock up, and you can save up to 45% when buying 6 bottles.
Gundry MD Polyphenol Pearls
And now, for the caviar of the olive oil, the Gundry MD Polyphenol Pearls, what can I say? It is indeed something exquisite, a potent and clean product made with certified organic olive tree extract and olive oil, first-cold press.
Add as a finishing touch on roasted or sauteed vegetables, it has great umami, strong olive flavor. I absolutely love it with sauteed escarole (picture below) and with steamed artichokes (picture above).
Buy Gundry MD Polyphenol Pearls here. And by the way – they also make a great gift idea.
Dr. Gundry’s Olive Oil Walnut Spice Cake
Speaking of Gundry MD olive oil, check out one of Dr. G’s most famous recipes: Dr. Gundry’s Olive Oil Walnut Spice Cake. You will find the original recipe, which is made in an Instant Pot, and my version, baked in the oven and with added strawberries.
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