“Extra Virgin” status is given only to oil that comes from the first pressing of the olive. The oil is extracted without using heat (cold press method) or chemicals, and has no “off” flavors. The less the oil is handled, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria it can be designated “extra virgin.”

Olive oil is one of the healthiest substitutes for any fat used in cooking recipes. Try substituting butter or shortening for olive oil. Olive oil contains more monounsaturated fatty acids than any other fat or oil and is the most easily absorbed edible fat. It also contains no cholesterol and is actually good for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Olive oil should not be refrigerated but should be stored in a cool dark space for up to a year. Heat and light can really shorten its shelf life. Olive oil does not get better with age. Use it or lose it. Extra Virgin olive oil, because of its low acidity, has the lowest chance of going rancid. There is nothing wrong with using olive oil for frying because it is the slowest oil to decompose.

Conversion Chart

Doctors recommend Extra Virgin olive oil over butter or margarine.

Butter/Margarine EVOO
1 tsp.
1 tbs.
1/4 cup
1/3 cup
1/2 cup
2/3 cup
1/4 cup
1 cup
3/4 tsp.
2 1/4 tsp.
3 tbs.
1/4 cup
1/4 cup + 2 tbs.
1/2 cup
1/2 cup + 1 tbs.
3/4 cup

Olive Oil Health Facts

Health Benefits of Olive Oil 

Studies indicate that a Mediterranean diet low in saturated fats such as butter, lard and other animal fats, but rich in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, in addition to grains, fruits and vegetable, helps keep the artery-clogging LDL (bad cholesterol) low while maintaining healthful levels of HDL (good cholesterol). The HDL has a preventative effect on cardiovascular illness because it may help to eliminate LDL from the blood by carrying it to the liver. In addition, many medical researchers and nutritionists agree that olive oil Is a good source of vitamin E. which may protect against cancer.

Holy Land Olive Oil: Frequently Asked Questions about Olive Oil 

The best way to become familiar with the wide range of olive oil flavors is to taste as many of them as possible!

Balsamic Vinegar Health Facts

1. Antioxidant
When oxidation takes place in your body, energy is produced. This energy hampers the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to destroy cell membranes. They also manifest as premature aging, which hardens your arterial walls. The antioxidants found in balsamic vinegar destroy the free radicals and as a result, protecting your cells from destruction. The balsamic vinegar has also been seen to slow the process of aging.

2. Fighting Cancer
The grapes that are used in the formation of balsamic vinegar contain quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid with antioxidant properties. Along with having Vitamin C, the antioxidant also strengthens your immune system thereby making it easy for you to fight infections inflammations and even cancer.

3. Reducing Heart Attack Risk
Since balsamic vinegar contains low cholesterol and saturated fat, it is not harmful to your health more so to the heart. Substituting dressings that have high cholesterol levels with balsamic vinegar will improve your heart health because unwanted fats won’t deposited in your blood vessels. What’s more, balsamic vinegar contains low sodium and this means reduced blood pressure and enhanced heart health.

4. Pain Reliever
Balsamic vinegar was used in ancient times to relieve people of pain. People suffering from headaches and migraines can also find relief from their agony by taking some balsamic vinegar. This vinegar can also be used to treat infections and wounds as it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

5. Digestion Promotion
Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which stimulate the pepsin enzyme activity in your body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins into amino acids. Moreover, they assist your intestines to expeditiously absorb amino acids. Efficient absorption of amino acids makes it easy for your body to utilize repair and build cells. It also helps in the maintenance of the body’s work.

6. Weight Loss
Balsamic vinegar can also be used as dressing for salads hence a wonderful substitute for fatty acids like mayonnaise. Since this vinegar also contains calories that only come from the grapes’ sugar content, it makes for a good weight control substitute. Balsamic vinegar is also known to keep you feeling full and for longer. Therefore, you will eat less food hence controlling your weight.

7. Diabetes Control
Research conducted revealed that consuming about three to four balsamic vinegar tablespoons will enhance your insulin sensitivity. The higher your insulin sensitivity is, the better your chances of controlling diabetes.

8. Bone Health
Acetic and pepsin help improve the absorption of important minerals into your body like magnesium and calcium. These two minerals are important in the formation of strong and healthy bones. Balsamic vinegar is a great source of both minerals.

New Health Guide: Balsamic Health Benefits