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Is Extra Light Olive Oil Really Light and Is It Good For Weight Loss?

Posted Sep 25 2008 12:00am

I thought I would address something that has been confusing for many people with regard to olive oil and cooking oils in general. Are these oils good for us? Extra-virgin olive oil has high levels of monounsaturated fat which promotes “healthy” cholesterol and also includes powerful antioxidants.  Extra-Virgin oil can also prevent cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. However, essentially all oils have about the same amount of calories about 120 calories/tablespoon. So an extra light oil does not mean low calorie at all.

Extra-Virgin: Virgin olive oils are processed by crushing olives and extracting the oils, this is the first-press, without the use of heat, it’s called cold pressing.  Extra-virgin oils are of higher quality.  Oils can be filtered or unfiltered; basically meaning the unfiltered will have olive flesh particles.

Pure olive oil: AKA olive oil are heavily processed to remove aromas.  Though the oil is a source of monounsaturated fat, it has already been stripped of the healthy polyphenols. 

Light and Extra Light Oils: They are marketing terms used to describe highly refined oils that have mild flavor.  This does not mean the oil has less calories than any other oil.

So if you are watching your weight, it is probably better to cook with a low calorie cooking spray. They have many flavors now such as Corn Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Butter Flavor and Baking. All have zero calories.

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