Olive Oil- what kind is best?

Well, after discovering what a canola was, I decide to place my family on a strict olive oil diet. The Italians live long on this diet, so there has to be something good about it. However, the choices of olive oil in the supermarkets and health food stores are endless. Who knows what is best to buy or best for you? Choosing olive oil is like choosing a good wine. There are different grades, and some are more flavorful and offer more health benefits than others. Virgin, extra-virgin or refined: Virgin and extra-virgin olive oils tend to be higher in polyphenols (a powerful antioxidant) than are the more-processed, refined olive oils.
The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57°F or 14 degrees C, although a normal room temperature of 70ºF works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. A kitchen cabinet located away from the stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well. If you have a wine cellar, store your olive oils there and keep a small amount in your kitchen. Do not put olive oil in a container without a tight cap.
Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavor. When chilled, or in cold weather, the oil may turn cloudy and even solidify. If refrigerated, olive oil will return to its original, liquid state when warmed to room temperature again.
Experts say that the best olive oil you can buy is “High Quality 100% Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil” and “High Quality 100% Cold-Pressed Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. Many studies performed by various independent research institutions have shown conclusively that olive oil lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, inhibits platelet aggregation, and lowers the incidence of breast and colon cancer. Because it contains so many powerful antioxidants, olive oil seems to significantly reduce the oxidation of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and therefore prevents heart disease. These same antioxidants are also responsible to a great extent for the stability, shelf life, and flavor of olive oil. Since it contains all these nutrients, including certain important antioxidants, real extra virgin olive oil is very good for our health because it protects the cells of our body from damage by free radical oxidation.
I use olive oil in my baking, in my stir-fries, to coat my baking dishes, to marinade meats or as a salad dressing. Here I have listed three olive oil based salad dressings that make not only excellent salad dressing, but excellent marinades for chicken and fish. With very few ingredients, these dressings are easy, non-allergenic and good for you. Simply mix the ingredients in a glass bottle and keep for several weeks at room temperature or refrigerated for up to two months.

1. Maple Vinaigrette
¾ cup olive oil
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 T Dijon
6 cloves of garlic
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1/8 t oregano

2. Viniagrette
½ c balsamic vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
¾ c olive oil
Add salt and pepper

3. Ranch Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/8 t minced scallion
Pinch sea salt

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