How to choose the best olive oil

The best oil is one that has an acidity of up to 0.8%, called extra virgin olive oil. This happens because the lower the acidity, the more good fats, the better the nutritional quality and the more benefits olive oil provides to health, making the evaluation of the label essential to choose the best oil for consumption.

Olive oil is widely used to season salads and finish dishes, as it is rich in fats that are good for the heart and help to reduce high cholesterol.

In addition to the health benefits and their culinary applications, to know how to identify a good olive oil in the supermarket, you need to know the main types of olive oil to better understand the recommendations for the use of these oils and their characteristics.

5 tips for choosing the healthiest olive oil

To identify a good olive oil, some observations must be made at the time of purchase. Check out the tips:

  1. Give preference to extra-virgin olive oil: it contains more nutrients and less acidity. When it is not possible, choose the virgin.
  2. Choose olive oil with acidity up to 0.8%: the lower the acidity, the purer and better the quality of the oil.
  3. Choose pure olive oil, without mixtures with other oils or oils: this information can be found in the ingredients on the label. Make sure that the oil is not mixed with other oils.
  4. Take the oils from the bottom of the shelf, stored away from light: exposure of the oil to light and sun can oxidize monounsaturated fats and cause the oil to lose its nutritional qualities.
  5. Choose olive oils with dark and glass packaging: this prevents light from coming into contact with the oil and makes it lose nutritional properties.

Another important piece of information is to monitor the inspection carried out by agencies, such as Inmetro or Proteste, which assesses the quality of different products and oils available on the market. This avoids the purchase of adulterated or fraudulent products, which harms the consumer.

Lampante oil is a type of oil not recommended for consumption, as its acidity is greater than 2.0% and is considered very high. Its use is common as a fuel in lighting equipment, but sometimes it can be used, without the proper treatment, to be mixed with other types of oil.

Classification of olive oil types

Olive oil is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree, the olives. The types of olive oil differ by the mechanisms of extraction, refining and temperatures used to remove the oil from the olives.

All of these factors interfere with the amount of good fats present in olive oil and the more good fats, the better the quality and the lower the acidity. In this way, olive oils are classified as:

Type of olive oilAcidity (%)Main differencesQuality
Extra virginUp to 0.8

Preserves all the nutrients in olive oil. It is the result of the first pressing of the olives, at a controlled temperature, without going through any type of refining.


VirginLess than or equal to 2.0It is obtained exclusively by physical and mechanical processes, at a controlled temperature, without going through any type of refining.


SingleLess than or equal to 1.0It is a mixture of refined olive oil with virgin or extra-virgin olive oil, with lower quality.

Thus, whenever possible, one should prefer to consume extra virgin olive oil in salads and to finish preparations, as it has more nutrients and good fats than other types of olive oil.

Benefits of extra virgin olive oil

Daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil reduces bad cholesterol, protects the heart and cells, reduces inflammation in the body, lowers blood pressure, prevents premature aging and diseases such as heart attack, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

The benefits of olive oil are associated with the presence of monounsaturated fats, known as good fats, antioxidants, vitamin E and anti-inflammatory substances and satiety stimulants, which helps to lose weight.

Learn more about the benefits of olive oil and how to use it to lose weight and improve skin and hair.

Recommended quantity of olive oil

The recommendation for olive oil per day is 1 dessert spoon.

Olive oil should preferably be used as a seasoning for salads, when finishing dishes or as a substitute for butter and margarine to pass on bread, thus avoiding its excessive heating which can alter its healthy properties, reducing the content of antioxidants and the quality of monounsaturated fats.

Therefore, for cooking, prefer healthy oils with a greater amount of saturated fat, such as coconut oil, for example.

Watch the following video and see what is the best oil to cook healthier: