A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has become synonymous with healthy cooking, in part because of its benefits to heart health. Not surprisingly, its consumption has more than doubled in North America over the past 20 years.

This growing demand has led to an explosion of the offer. Did you know there are no less than 2,000 varieties of olive oil in the world? Your local supermarket or specialty store may carry only a fraction of that, but this array of choices is enough to puzzle just about any shopper.

What to do?

Sort out the good from the bad

“Picking a decent bottle—even just one that wasn’t rancid or poorly processed—is actually pretty tricky, according to Bon Appetit‘s Claire Saffitz. The good news is that getting quality product really just comes down to being able to read a label and decipher some lingo.

To help consumers make appropriate choices, Bon Appetit has simplified the olive oil selection process to four basic elements. Check out their How to Buy Olive Oil: A Beginner’s Guide to find out why:

  • extra-virgin is a must;
  • you should stay away from light or low-fat oils;
  • a wise shopper reads the back label;
  • the color of the bottle is very important.

SOURCE:  Bon Appetit