Olive Oil Vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Published Categorized as Ingredients Tagged

Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil seem like the exact same ingredient. But surely there must be a difference. Many people rave about the health benefits that olive oil has, but is there really a big difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil? Knowing key olive oil vs extra virgin olive oil points will help you make a decision on which oil you think is best for you. 

Hey there! This site is reader-supported and I earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from this site.

In this article we will explore the differences between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil. Let’s also discuss their uses!

green olive plant

What Is The Difference Between Olive Oil Vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is the most popular olive oil compared to normal olive oil. This is because extra virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives.

Regular olive is normally made from a blend of  cold-pressed and processed oils. Therefore, the main difference between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil is how processed the oil is.

Is Olive Oil Better Than Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The quick answer is yes, extra virgin olive oil does have more nutritional value than regular olive oil.

Many people consider extra virgin olive oil to be the best when compared to regular olive oil. This is because extra virgin olive is completely natural and not overly processed. If an oil is overly processed it can lose some of its nutritional value. 

Extra virgin olive oil must be pure to be classed as extra virgin. Since extra virgin olive oil is in its purest state, it contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for body health.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vs Olive Oil Which Is Healthier

Extra virgin olive oil is known to be one of the healthiest oil options. It is the least processed when compared to regular olive oil, or many other oils. As extra virgin olive oil is less processed it contains more natural antioxidants and vitamins when compared to regular olive oil. Regular olive oil can decrease in antioxidants and vitamins in the processing stage.

Here is a list of the vitamins and minerals that extra virgin olive oil contains:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Amino acids

In comparison, here is a list of the vitamins and minerals that regular olive oil contains:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

Is Light Olive Oil As Healthy As Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

You may be thinking, how does extra light olive oil vs extra virgin olive oil compare?

Light virgin olive oil is still a processed oil just like regular olive oil. Whereas extra virgin olive oil is not a processed oil.

The health difference between these oils is that regular olive oil and light olive oil are possessed, which can remove some of their nutritional value. Light olive oil is processed to have a lighter color. This means that light olive oil can last for longer periods of time and can be heated up to high temperatures, just like regular olive oil.

Light olive oil does contain more chemicals and therefore is less healthy when compared to extra virgin olive oil.

Olive Oil Vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Cooking

As regular olive oil has a higher smoke point it is better suited to be used to cook at higher temperatures. Extra virgin olive oil is better used when cold. If you are cooking regular olive oil will be your best bet.

Regular olive oil is a great ingredient to use when cooking a stir fry, sautéing, grilling, baking, frying and even marinading. Extra virgin olive oil is best used as a salad dressing, finishing oil or in lighter marinades.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vs Olive Oil Smoke Point

Compared to regular olive oil, extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point, which makes regular olive oil better for cooking at higher temperatures.

Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point between 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. Regular olive oil has a smoke point between 390 degrees Fahrenheit to 468 degrees Fahrenheit.

Italian Ingredients

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Yes, you can use olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil. But can they be substituted for each other?

The answer is also yes!

Although, it is easier for regular olive oil to be substituted for extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings than it is for extra virgin olive oil to be substituted for cooking. This is due to the two oils having different smoke points.

Overall, there will not be much difference in taste when you use one of these oils for the other. Whether you substitute these oils is a personal preference, with the only big difference being the nutritional value.

When To Use Olive Oil Vs Extra Virgin

Seeing as there really is not much difference in the taste of extra virgin olive oil and olive oil, you may be wondering, when to use extra virgin olive oil over olive oil?

Regular olive oil is a better choice when cooking over heat as it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil. Regular olive oil also contains a more neutral flavor as it is more processed. Therefore is better in dishes that you do not want to overpower the flavor. 

As extra-virgin olive oil has more flavor because it is less processed it is more suited for using as a dressing on the side of your dish. You can also use extra virgin olive oil as a dip for bread, other sides and even to garnish cooked meat.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is The Healthiest

Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest form of olive oil as it is less processed. The fact that extra virgin olive oil is less processed and more pure means that it has a higher nutritional value. Extra virgin olive oil contains more vitamins and minerals that are fantastic for keeping a healthy body.

Although, if you are wanting to choose an olive oil to cook with, regular olive oil is your best bet. Regular olive oil is better for cooking at higher temperatures as it has a higher smoke point.

Learn more about olive oil:

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.