Storing Olive Oil - PIH Health

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Published on January 11, 2016

Oh-So-Good Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive OilMost of us have heard of olive oil’s various health benefits: from anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to cardiovascular and even cancer protection. Recent studies indicate olive oil may also help with cognitive decline, osteoporosis and to balance the bacteria in our guts.

But, many may not know that the nutritional benefits degrade over time. If well stored, olive oil can retain its health benefits for about a year. After that, most of the significant healing substances vanish.

“When selecting olive oil, buy in smaller quantities more frequently,” says Andrea Adams, Registered Dietician at PIH Health Hospital – Downey. “As with most things, even olive oil loses its beneficial effects over time.”

3 Easy Storage Tips:

  1. Store olive oil in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months, away from heat, air and light. 
  2. Refrigerate for up to a year (do not refrigerate premium extra virgin oils, however). Refrigerated olive oil becomes cloudy, but clears up when brought back to room temperature.
  3. Store in airtight, dark glass or stainless steel containers to prevent interactions that lead to rancidity. Avoid plastic containers or those made of iron or copper. Clear glass is okay if storing olive oil in the refrigerator since it’ll be in the dark most of the time.

A Drizzle A Day

The recommended dietary amount of olive oil is 1-2 tablespoons a day. Drizzle it over salads and vegetables, meat and seafood; use it to marinate meats and preserve vegetables. Because olive oil does not get better with time, it’s best when used within 6 months to a year of pressing. Often times, bottles aren’t labeled with a “best if used by” note, but knowing you have a time limit helps. Andrea recommends using higher-quality extra-virgin olive oils for flavoring without heat and lower grade olive oils for heat applications. If you like to buy in large amounts, keep small amounts of olive oil at the ready and store the rest as mentioned above.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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