Extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious.

It contains modest amounts of Vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids.

This is the nutrient content of 100 grams of olive oil (1):

  • Saturated Fat: 13.8%.
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 73% (most of it the 18 carbon long oleic acid).
  • Omega-6: 9.7%.
  • Omega-3: 0.76%.
  • Vitamin E: 72% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin K: 75% of the RDA.

But where extra virgin olive oil really shines is in its content of antioxidants.

These substances are biologically active and some of them can help fight serious diseases (2, 3).

Some of the main antioxidants are the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation (4, 5).

Some people have criticized olive oil for having a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio (over 10:1), but keep in mind that the total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

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