Myths About Olive Oil: Debunking 20 Common Misconceptions

Myths About Olive Oil: Debunking 20 Common Misconceptions

There’s a lot of information out there about olive oil, and not all of it is accurate. Let’s set the record straight and debunk 20 common myths about olive oil to help you make informed choices and maximize the health benefits.


Myth 1: Olive Oil Isn’t Suitable For Cooking

    • Fact: High quality olive oil is perfectly safe for cooking and has a high smoke point up to around 450°F, especially extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Premium organic EVOO like Zimms COOK is robust, heat-resistant, and ideal for sautéing, roasting, and grilling because it’s also high in polyphenols. The polyphenols protect the EVOO from oxidizing (smoking) at high heat.

Myth 2: All Olive Oils Taste The Same

    • Fact: Like wine, olive oils vary in flavor depending on their origin, varietal, and harvest time. COOK, made from Arbequina olives grown in Central California, has a robust and nutty flavor with a slight pepper finish. HEAL is also made from Arbequina olives, but grown in Northern California. This difference in region brings out a fruity, bright, slightly grassy and very peppery taste.

Myth 3: The Color Indicates Quality

    • Fact: The color of olive oil varies based on the type of olives used and their ripeness at harvest. Green or golden hues don’t indicate quality; instead, look for labels like 'extra virgin,' 'organic,' 'single origin' and harvested in the last 12-18 months.

Myth 4: Olive Oil Gets Better With Age

    • Fact: Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age. Fresh olive oil provides the best flavor and health benefits. It's best to consume it within 18 months of harvest.

Myth 5: Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Expensive

    • Fact: While high-quality EVOO can be more expensive than regular olive oil, the health benefits and superior flavor make it worth the investment. With Zimms Organics, you can subscribe and save 25% on our premium olive oil. For perspective… if you spend $5 on coffee 5 times a week, that’s $100 / month. You can subscribe to a bottle of Zimms monthly for only $33 with the discount.

Myth 6: All Olive Oil Is Authentic

    • Fact: Unfortunately, not all olive oils on the market are pure or authentic. Some brands mix olive oil with cheaper oils like canola or sunflower. Look for transparent sourcing labels like ‘certified organic’ ‘harvest date’  'single origin' and 'single varietal,' and choose trusted brands like Zimms Organics.

Myth 7: Olive Oil Is Fattening

    • Fact: Olive oil is a healthy fat, primarily composed of monounsaturated fats. These fats when consumed in optimal amounts for you body, can promote heart health, support weight management and reduce inflammation in your body

Myth 8: Heating Olive Oil Destroys Its Nutrients

    • Fact: While some nutrients may diminish with high heat, the antioxidants and monounsaturated fats remain intact, providing significant health benefits even after cooking. This is why it’s important to cook with high polyphenol EVOO, because the polyphenols help protect the olive oil from oxidizing (smoking). This is also why we print our polyphenol count directly onto the bottle.

Myth 9: Light Olive Oil Is Healthier

    • Fact: 'Light' olive oil refers to the flavor and color, not the calorie content. It is typically a refined oil with fewer antioxidants and health benefits compared to extra virgin olive oil. The gold standard of olive oil should be: Certified organic, extra virgin olive oil, single origin (one farm), single varietal (one kind of olive), high polyphenols (above 300 mg / kg) and harvested within the last 12-18  months.

Myth 10: Olive Oil Can’t Go Bad

    • Fact: Olive oil can go rancid over time. Store it in a cool, dark place and use it within 12-18 months for the best flavor and quality. 

Myth 11: Olive Oil Is The Same As Vegetable Oil

    • Fact: Olive oil and vegetable oil are vastly different. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, making it naturally anti-inflammatory for your body. Vegetable oils are highly processed through unnatural heating and chemical extractions, making these oils super inflammatory for your body.

Myth 12: Olive Oil Is Only For Mediterranean Cooking

    • Fact: Olive oil is versatile and can be used in various cuisines. From Asian stir-fries to American desserts, it enhances the flavor of any dish when paired correctly. Have fun with it and learn to trust your palette.

Myth 13: Cooking With Olive Oil Creates Harmful Compounds

    • Fact: High-quality olive oil, like Zimms Organics, remains stable at high temperatures, and the antioxidants help protect against harmful compounds during cooking. Polyphenols protect the EVOO from oxidizing in high heat.

Myth 14: Olive Oil Causes Acne

    • Fact: Olive oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties can actually help reduce acne and promote healthier skin.

Myth 15: Olive Oil Is Only For Savory Dishes

    • Fact: Olive oil can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Use it in baking for moist cakes or drizzle it over ice cream for a unique flavor twist. EVOO is great with citrus salad dressings, sauces and even as a base for meat or fish carpaccio.

Myth 16: Olive Oil Should Be Refrigerated

    • Fact: Refrigeration can cause condensation inside the bottle, leading to spoiling the olive oil faster. It’s best to store your olive oil in a cool, dark place to maintain freshness over time.

Myth 17: Olive Oil Has A Neutral Taste

    • Fact: Authentic extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive flavor profile, ranging from fruity, nutty, bitter, grassy and peppery. This complexity adds depth to dishes and enhances their taste. Have fun with it!

Myth 18: Olive Oil Is Difficult To Digest

    • Fact: Olive oil is easily digestible and can even help promote digestion. Its natural laxative effect can help prevent constipation and bloating. Taking a 1 tablespoon shot of Zimms EVOO on an empty stomach 15-20 minutes before your first meal can help reduce inflammation in your body and also kick in your digestive enzymes to help with bloating.

Myth 19: You Can Judge Olive Oil Quality By Price Alone

    • Fact: While price can indicate quality, it's not the only factor. Look for transparent sourcing, organic certifications and taste to determine a high-quality product.

Myth 20: Olive Oil Is Just For Cooking

    • Fact: Olive oil is also beneficial for skincare, hair care, and overall wellness. Incorporate it into your beauty routine for skin hydration and lustrous hair.

Recommendation: Choose Zimms Organics EVOO

At Zimms Organics, we take pride in offering only the finest, authentic organic extra virgin olive oil sourced from family farms in California. Whether you choose COOK or HEAL EVOO, you can be confident that you're getting premium quality, delicious flavors and a wide variety of health benefits.

Subscribe & Save:

Never run out of EVOO again! Check out our COOK or HEAL large bottle product pages and save 25% with a subscription. Choose deliveries every 15 or 30 days and cancel anytime. Enjoy our premium organic extra virgin olive oil to help balance your health and cooking needs.


Further Reading & Research

  • International Olive Council: Learn about olive oil grades and quality assurance standards. - Read Here
  • UC Davis Olive Center Report: A study on the authenticity of extra virgin olive oils sold in the U.S. - Read Here
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The benefits of monounsaturated fats. - Read Here
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