Olive Oil: Get the Real Stuff or Forget About It!

How many times have you heard that it’s better to get nutrients from food than from supplements?

We completely agree! The problem is it’s hard to find real, unprocessed, unadulterated food grown in healthy soils, harvested at its peak and quickly delivered to your table. That’s why the National Academy of Sciences says supplements are necessary.

But when real food is available, there’s nothing like it, and we recommend grabbing it with both hands. That’s especially so with a super-nutritious food like olive oil.

Real, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), unrefined and made from premium quality olives, contains more than a hundred different polyphenols, vitamins and other compounds that protect and repair the body as well as act as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. But real EVOO is rare!

Philip James, a leading nutrition researcher in Great Britain, is a proponent of the Mediterranean Diet, which, you’ve no doubt heard, is one of the healthiest diets in the world. The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with long, healthy life relatively free of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, dementias like Alzheimer’s disease, and excess weight; and many of its health benefits are attributed to its generous use of olive oil.

But James has warned that the olive oil which kept Mediterranean people so healthy is no longer produced. Almost all olive oil today has been processed and diluted in ways that detract not only from its health-giving properties, but also render it toxic!

Processing and refining kill off polyphenols, which are critical to the heart healthy effects of olive oil consumption. A 2006 study compared the effects of taking 1½ tablespoons daily of low (2.7 mg/kg oil), medium (164 mg/kg), or high (366 mg/kg) phenolic content olive oils. Although the high phenol olive oil reduced oxidized cholesterol, a significant benefit in preventing heart disease, the other two had NO EFFECT.

Fortunately, James is not quite right. There are a few small family-owned and operated olive vineyards where olive oil is made the old-fashioned way, and after an arduous search Raymond Francis found one. This California family-owned vineyard estate bottles the award-winning olive oil we’ve offered for the past 15 years.

Please take a moment to read Raymond’s excellent article on olive oil production to fully appreciate this unique oil, which a University of California report found was highest in antioxidant polyphenols of the 186 EVOO samples they evaluated.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for a friend or relative, how about a bottle of real Beyond Health Olive Oil along with a download of Raymond’s article to explain its benefits? If they’ve been very good (and for a special holiday deal) you could pair it with a bottle of Beyond Health Balsamic Vinegar, also made the traditional way to maximize taste and health benefits!


  1. Newsweek Staff. The fat that’s good for you. Newsweek online. January 5, 1992. Accessed December 11, 2016.
  2. Covas MI. The effect of polyphenols in olive oil on heart disease risk factors: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. September 2006;145(5):333-341.
  3. Frankel EN. Report: Tests indicate that imported ‘extra virgin’ olive oil often fails international and USDA standards. July 2010. UC Davis Olive Center. Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, University of California, Davis. 
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