In Wednesday's Healthier Me, nutritionists have long touted the heart-healthy benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, and here's how you can optimize its good effects.
Only the highest quality olive oil qualifies as extra-virgin, and while there are laws in Europe monitoring the use of an "extra-virgin" label, the United States has no such legislation, so make sure you read the labels carefully. Extra-virgin olive oil contains the highest level of Oleic acid (1g/100g or 1%).
The way you store your extra-virgin olive oil has an effect on its shelf life, and sunlight breaks down its chemical bonds, so look for olive oil that comes in a bottle made of dark glass or a similar light-blocking material.
If kept properly, a bottle of oil will last about a year on your shelf before its taste and health benefits diminish.