Did you know that cold-pressed olive oil stands out for its exceptional nutritional properties?

Olive oil has been celebrated for its numerous health benefits and culinary versatility for centuries. As one of the oldest known plant oils, it has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for years and is increasingly studied by scientists for its formidable health benefits.

Cold-Pressed vs. Regular

Making olive oil
Olive oil coming out of the cold press. Image courtesy of Alphafoodie.com

Cold-pressed olive oil is extracted by crushing olives and pressing them at temperatures below 27°C. This careful extraction method helps ensure that the valuable flavours and healthy substances in the olives are preserved.

Cold-pressed olive oil is more sensitive to heat. It is not recommended to heat above 180°C to retain its nutritional integrity and flavor.

Pressing colder generally produces olive oil with lower acidity levels which is an important factor in determining the quality and classification of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil, which is highly prized for its superior taste and health benefits, must have an acidity level below a certain threshold.

Regular olive oil, also known as refined olive oil, undergoes a chemical production process at temperatures above 100°C. The high temperatures and chemical treatment remove impurities and pollutants, essentially “cleaning” the oil. However, this process also strips away a significant portion of its natural vitamins, colorings, and aromas. Heat processing can also accelerate rancidity.

  • Cold-pressed olive oil contains potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • A Harvard study reports that consuming over ½ tbsp of olive oil daily will lower your risk by 28% of dying from dementia.
  • Replacing 1 teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise with the equivalent amount of olive oil daily is associated with an 8-14% lower risk of dying from dementia.

Health Benefits

Image provided by Rallis Olive Oil Canada

Olive oil contains various beneficial compounds, including vitamins, antioxidants, and polyphenols. Pressing at low temperatures helps retain these nutrients and preserve the tocopherols and phenolic compounds, which are natural antioxidants.

Cold-pressed olive oil contains at least 30 beneficial plant compounds, many of which are potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. It is also rich in vitamins E, K, and A, all of which contribute to overall health and well-being.

One of the key components is oleic acid, a healthy unsaturated fat that makes up 71% of the oil’s fat content. Oleic acid has been linked to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fats.

Additionally, cold-pressed olive oil contains around 11% omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These acids play essential roles in various bodily processes, including blood pressure regulation, blood clotting, and immune system response. Its high antioxidant content contributes to anti-inflammatory effects, offering potential protection against chronic diseases.

Some studies suggest that it may also help control insulin levels and the amount of fat in the blood, making it beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of heart disease.

Olive Oil for Brain Health

Anne-Julie Tessier, RD, PHD, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health

A new study suggests that incorporating olive oil into your diet could help reduce the risk of dying from dementia. 

The results indicated that people who consumed more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared with those who never or rarely consumed olive oil.

“Some antioxidant compounds in olive oil can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially having a direct effect on the brain,” said study author Anne-Julie Tessier, RD, PHD, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health. “It is also possible that olive oil has an indirect effect on brain health by benefiting cardiovascular health.”

In addition, replacing just one teaspoon of margarine and mayonnaise with the equivalent amount of olive oil per day was associated with an 8-14% lower risk of dying from dementia.


When purchasing cold-pressed olive oil, it is essential to buy from trusted sources to ensure the product’s authenticity and quality. The challenge is that There is only one way to know if the olive oil is cold pressed; if the olive oil should be certified as high phenolic there is a high chance it was cold pressed.

Counterfeit cold-pressed oils with false labeling can be found in the market, often being low-quality, refined oils masquerading as cold-pressed ones.

To avoid this, look for clear information about the oil’s origin and production process on the label. Most Canadian grocers carry cold-pressed olive oil however it’s a good idea to research manufacturers online or connect directly with the producer for more assurance about your purchase.

When you find a manufacturer you trust you may want to purchase directly from them as direct from manufacturer is often fresher and stored in environment with little to no light. Light degrades the quality of olive oil so if you’re serious about your oil, keep this in mind.


Innovation continues in the olive oil industry, and one such development is ice-pressed olive oil. Ice pressed technology means that the olives being used are 20x – 30x colder and because of this temperature, it creates raw olive oil.

Inspired by new world technology and old world craftmanship, a Greek Canadian family with roots in healthcare created Rallis, one of the only ice-pressed olive oils in the world.

As a high polyphenol food, ice-pressed appears to offer additional benefits beyond traditional cold-pressed. However, more research and analysis are needed to substantiate these claims fully.

How to Use Cold-Pressed Olive Oil

To make the most of the health benefits and delicate flavor, it is best to avoid using it for cooking at high temperatures. Instead, use it to dress salads, drizzle over roasted vegetables, or as a dip for bread.

Store oil in a cool, dry, dark, place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and do not refrigerate. Do not leave it by the stove or heat extractor fan as the heat can make the oil rancid. 

By incorporating cold-pressed olive oil into your diet, you can enjoy its full range of nutrients and flavors.

The delicious taste of this precious elixir may encourage you to eat more fresh produce and greens, allowing it to shine as the star ingredient it truly is.

You May Also Like