Have you ever wondered whether olive oil is truly a vegan product? Suppose you are trying to follow an exclusively plant-based diet. In that case, you’re probably already aware that some surprising products are not vegan. So it’s always a good idea to check before eating anything.
Olive oil is vegan, yes. It is A good food for vegans because it contains some of the vitamins and minerals they might otherwise be lacking. In addition, it makes an excellent replacement for butter and other animal fats that vegans cannot eat.
Can Vegans Eat Olive Oil?
Olive oil is a vegetable-based fat that contains no animal products, either in its ingredients or in the manufacturing process. It is therefore considered perfectly suitable for vegans because it is 100 percent plant matter.
Olive oil is made in the following way:
- Olive pickers harvest ripe or nearly ripe olives and sort them.
- The olives are ground into a paste, usually using millstones. This takes about 30 to 40 minutes to achieve a good flavor from the oil.
- The paste is spread upon disks, which are stacked into a column. The column is then pressed hard to separate the liquid from the paste; oil and water are collected at this stage. The water and oil then need to be separated.
- Centrifugation is used to get the water out of the oil, and in most cases, can remove all of the water. Water remaining in the oil adds microorganisms that may cause it to decay more quickly, so this removal is critical for good olive oil. This part of the process creates extra virgin olive oil.
- The remaining vegetable paste is ground further, joining the microscopic drops of oil that remain within it into bigger drops.
- These larger drops are extracted using a machine, and the paste is pressed using centrifugation, with the water and oil again separated. This creates virgin olive oil.
As you can see, therefore, vegans can eat olive oil because the only thing contained within the oil is olive – there are no other ingredients. There is also nothing about the manufacturing process that would add animal products to the oil, or cause concern about the treatment of animals.
Of course, olive oil has some concerns regarding the deforestation required to harvest this crop, but it is not more concerning than other kinds of oil in this regard.
Is Olive Oil Always Vegan?
You have probably already noticed that there are multiple kinds of olive oil, which may leave you wondering whether all olive oil is vegan. The different kinds of oil include extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, refined olive oil, lampante olive oil, crude olive oil, and more.
All these oils should use no animal products and 100 percent olives in their production process. This is because olives are rich in oil, and each contains about 30 percent oil, so it’s an easy enough process to extract the oil and doesn’t require any additives. You can therefore eat olive oil without worrying about it.
If you are concerned, check that the oil says 100 percent olives in the ingredients list. If it lists other ingredients, you should proceed with caution and research those ingredients individually to make sure they are suitable to eat.
Some olive oils contain flavors or other ingredients that may not be fully vegan, so it is best to check before consuming any flavored oils. In addition, while plain olive oils should always be vegan, flavored oils may not be.
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
The next question is whether olive oil is good for you – and on the whole, it is. It’s a valuable source of many nutrients. It contains monounsaturated fats, which are thought to be much better for you than saturated fats. It also has omega three and omega 6 in it, as well as vitamin E and K.
Many vegans choose olive oil as a healthy choice and use it as an alternative in many situations where an animal product might otherwise be required. For example, you can spread olive oil on bread in the place of butter, use it as a dip, or make gravy and white sauces with it.
Extra virgin olive oil is considered the healthiest option, but you can use any olive oil if you prefer. Like anything, it can be unhealthy in large quantities. However, as part of a balanced diet, it is considered an excellent food to be consuming.
Olive oil is vegan, yes. You can safely eat olive oil and products that contain olive oil while following a vegan lifestyle, as no animals are used to make the oil, and it contains no animal derivatives.