Olive oil is considered to be one of the most healthy dietary fats. However, several types of olive oils are present in the market. A key question for the consumer is: What of the olive oils is the best when concerning nutritional purposes? With the data available at present, the answer is: the Virgin Olive Oil (VOO), rich in phenolic compounds. On November 2011, the European Food Safety Authority released a claim concerning the benefits of daily ingestion of olive oil rich in phenolic compounds, such as VOO. In this review, we summarised the key work that has provided the evidence of the benefits of VOO consumption on other types of edible oils, even olive oils. We focused on data from randomised, controlled human studies, which are capable of providing the evidence of Level I that is required for performing nutritional recommendations at population level.
Keywords: Virgin olive oil; cardiovascular risk; hydroxytyrosol; polyphenols; tyrosol.