By Leslie Goldman
Rachael Ray nicknamed it, Greek households plow through 26 liters a year of it, and sexpot Sophia Loren has been rumored to bathe in it: olive oil! Rich in healthful monounsaturated fats—known to lower heart disease risk—extra virgin olive oil can be used to marinate, saute, crisp, bake, and more. Devin Alexander, author of the The Biggest Loser Cookbook series (devinalexander.com), always has a boldly flavored extra virgin olive oil at the ready, using it to create baked french fries and potato chip-crusted, oven-"fried" chicken.
Visit a specialty store to sample flavors (think of it like wine tasting), then store your EVOO in a refillable mister to "save hundreds of calories per serving," says Alexander. Another need-to-know: "Extra-light" olive oil isn't lower in calories or fat; the descriptor refers to color and processing.