Olive Oil has become a major part of the modern diet of any health conscious person. I know I have some every day with my salad and I consider it one of the constants of my diet. You can find many references to the health benefits of olive oil and it seems like more and more are discovered as more research is done into this food.
But what are the real health benefits of olive oil? How does it affect your body? Why does it need to be extra virgin olive oil? In this post I want to go over some of these benefits and see whether this food deserves its reputation.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vs. Plain Olive Oil
The main difference between extra virgin olive oil and the regular kind is how they’re made. Extra virgin oil is created by pressing of olives in a direct process. Regular olive oil undergoes heating or the use of solvents. All this processing diminishes its nutritional value and the health benefits it delivers.
I recommend that you buy Extra Virgin olive oil. This is what I do and I am quite willing to pay a little more for what is a superior product. Research shows that the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil greatly outweigh those of non-virgin oil. The extra price is warranted. Don’t try to save by buying a lower quality oil.
Due to the less intensive production process, extra virgin olive oil is rich in phenols, which are powerful antioxidants. It is the content of phenols that helps to make olive oil reduce inflammation in your body. In addition, olive oil can help you to improve circulation and reduce blood clotting.
Health benefits Of Olive Oil
Olive oil is considered a healthy source of fat. In fact, it is one of those fats that you can feel comfortable consuming (in moderation, of course) even as you’re trying to burn fat and shed some pounds. I eat olive oil on a daily basis and have been doing so for over a decade. Even though it contains a high amount of fat, it has never created any trouble for me. I have maintained my weight for over 12 years and I can guarantee you that olive oil does not make you fat.
Olive oil is made up of a number of fatty acids. About 75% of these fats is oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid. This is higher than any other oil. By using olive oil, you can reduce bad cholesterol and your blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
How To Eat Olive Oil
There are a variety of ways in which you can include olive oil in your diet. Let me tell you about some of the things that I use it for:
- In salads – I especially like to eat my tuna salad with a generous dose of olive oil. It gives more aroma and taste to the entire salad.
- With bread – Here’s a great snack for you: pour a little olive oil into a bowl. Add some salt to it (but not too much). Dip bread into this mixture and eat it. You’re going to be blown away by this simple and tasty dish.
- I cook my eggs with olive oil. You need to get the kind that’s right for cooking and frying.
You can add some olive oil to practically anything. It has that sort of magical attribute that makes it add more taste to practically anything that you eat.
I hope that you now see that olive oil has a variety of health benefits and that you should include it in your diet on a regular basis. Naturally, olive oil should not be consumed without moderation. It is still a calorie rich food. However, it is still a healthy fat that can be part of any diet plan you choose to follow.