Thursday, 6 October 2011

Health Tip Of The Week: Olive oil's health benefits

The greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat is olive oil. Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.

Olive oil's protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.

Olive Oil & Heart Disease
Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (mL) - about 2 tablespoons - of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.

But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.

Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils, one of the healing fats. Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually an omega-9 oil which is monounsaturated.

Types of Olive Oils:
Extra virgin - considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing of the olives.

Virgin - from the second pressing.

Pure - undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining.

Extra light - undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavour.

How to Care for your Olive Oil
Heat and light are the #1 enemy. Keep your olive oil in a cool, dark place, tightly sealed. Oxygen promotes rancidity.

Tip: For frying do not use olive oil (it turns rancid with the heat). As an alternative use butter or coconut oil.

Info found at: Healing Daily

1 comment:

  1. Olive oil not only turns rancid when subjected to heat but it also loses most of its health benefits . You will absorb more of its nutrition if used as is. I agree with what you wrote except for the last part about frying with butter or coconut oil. :) If you really have to fry your food, I recommend canola oil. It's a healthy alternative to olive oil.


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