Superfoods – Olive Oil

Posted by chiropam on Feb 1, 2011 in Chiropractic |

Olive Oil Is The Healthy Choice

Olive Oil is not only delicious, it’s good for your heart and helps to keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Studies show that the monounsaturated fat content of Olive Oil can ‘lower your risk of heart disease’ by reducing the total LDL’s, or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in your blood. In contrast, saturated and trans fats — such as butter, tropical oils and hydrogenated margarines — increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your total and LDL cholesterol levels. Studies also state, despite the fact that all forms of Olive Oil contain desirable levels of monounsaturated fat; it is the ‘virgin’ and ‘extra-virgin’ Olive Oils that contain the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant.

Demographic research argues that the high consumption of Olive Oil in the Mediterranean is the very reason that cancers such as breast, ovarian, colon and prostate seem to occur with less frequency than in the countries of Northern Europe and the USA where polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s) are preferred over Olive Oil. It appears that Olive Oil does indeed provide a fat with the capacity to maintain a healthy body balance.

The coronary arteries provide blood to your heart muscle. The monounsaturated fats help to keep those arteries clear so that your heart can get enough oxygen and nutrients to keep pumping. Whilst you can get this health benefit by substituting other less-healthy fats with two tablespoons (23 grams) of Olive Oil, it is important not to increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. Virgin Olive Oil is better than more refined oil because it contains polyphenols that work as antioxidants to keep your heart healthy. Extra virgin Olive Oil contains polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and may help to prevent some forms of cancer.

Ideas To Include In Your Diet:

  • Mix Olive Oil with vinegar on  salad.
  • Choose Olive Oil over butter or margarine.
  • Add flavour to Olive Oil by infusing with garlic or other herbs.
  • Add Olive Oil to your smoothie.
  • Use Olive Oil spray instead of traditional cooking sprays.

More Health Benefits Of Consuming Olive Oil:

Studies have shown:

Countries where people who’s main source of fat is Olive Oil had the lowest levels of heart disease related deaths.

Increasing Olive Oil consumption in Northern Europeans reduced waste by-products of oxidative damage to cells, a precursor to cancer. Within 3 weeks of consuming 25 ml of olive oil a day by-product levels has dropped significantly.

Consuming Olive Oil instead of saturated fats significantly reduced the required dosage of antihypertensive medication required by hypertensive patients.

Consuming Olive Oil high in phenols actually reduces the expression of genes associated with atherosclerosis (the thickening of artery walls due to a a build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol).

Consuming phenol-rich Olive Oil alters the expression of genes associated with inflammation, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Despite being high in calories, Olive Oil is without doubt a superfood if it is consumed instead of saturated fat. It has a high level of vitamin E, antioxidants and is rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Olive Oil is even thought to improve the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. High levels of Omega-3s have been extensively linked to a healthier heart and lower risk of stroke.

In A Nutshell:

Olive Oil should be part of a balanced diet and the phenol-rich extra virgin oil, with its proven health benefits, is a definite superfood. Please note that well over 50% of imported Olive Oils labelled as extra virgin did not meet the required legal standards, so choose carefully.

Olive Oil has its maximum health benefits when consumed in its natural state. Heating olive oil, especially to frying temperatures destroys many of its beneficial compounds.

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2 Comments

Caleb
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Love olive oil – it’s great on everything. Another great and similar item is grapeseed oil. It has the same properties and effects as olive oil, but it has a longer shelf life and can be used in more cooking situations. Still olive oil is great too, you can make a personal choice.
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Dan Spinato
Jul 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm

No question why the best chefs on television frequently promote olive oil. It’s benefits are amazing!
Dan Spinato recently posted..Hope Through Health Sprint Triathlon


 

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