All about “OLIVE OIL”

Today most of you have switched to olive oil. Many of my clients tell me “Radhika, I only use olive oil in my cooking and baking, no ghee, no vegetable oil.  Well i should say “Great job” but i can’t.

The truth is that not all olive oil are created equal. The commercial manufacturers, trying to ride the health hype on olive oil, bring to the market all kinds of inferior and imitation products that say “olive oil” on them but have questionable benefits. So, i tell my clients to become “educated consumers”. Not everyone know what the term “extra virgin” really means. Let me tell you. Olive oil is very unique among all the oils because it can be consumed in its crude form without any processing/refining. No refining = conserving all the vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other healthful nutrients. In some of the best family owned farms the organic olives are picked by hand so that none of them gets damaged and the oil is extracted out of these without the use of heat, hot water or solvents and it is left unfiltered. The first pressing of these olives produces the “best stuff”, known as “Extra virgin” olive oil. Now this is the stuff you really want. If the oil is produced through machine harvesting and heat processing, the delicate compounds present in olive oil, responsible for all the great health benefits are damaged. Antioxidant “polyphenols”  are water-soluble and so are washed away with factory processing. So next time you go to a restaurant and read “olive oil” on the menu, don’t think it’s the good stuff. Always look for “extra virgin” stuff. It is worth the money and the effort (J.Bowden, 2007).

What is Olive oil good for?

  • Very high content of phenols, which are potent antioxidants.
  • Mainly made up of monounsaturated fats, the most important of which is “Oleic acid”, shown by several researches to be extremely heart healthy.
  • Monounsaturated fat is shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol).
  • A research done on diet and disease by Dr. Michael Goldacre at the Institute of Health Sciences show that olive oil may have a protective effect on the development of colon cancer.
  • Researchers at Oxford found that a diet rich in olive oil was associated with a decreased risk of bowel cancer.
  • It helps prevent high blood pressure.

I hope now the confusion is over and all of you will head to the store for “Extra virgin” olive oil.

Remember-” health is the greatest wealth”.

Tip:- Do not heat olive oil. Use it from top on pastas and salads for maximum health benefits.

Good oil to use in cooking is peanut oil and ghee (clarified butter- can read my post on the benefits of Ghee).

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hema on December 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Hi radhi,
    Thanks for this info. If Olive Oil is not be heated than how can you use in our daily meals for making curries and veggies. Secondly have found Borges Olive Oil (light) good for frying. Let me have your say on that.
    Thanks for making us aware & Keeping us Healthy

    Reply

    • Posted by aarti on January 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      but what about Pomace olive oil…thats for cookin …right?

      Reply

      • Hey Aarti,
        From what i know, Pomace olive oil is derived from the ground olive fruit pulp left over from first pressing extra virgin olive oil and then pressing virgin olive oil so even though suitable for cooking due to its high smoke point, it lacks the beneficial nutrients that are present in Extra virgin olive oil. Don’t we choose Olive oil mainly for its health benefits?????
        It is better to use regular coconut or groundnut oil or vegetable oil for frying (and do it less often) and use Extra virgin olive oil in the correct way to reap the benefits.
        Hope i answered your question 🙂

  2. Posted by Sheridan Blackley on March 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in high amounts in nuts and oils, such as olive oil and vegetable oil. They can also be found in meat and dairy products. Although monounsaturated fats are present in a wide variety of foods, olive oil is perhaps the most acclaimed source of these beneficial fats.`

    Look at our own website too
    <.http://www.healthmedicinecentral.com/heart-skipping-beats/

    Reply

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