A GENIUNE Mediterranean Diet – WHY YOU NEED TO Make Olive Oil Part of Your Diet

Olive oil: A significant player in preventing heart disease
Although the health insurance and longevity of the Mediterranean folks are associated with an authentic Mediterranean diet saturated in plant foods and low in animal products, what has really defined this traditional diet may be the abundant usage of olives and olive oil, the principal fat source and the culinary foundation of the Mediterranean cuisine.

For centuries, olive oil has been a major player in the reduced incidence of heart disease among Mediterranean populations. Extensive research shows that olive oil not merely can prevent damage to the arteries but may also reverse high degrees of cholesterol in the blood and lower raised blood pressure, a significant risk for strokes.

In a study conducted by Montoya and associates, the participants followed four forms of diets for a five-week period: One diet was rich in saturated fats; one in polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil); one in monounsaturated fat (extra virgin essential olive oil); and the last one in omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish. The analysis showed that whenever people followed the diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, their levels of bad cholesterol went down and their blood pressure decreased 5 to 6 percent.1

We know that extra virgin essential olive oil is an irreplaceable way to obtain fat when it comes to the heart as the main fat in essential olive oil is monounsaturated, the fat that does not get stuck in the arteries. We also understand that all olive oils have about the same proportion of monounsaturated fat. Then, why buying extra virgin olive oil when it is more expensive than refined olive oil? Two major reasons:

1. EB1 Refined olive oils contain chemicals
Thousands of years ago, the olives were crushed by hand in spherical stone basins; today, in a similar method, olives (with pits) are pounded and crushed using mechanical techniques. The oil produced in such a way (cold) may be the extra virgin essential olive oil, the natural juice from the olives. It preserves the unique flavor, smell, and healthy properties of the fruit.

The solid residue that remains after the first extraction is repaid to the press to be beaten again and become subjected to different heat levels and chemical procedures. It is neutralized with sodium hydroxide, passed through charcoal filters, and extracted with hexane at low temperatures. The resulting oil lacks color and aroma, and contains lost the majority of its antioxidant properties. That’s why these second extractions aren’t recommended for consumption. As time passes, the use of oils which have been subjected to chemical agents could have a toxic effect on our anatomies.

2. Extra virgin essential olive oil contains more antioxidants than their refined versions

Countless studies conducted to examine the activities of some minor compounds in olive oil have indicated they are strong antioxidants and potent free radical scavengers. Free radicals are highly unstable and destructive molecules that subject our cells to oxidative stress, continuous damage that eventually kills the cells. When radicals kill or damage enough cells in an organism, the organism ages and eventually dies. The antioxidants in essential olive oil are found in larger amounts in extra virgin essential olive oil than in refined olive oils. Let’s check out some of them.

o Vitamin E (�-tocopherol). Olive oil contains alpha-tocopherol or vitamin E, the tocopherol with the highest natural antioxidant activity and something of the most effective defenders against oxidation in our cell membranes. Consistent evidence shows that people with low levels of vitamin E in the blood have significantly more damage in the arteries than people with an adequate amount.1 On average, the amount of vitamin e antioxidant in the oil is approximately 24 to 43 milligrams for every 100 grams of oil.2 A tablespoon of extra virgin essential olive oil contains 1.6 milligrams (2.3 IU [International Units]) of vitamin E, providing 8 to 15 percent of the recommended daily intake.

o Polyphenols: tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Extensive research demonstrates polyphenols are potent antioxidants and inhibitors of free radical “attacks.” Tyrosol is quite stable and is able to undo oxidation of LDL cholesterol.3 Hydroxytyrosol is an effective trash picker of free radicals and it plays a part in the shelf life of the oil, delaying its auto-oxidation.4 Predicated on some studies,5 typically, these compounds in olive oil account for the following approximate levels:

1. Extra virgin essential olive oil: 4.2 milligrams for each 100 grams

2. Refined olive oil: 0.47 milligrams for every 100 grams

As we can appreciate, there exists a big difference between your amounts found in extra

virgin essential olive oil and refined oils.

o Hydrocarbons: squalene. The major hydrocarbon in essential olive oil is squalene, another powerful antioxidant. One study6 shows that the average intake of squalene is 30 milligrams per day in america. The intake in the Mediterranean countries can reach 200-400 milligrams per day. The dose of squalene found in olive oil is approximately the following:

1. Extra virgin essential olive oil: 400-450 milligrams per 100 grams

2. Refined olive oil: 25 percent less than extra virgin olive oil6

Conclusion
Buying extra virgin essential olive oil may be a little more expensive, but in the long term you may save a lot of cash and a lot of grief. Let’s follow an authentic Mediterranean Diet with olive oil, in particular extra virgin essential olive oil being part of it.

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