The benefits of olive oil will not be reaped on a low fat diet. This is because it contains a range of nutrients and antioxidants that are crucial to health and help prevent degenerative diseases.
The Monounsaturated Fat that Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Professor Francisco Grande Covian, a specialist in diet and nutrition states, “The lowest rates of death from coronary heart disease are currently recorded in the countries where olive oil is virtually the only fat consumed.”
Olive oil, as well as other healthy oils, prevents platelet aggregation in the blood and the formation of cholesterol lumps on the arterial wall (atheromas), which could eventually lead to heart disease and strokes.
About the Goodness Within Olive Oil
The oil contains Vitamin A, E and K. Vitamin E cannot be absorbed without an oil carrier, which the olive provides. Phenols and oleocanthal act as an anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant and gives the olive oil that slightly bitter taste. Squalene and chlorophyll conditions the skin, promotes healing and keeps the joints healthy.
The Best Quality Olive Oil to Buy
Not every olive oil has the same quality. Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is far superior to the refined version. “Virgin” means that the oil has been treated by hand only, and no chemicals have been involved. “Cold pressed” means that the oil has been extracted from the olive fruit without heating.
Oil stored within dark bottles is better than pale bottles, for light will cause the oil to degrade. Oil produced in a particular region, as opposed to one that remains nameless, will indicate whether care has been taken in producing the oil. A little extra expense in obtaining the best olive oil is worth the extra health benefits it offers.
Which Healthy Fats Lowers Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. There are two basic types of cholesterol within the blood. These are:
- High Density Lipoproteins (or HDL). This is good cholesterol because it transports surplus cholesterol from the blood towards the liver where it is removed as bile.
- Low Density Lipoproteins (or LDL). This is bad cholesterol because it damages the arterial walls, creates stickiness in the blood and obstructs the blood from getting to the affected cells. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood could eventually contribute towards heart disease and strokes.
Olive oil has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and elevate good cholesterol. This healthy dressing also prevents the harmful oxidization of cholesterol and triglycerides.
The Best Olive Oil
Olive oil should be stored in a cool dark place to retain its goodness. It is best consumed raw as a dressing over salads, pasta and other healthy foods. Adding herbs and lemon juice adds a little flavour. A mistake is to use excess heat when using it for cooking. Burnt fat, such as when barbecuing or frying, even when using olive oil, is not good for health. A low heat is preferable. Adding a little water to the oil will prevent it from burning.
A Healthy Diet to Lower Cholesterol
Olive oil should be included within any healthy diet for the nutrients it offers. It contains vitamins, antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, prevents heart disease, is an anti-inflammatory and is good for the skin and joints. The benefits of olive oil are too precious to miss out on within a low fat diet.