Superfoods part 10
In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.
Today’s post: Thursday, 4-27-2006 Superfoods & Honor Roll Foods, part 10
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Simply put, extra virgin olive oil is a health-enhancing way to get fat in your diet that can make foods taste good & make it possible for you to sustain eating food that keeps you healthy & to avoid keeping or getting back excess fat.
1. It’s one of the most important key ingredients in the famous Mediterranean diet with its numerous, proven, health benefits.
2. And, several studies of eating to lose weight (excess bodyfat) & keep it off & successfully helping to lower high blood pressure through diet have found these eating styles actually work BETTER if extra virgin olive oil is included !!
(Since you don’t feel totally deprived of fat, feeling full, & good tasting foods that need fat to taste good, it becomes doable, even easy, to keep eating in a health-enhancing way. And, for the same reasons, it makes it doable & more likely that you’ll stop eating the fats & oils that harm your health.)
Like avocados & most nuts, extra virgin olive oil is mostly monosaturated fat.
And, unlike animal based saturated fat containing foods & foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils (transfats), extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart.
Eating extra virgin olive oil almost exclusively -- results in lower LDL cholesterol & tends to result in blood pressure levels low enough to support good health when it’s substituted for eating animal based saturated fat containing foods & foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils (transfats).
Unlike polyunsaturated vegetable oils, however, that doctors first tried tolower LDL levels, extra virgin olive oil also helps keep your beneficial HDL levels high while a diet of mostly polyunsaturated vegetable oils actually LOWERS your protective HDL.
And, recently doctors have found keeping HDL levels high is MORE heart protective than keeping LDL levels low.
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils also tend to produce inflammation & have bad health effects when heated -- possibly because that may generate transfats.
Extra virgin olive oil doesn’t tend to produce inflammation; & except for cooking a long time with very high heat, extra virgin olive oil is safe to cook with.
If olive oil has all these health benefits, why pay more for extra virgin olive oil?
The most important one is that extra virgin olive oil produces these health benefits better & is much higher in antioxidants that have other health benefits than lesser grades of olive oil do.
The other one is, it’s apparently more likely you’re getting 100 percent olive oil. I just found out recently that more olive oil is sold than is produced. And, some olive oils are 60 percent olive oil & 40 percent something else – cottonseed oil, corn oil, etc that are not desirable foods for everyday use.
This is apparently common enough & important enough to health conscious consumers, the better producers of olive oil will begin to put 100 percent olive oil on the labels.
Once that happens, only buy such oils.
Meanwhile, extra virgin olive oil is your best bet.