Is Olive Oil Healthy?
The health benefits of Olive Oil have come under fire over recent years, yet studies have continued to show that Olive Oil in moderation can provide certain health benefits.
Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet which is associated with a low death rate from cardiovascular diseases compared to other parts of the world. People who regularly consume olive oil are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol and triglycerides.
The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs. MUFAs are considered a healthy dietary fat. If your diet replaces saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), you may gain certain health benefits. Oleocanthal is a phytonutrient found in extra virgin olive oil. Healthier fats like olive oil are high in calories so use them in moderation.
Olive oils are graded based on their extraction process and on the acidity of the pressed oil. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted from olives using only pressure.. a process known as cold pressing. Extra virgin olive oil has just 1% acid. The oil that comes from the first pressing of the olives and is considered the finest quality and the most beneficial. The healthy phenols found in olive oil are severely compromised by high heat. Olive Oil is best used cold or barely warm.
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