We’ve all heard a lot about the health benefits of olive oil, but we’ve also been wrongly taught that fats are bad and unhealthy. Since olive oil is a fat, how can extra virgin olive oil be considered so healthy?
For starters, fat comes in many different forms and is only bad for you when consumed in excess. In moderation, it is a necessary part of a healthy balanced diet. Our bodies need fat to store energy, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, cushion our organs and insulate our bodies. Despite the stigmatism against it, we simply cannot function without fat. The key is to get the right kinds of fat and in the right amounts.
There are four different kinds of fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans fats. Of these, monounsaturated fatty acid is the healthiest; it promotes heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and possibly protects against certain kinds of cancers. Polyunsaturated fatty acid is somewhat less healthy, as it lowers both good and bad cholesterol. Saturated fatty acid is unhealthy because it is derived from animal products and increases total cholesterol levels. Trans fatty acids are the least healthy; it’s a man-made compound that becomes cholesterol immediately.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Health Benefits
oil from olives is a healthy fat because it is almost entirely good fat, or monounsaturated fat. It is the healthiest dietary fat and protects against heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. It also normalizes blood clotting and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, olive oil health benefits go beyond the ordinary because it contains unique antioxidants not found in other oils and is shown to protect against various cancers. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest concentration of monounsaturated fat, as it is the least processed of olive oils.
Cooking with extra virgin olive oil is a great way to get these healthy fats into your diet. However, remember that moderation is key. Replace unhealthier saturated and trans fats in your diet, like butter or mayonnaise, with reasonable amounts of olive oil for maximum health benefits.
But what about all the different kinds of oil from olives on the market? Are they all the same?
Not at all. There are many different kinds of olive oil on the market and understanding the labels is best way to ensure you’re getting the best oil.
Types of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered the best oil from olives and made from the first pressing of the olives. The olives are cold-pressed and not treated with chemicals and heat. Extra virgin olive oils must be less than 1% acidic to bear the name. It is the least processed, purest and best tasting olive oil.
olive food oil is from the second processing of the olives. It can have an acidity level between 1–2%.
Pure Olive Oil or just plain “Olive Oil” is a mixture of oil from olives and refined olive oil.
olive food oil has undergone a considerable processing and only retains a little of its olive flavor.
Light food Oil is a mixture of olive oil with other vegetable oils, though there is no standard set of ingredients or proportions.
Infused olive food oil is olive oil with added flavors like basil, rosemary, oregano, etc. olive oil suppliers are selling products via online system.
Olive Oil for Cooking
Which olive oil you choose is up to you, but as olive food oil is the purest and most flavorful, it is recommended for direct consumption. Use olive oil for salads or bread for the best flavor. Choosing olive oil for cooking is a great way to get the good health benefits as well as create a flavorful dish that your whole family will enjoy.