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Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil good for your health?

Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil good for your health?

One of the main reason that encouraged us to start this project, is the health benefits of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). There are just a few products with have this scientific support.

EVOO is recognised for being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, reduces cardiovascular risk and one of the healthiest fats. In this article, we want to share more in detail some of those benefits, these statements are supported by different studies along the world and you can just click on them in case you were interested in a deeper information on any of those.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and healthy habits

EVOO has been consumed for thousands of years, long before the modern diseases were extended, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity… These diseases are considered as modern and related to the civilization progress because they are much less common in the old societies (Pontzer H, 2012).

The Mediterranean diet was born to prevent us from these modern diseases, investigating traditional diets of the ancient societies. Consuming EVOO is an identifying habit of this diet. Thinking that most natural and traditional foods are healthier is at least a reasonable point and scientific researches seem to agree with it (Buckland G, 2015).

Schwingshackl L, 2014 published an article where the effects of EVOO intake were observed: Overall risk reduction of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular events and stroke. Others benefits are antiinflammation properties (Christoph M, 2015) and lower cancer prevalence.

We can not affirm that is the truth, but there are solid results which conclude that including EVOO in our diets is a healthy option.

Cooking is an important point of a healthy lifestyle, one of the main uses of EVOO in Spain

According to the scientific scheme, ultra-processed food is one of the biggest health enemies. This kind of food is obtained through many industrial processes and they usually contain high amounts of sugar, trans-fats and others added artificial substances. Some examples are industrial baking, junk food and most of the pre-cooked food.

There are a big number of papers about the consequences of eating this kind of food like, poorer health (Moubarac, J. 2013), higher cancer risk (Fiolet T, Srour B,2018) worse lipid profile (Rauber F, 2015) and higher metabolic syndrome risk (Tavares LF, 2012; Sampey BP, 2011) are some of the results.

We can, therefore, assure that natural ingredients and especially home cooking are a very important point in a healthy diet, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2015 :

"When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight”

“Obesity is an escalating public health problem that contributes to other serious health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Wolfson. “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet. Moving forward, it’s important to educate the public about the benefits of cooking at home, identify strategies that encourage and enable more cooking at home, and help everyone, regardless of how much they cook, make healthier choices when eating out.”

The importance of the role of cooking in our species is highlighted in the book that we definitely recommend Catching fire: How cooking made us human.

And EVOO is a great ally to cook at home.

Is olive oil is suitable for Cooking?

It is a common question that has caused many discussions and research projects. However, The scientific scheme has concluded that olive oil preserves its properties under high temperature better than most of the other fats (Peng CY, 2017; Zribi A,2014; Napolitano A,2008; Casal S,2010, Fullana A, 2004; Persson E, 2003; S. Bastida,2001). This is because olive oil has a higher antioxidant and monounsaturated fats content which are more stable than the polyunsaturated fat found in other oils or butter. Extra virgin olive oil and Cornicabra olive variety have a particularly high antioxidant density and heat resistance.

Further conclusions are gathered from these studies, for example, according to them extracted seed oils are the worst, like sunflower oil, because of they high polyunsaturated fat content. Thus, this kind of oils is obtained by a complex industrial procedure, because they can not be extracted by natural mechanisms.

Nevertheless, any fat is damaged by high temperatures if it is heated several times (Bhardwaj S, 2016). That is why we shouldn´t reuse the fats in several times, neither heat them excessively.

As we have seen, EVOO is used for cooking, but it as well is used uncooked, for example, for dressing salads. Several important vitamins in the salad vegetables are fat-soluble (Vitamin A, D, E and K) (Bellows, L 2012), this means that dressing your salad with olive oil or avocado oil, facilitate the absorption of those vitamins to your body. Converting your salad in a much more nutritious meal (Goltz SR, 2012, Nuray Z. 2005).

Conclusion

After the research done, we can affirm that our body will appreciate if we include 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO and especially if you enjoy it. This doesn't mean that we should drink olive oil with a funnel, but we do think that there is enough scientific evidence about EVOO health benefits.



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