Make Olive Oil Part of Your Diet

Olive oil: a major player in preventing heart disease Although health and longevity of the Mediterranean population are associated with a true Mediterranean diet rich in plant foods and low in animal products, which has really defined the traditional diet is the abundant use of olives and olive oil, the main source of cooking fat and the foundation of Mediterranean cuisine.
For centuries, olive oil has been a major player in the low incidence of heart disease among Mediterranean populations. Numerous investigations have shown that olive oil can not only prevent damage to the arteries, but can also reverse the high levels of blood cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure, a significant risk of stroke.
In a study conducted by Montoya and associates, participants followed four types of diets over a period of five weeks: a diet rich in saturated fat, a polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil), a monounsaturated fat (extra virgin olive oil virgin), and the last in omega-3 fatty acids from fish. The study showed that when people followed the diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, their levels of bad cholesterol went down and blood pressure decreased by 5-6 percent.1
We know that extra virgin olive oil is an irreplaceable source of fat when it comes to heart because the main fat in olive oil is monounsaturated, fat is not stuck in the arteries. We also know that all olive oils have about the same proportion of monounsaturated fat. So why buy extra virgin olive oil when it is more expensive than refined olive oil? Two main reasons:
1. Refined olive oils are loaded with chemicals Thousands of years ago, the olives were crushed by hand in spherical stone basins, today in a similar method, olives (with bone) was hit and crushed using mechanical techniques. The oil produced in such a way (cold) is the extra virgin olive oil, natural juice of olives. Preserves the taste, smell and healthy properties of fruit.
The solid residue left after the first extraction is sent back to the press to be beaten again and be exposed to different levels of heat and chemical processes. Neutralized with sodium hydroxide, passed through charcoal filters, and extracted with hexane at low temperatures. The resulting oil lacks color and aroma, and has lost most of its antioxidant properties. That's why these second extractions are not recommended for consumption. Over time, the use of oils that have been subjected to chemical agents may have toxic effects in our bodies.
2. Extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than their refined versions
Countless studies conducted to examine the activities of some minor components of olive oil have indicated that they are strong antioxidants and potent free radical scavengers. Free radicals are highly unstable and destructive molecules that subject our cells to oxidative stress, continuous damage that eventually kills the cells. When radicals kill or damage enough cells in the body, the organism ages and eventually dies. The antioxidants in olive oil are found in large amounts in extra virgin olive oil in refined olive oils. Let's look at some of them.
or vitamin E (±-tocopherol). Olive oil contains alpha-tocopherol or vitamin E, tocopherol with natural antioxidant activity and one of the most effective defense against oxidation in the membranes of our cells. consistent evidence shows that people with low levels of vitamin E in their blood have more damage in the arteries than people with adequate amount.1 On average, the amount of vitamin E in the oil is about 24 to 43 milligrams per 100 grams of oil.2 One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 1.6 milligrams (2.3 IU [international units]) of vitamin E, with 8 to 15 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Polyphenols o: tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Extensive research shows that polyphenols are powerful antioxidants and free radical inhibitors "attacks." Tyrosol is quite stable and is able to undo the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.3 hydroxytyrosol is an efficient garbage collector free radicals and contributes to the oil life, delaying self-oxidation.4 Based on some studies, 5 average, these compounds in olive oil account for the following approximate levels:
1. Extra virgin olive oil: 4.2 milligrams per 100 grams
2. Refined olive oil: 0.47 milligrams per 100 grams
As we can see, there is a difference between the amounts found in extra time
virgin olive oil and refined oils.
Oil o: squalene. The main oil olive oil is squalene, another powerful antioxidant. A study6 shows that the average intake of squalene is 30 mg per day in the United States. Consumption in the Mediterranean countries can reach 200 to 400 milligrams per day. The dose of squalene in olive oil is approximately as follows:
1. Extra virgin olive oil: 400 to 450 milligrams per 100 grams
2. Refined olive oil: 25 percent extra virgin olive oil6
Conclusion Buying extra virgin olive oil can be a bit more expensive, but ultimately can save a lot of money and pain. We'll keep an authentic Mediterranean diet with olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil to be part of it.

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