Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a Super Food


Our first Super Food is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Thanks to the Food Network and people like Rachel Ray most of you know about EVOO. What you may not know about it is even greater than what you did know. While I lost my 89 pounds I added as much EVOO to my daily diet as I wanted without counting the calories of it. That's right, even though EVOO has 125 calories per tablespoon, I ate it as a free food.

I had never even used EVOO in cooking prior to my healthy lifestyle change so it was quite an introduction for a girl who always used margarine for everything. I am happy to report that I haven't had margarine in my home for almost three years now. We are so use to using EVOO in place of margarine or butter in our household that it is just habit.


According to Real Age it helps you lose weight. "Great taste, less filling" -- that light beer slogan rings true for olive oil. While ounce for ounce, all oils have the same calories, olive oil has a fuller flavor so less is needed for tantalizing taste. Plus research shows that overweight people who eat a diet with some fat -- including olive oil -- are more likely to shed pounds than those who slash fat. Why? Oil's rich flavor makes it easier to stick with the program."

Besides assisting you in losing weight it has been found to cut cancer risk, helps yours heart, keeps blood pressure down and even assists those of us that suffer from headaches. Healthy Daily states, "The greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat is olive oil, and it is a prime component of the Mediterranean Diet. Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid. Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (mL) - about 2 tablespoons - of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.

But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed. Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils, one of the healing fats. Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually an omega-9 oil which is monounsaturated.

When buying olive oil you will want to obtain a high quality EXTRA VIRGIN oil. The oil that comes from the first "pressing" of the olive, is extracted without using heat (a cold press) or chemicals, and has no "off" flavors is awarded "extra virgin" status. The less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria, it can be designated as "extra virgin".

What is pure and light olive oil? "Pure" olive oil is made by adding a little extra virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. It is a lesser grade oil that is also labeled as just "olive oil" in the U.S. "Light" olive oil is a marketing concept and not a classification of olive oil grades. It is completely unregulated by any certification organizations and therefore has no real precedent to what its content should be. Sometimes, the olive oil is cut with other vegetable oils."

So you may be wondering how to use EVOO in your daily life. We keep a cruet on the counter (out of direct sunlight) to use on our toast each morning in place of butter (a basting brush works great for spreading). For green salads I drizzle a bit on top then use half as much Ranch (or any) dressing as I usually would. It is very good used in combination with Balsalmic Vinegar on salads too. I replace 1/2 of the mayonnaise called for in potato/macaroni type salads. You can also drizzle it over slices of crusty bread or onto open-face sandwiches. Use it on a baked potato or add it to mashed potatoes/yams instead of butter. Extra virgin olive oil tastes great on cooked vegetables or brushed onto fish or meat before serving. Basically you can replace anything that calls for oil, margarine or butter with it...I even use it for my fabulous cookies and have never had any comment other than, "fabulous" and "delicious".

How do you use the Super Food Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your daily life? have you noticed any health benefits?

Resources:
http://food.yahoo.com/blog/beautyeats/8039/5-reasons-why-olive-oil-is-the-ultimate-healthy-fat

http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/olive-oil.htm

http://whatscookingamerica.net/OliveOil.htm

2 comments:

  1. I have actually started using Extra Virgin Olive Oil recently. I have found that I am using this more and butter less, not that I have eliminated butter all together, but I find that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is easy to use and is better for you, I think.

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  2. Really great information. I am really happy to knew this. I read somewhere about olive oil's health benefits. Here you are giving wonderful guidance.

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