Olive oil is raving up the kitchens these days. It has acquired a significant space in cooking as well as in health and beauty spheres. A number of studies have concluded that it has all the essential nutrients and vitamins which provide us with a number of health benefits. It is useful for all ages. It also suits infants and children as it helps with their delicate digestive system as well as in their balanced growth. It helps women stay young by delaying their ageing process.
Olive is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is freshly crushed from the fruit. Raises the good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol. It is very well tolerated by the stomach. Olive improves digestive processes and regulates the level of bile secretion. It also improves the skin tone and helps delay cellular ageing through-out the whole body.
Olive oil improves metabolic system. It also improves sensitivity to insulin, lowers blood sugar and helps reduce and maintain weight. It increases bone growth by stimulating the absorption of calcium. It is good for the heart too. It prevents thickening of artery walls by dilating arterial blood vessels. Studies have shown that consumption of two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily for one week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and higher levels of antioxidant compounds in the blood. The classic diabetic diet is low in carbs and low in fat. And those who follow this diet or those who are on weight reducing mission are aware that fats are very satisfying to eat and it’s pretty hard to stick to low carb-low fat diet for so long. So, inclusion of certain amount of olive oil works great to eliminate the cravings, you can get when going in for fat-free diets. Besides you get the benefits of improved insulin sensitivity, lower risk of heart attack, and no belly fat. Olive oil is also helpful in the control of diabetes or high blood sugar. This can be a useful component in a low carbohydrate diet, recommended to all those are diabetic. Regular use of olive oil helps in prevention of dreaded diseases like colon cancer. There are several studies done on rats fed with olive diet linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.
It is a natural storehouse of vitamins A, D, E and K. It is pure fruit juice and does not require heat or any chemical to extract the oil, it can be pressed and consumed immediately. It is mainly used in Mediterranean diet.
Extra virgin (It is the least processed and procured from the first pressing of the olives) is the best in aroma and flavour but it is not good for cooking, as the heat destroys its all nutritional properties. It is rich if used on raw or already cooked foods and for salads etc. It is less fattening and has more health benefits than compared to other oils. While all types of olive oils are sources of monosatuarated fats, extra virgin contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin-E and phenols, because it is less processed.
Pure olive (it is processed like filtering and refining) is called so but in reality it is a combination of refined oil and virgin olive oils. It has medium aroma and flavour and it is medium priced too. It can be used for deep frying and stir frying. But it is not good for Indian cooking.
Olive pomace oil is light oil and retains the taste of the dish. It is obtained after the higher grades of oil are extracted. The process removes many health benefits. Quality is very low as compared to extra virgin. It is best suited for Indian cooking.
So if one wants to loose weight, one can alter meals to include more healthy food.
By N Suguna