Best known as a staple of the Mediterranean Diet, olive oil is becoming more than just an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures. It has become recognized as a “health food” and is being used in dishes of all kinds of nutritious fare.
- Olive oil has long been recognized for its high percentage of monounsaturated fat.
- When diets low in monounsaturated fat are altered to increase the monounsaturated fat content (by replacing other oils with olive oil), research study participants tend to experience a significant decrease in their total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL:HDL ratio.
- Olive oils contains anti-inflammatory compounds including at least nine different categories of polyphenols and more than two dozen well-researched anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Numerous polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria responsible for digestive tract infections.
- The polyphenols found in olive oil are a natural for helping us lower our risk of certain cancer types.
Best Ways to Use
- Use extra virgin olive oil in your salad dressings.
- Puree minced garlic, cooked potatoes and extra virgin olive oil together to make exceptionally delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over healthy sautéed vegetables before serving.
- Puree extra virgin olive oil, garlic and your favorite beans together in a food processor. Season to taste and serve as a dip.
Because added fats and oils are are calorie dense, it’s important to make sure that you keep portion sizes in check.