Anna Cane, who is specialized in Science and Technology of olive oil, has recently published an article on how to develop healthy eating habits with the aid of olive oils and below is the full article:
You are what you eat. This proverb is present for many of us throughout our lives – serving as both friend, and foe. Ultimately, the lesson is that food forms a large part of our overall health, helping balance our bodies, giving us energy, regulating our system and often preventing sickness. This universal culinary lesson also transcends cultures.
The issue is often we think of healthy food as bland and expensive. But the reality is that if we do not eat carefully, exercise regularly and take care of ourselves, the risk of developing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), like heart disease is increased. With more than 68% of deaths worldwide caused by NCDs, the risks are very real. On the other hand, if you proactively invest into your health, you can live your life, enjoy traveling, being with your family or doing what you love.
Healthy eating: start with a few simple changes
It’s important to think of healthier eating as small steps that lead to greater change. An effective starting point is simply looking at the oil you cook with. From a nutritionist’s point of view, using the right kind of oil is profitable for your health.
Olive oil, the natural oil extracted from olives, is internationally considered one of the healthiest cooking oil options. What makes it great, is that its health benefits allow us to continue enjoying our favorite foods, without radical deviations to lifestyle, or taste. And here is why:
1. Olive oil can help lower cholesterol
Olive oil is naturally cholesterol-free and contains no salt. It is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (77% on average), in particular oleic acid which health studies indicate can help maintain normal cholesterol levels by eating this in moderation. And thereby reduce the risk of developing diseases related to high cholesterol.
2. Good source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants work by slowing or even preventing the harmful activity of ‘free radicals’ in our bodies, and Extra Virgin olive oil is a great source of several. One tablespoon of olive oil provides 8% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin E, which is linked to lessening our cell’s aging process. Likewise, olive oil contains polyphenols, another class of natural antioxidants not found in any other oil, that has beneficial properties to protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
3. Olive oil can guard against cardiovascular disease
Olive oil has a higher amount of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) than other vegetable oils. MUFAs are considered a healthy plant-based fat and because of olive oil’s increased levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, they help maintain normal cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats in the diet. This helpful ingredient can also help strengthen blood vessels, protect against Alzheimer’s, lower your risk of heart disease and provide nutrients to help maintain your body’s cells.
4. Olive oil consumption can lower the risk of diabetes
Diabetes has become a large health issue in the world today, with data from the International Diabetes Federationindicating that 425 million people globally are living with diabetes. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States there are currently 30.3 million people living with diabetes (9.4% of the population).
With olive oil’s abundance of antioxidants, it can help reduce oxidative stress effects that diabetics suffer due to elevated levels of blood sugar. It therefore reduces the risk of diabetes complications, as well as nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) and retinal neuropathy. And Oleocanthal, a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil, acts as anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is another precursor to many diseases, including chronic inflammation caused by diabetes.
The Bottom Line:
The health benefits of replacing bad fats with olive oil are plentiful and an easy way to start being healthier. Olive Oil is also versatile and can be utilized at high temperatures (468 degrees Fahrenheit / 242 degrees Celsius), so you can cook all your favourite dishes. Best of all, it provides you the opportunity for healthier living without boredom or huge lifestyle changes.
In 2018, it is time to make ‘you are what you eat’ your friend once again.