Dietary fat is a very controversial issue.
Just by searching the word "fat" on google, you will easily see a lot of discussion around animal fat, vegetable fat, seed oil and all that is related to it.
And one of the few fats that most people agree to is healthy is pure olive oil.
This oil is present in the diets of Mediterranean people, and is a traditional fat that is always present in the healthiest populations in the world.
In fact, there are relatively many studies of the great health benefits of olive oil.
Studies show that fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil provide some powerful health benefits that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
1. What is Olive Oil and How is it Produced?
Olive oil is an olive oil, the fruit of an olive tree.
The process of creating olive oil is very simple, you just need to squeeze the olive fruit and make the olive oil flow.
But that is still a big problem for olive oil. It is not always produced as what you think. There are still a number of low quality oils that are extracted from chemicals, even diluted with other cheaper oils.
Therefore, buying the right olive oil is extremely important.
The best olive oil is the oil extracted by natural methods, standardized for certain purity and quality such as flavor and odor.
The highest quality olive oil is extra virgin oil. It has a very special flavor, contains phenolic antioxidants, and that is why olive oil is so beneficial.
In addition to pure olive oil (extra virgin olive), there are also a variety of refined olive oils, often extracted with solvents, treated with heat or even diluted with other cheaper oils like soybean oil. and canola oil.
It is for this reason that I recommend using pure olive oil.
On the market today there are many units selling olive oil, so you need to learn very carefully to find reputable sources. And even oil is labeled as " extra virgin "(Virgin olive oil) is also mixed with cheaper oils.
In short: "extra virgin" oil (virgin olive oil) is a 100% natural oil with a very high antioxidant content. Besides, there are many types of olive oils that are blended with cheaper oils.
2. Nutrient Composition Of Pure Olive Oil
Olive oil is quite nutritious.
It is rich in vitamin E and many beneficial fatty acids.
This is the nutritional value of 100 grams of olive oil:
Saturated fat: 13.8%.
Unsaturated monounsaturated: 73% (most of it is 18 carbon oleic acid long).
Vitamin E: 72% RDA.
Vitamin K: 75% RDA.
But pure olive oil actually offers many outstanding benefits thanks to its high levels of antioxidants.
The ingredients in olive oil are biologically active, and one of them may help fight some serious diseases.
Some of the antioxidants are oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties, oleuropein helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
Some people complain that olive oil has a higher ratio of omega-6 than omega-3 (more than 10: 1), but you also have to remember, the total amount of polyunsaturated fat is still relatively low, so this is not worrisome.
Summary: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and contains a relatively high amount of vitamin E, K, and large amounts of antioxidants, one of which offers optimal health benefits.
3. Pure Olive Oil Containing Inflammatory Resistance
It is believed that chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of many other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis.
And many studies have claimed that olive oil has an effective anti-inflammatory effect. They gave evidence that, in olive oil, there is oleic acid, a prominent acid that can reduce inflammatory symptoms like C-Reactive protein.
But the anti-inflammatory effect of olive oil seems to be promoted through antioxidants, mainly oleocanthal. This substance has been shown to work as ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug.
The researchers estimated that oleocanthal in 50 ml (about 3.4 tablespoons) of virgin olive oil had the same effect as 10% of ibuprofen adult dose for pain relief.
There is also a study that shows that substances in olive oil can reduce gene expression and proteins help regulate inflammation.
Please note that the situation of acute inflammation, low-grade inflammation is quite good, so it takes years or decades to cause harm.
Eating lots of olive oil can help prevent this from happening, helping to reduce the risk of other diseases, especially heart disease.
Summary: Olive oil contains oleic acid and oleocanthal, nutrients that may be able to fight inflammation. This may be the main reason for the health benefits of olive oil.
4. Pure Olive Oil Against Cardiovascular Related Diseases
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is the most common cause of death in the world.
Many observational studies show that the mortality rate due to these diseases is low in certain areas in the world, especially countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
Studies of dietary exercise in these areas suggest that olive oil can prevent heart disease. It can reduce 30% of heart attacks, strokes and deaths.
Pure olive oil can protect against heart disease through many mechanisms such as:
- Minimizing inflammation: As I mentioned above, olive oil protects against inflammation, a major factor in heart disease.
- LDL cholesterol: Olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage, a major factor in the development of heart disease.
- Improving endothelial function: Olive oil improves endothelial function, which is the lining of blood vessels.
- Coagulation: Some studies suggest that olive oil may help prevent unwanted clotting. Coagulation is the main cause of heart attacks and strokes.
- Hypotension: A study in patients with high blood pressure showed that olive oil significantly reduced blood pressure and decreased blood pressure by 48%.
The evidence suggests that people who regularly consume olive oil are at lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes.
This evidence is only a small fraction of dozens or even hundreds of large studies in both humans and animals that have confirmed the amazing benefits of olive oil for the heart.
I think that the evidence is strong enough to recommend that people with heart disease or those at high risk of disease (possibly genetically) should regularly add virgin olive oil into the regime. eat daily.
Summary: Olive oil can be one of the healthiest foods you can eat for heart health. It lowers blood pressure, protects LDL particles from oxidation, reduces inflammation and can help prevent unwanted clotting.
5. Other Health Benefits of Pure Olive Oil
In addition to the great cardiovascular benefits, olive oil also offers many other great health benefits.
Cancer is a common cause of high mortality. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.
Many studies have shown that people in Mediterranean countries are at low risk of cancer, and they think olive oil is a key factor in this.
One potential cause of cancer is the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which contain virgin olive oil, which has antioxidants and minimizes the damage of oxidation.
The oleic acid in olive oil also has antioxidant capacity and has been shown to have beneficial effects on cancer-related genes.
Many in vitro studies also confirm that compounds in olive oil can help fight cancer at the molecular level.
However, the anti-cancer effect of olive oil is currently not tested in humans.
Olive Oil And Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and is the leading cause of dementia.
A characteristic of Alzheimer's disease is an accumulation of protein plexus called beta amyloid plaque in certain neurons in the brain.
A study in mice showed that a substance in olive oil can help clean this plaque fish from the brain.
A human-controlled trial also showed that an olive-rich Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain function, and reduces the risk of cognitive decline.
In summary: there is preliminary evidence that olive oil can help fight Alzheimer's disease and cancer, although this needs to be confirmed in controlled human trials.
6. Can Cooking With Olive Oil?
During cooking, fatty acids can be oxidized. This is because they react with oxygen and are damaged.
The double bonds in fatty acid molecules are responsible for this.
Because of this cause saturated fats (without double bonds) are highly heat resistant, while polyunsaturated fats (many double bonds) are sensitive and become damaged.
In olive oil contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids (only one double bond), so it is actually quite resistant to heat.
In one study, the researchers heated pure olive oil to 180 degrees C (356 degrees F) for 36 hours. The oil is really resistant to heat and oil.
Another study, olive oil was used to fry food, and it took 24-27 hours to reach the harmful temperature.
In general, olive oil seems to be very safe, even for cooking at high temperatures.
In addition, you can also drink raw, or mix olive oil with cooked food. Each time from 1-2 teaspoons.
Olive oil is one of the super healthy oils.
For people with heart disease or high risk of future heart disease, olive oil is definitely a "super food" for them.
However, in order to get the best health benefits that olive oil can bring, you need to be sure to buy pure olive oil from reliable sources, avoid using virgin olive oil. But it is actually diluted with other cheaper oils.
Be very cautious before deciding on any cooking oil.