The benefits of olive oil are superior to seed oils for its dietary therapeutic properties as for its flavor and aroma. Here are some advantages of olive oil over other seed oils:
Ideal composition: The primary nutrients found in olive oil are:
- Triglycerides formed from glycerin and various fatty acids
- Vitamin E: 12.4 mg a-TE/100 g and
- Iron: o.38 mg/100 g
According to the American Heart Association, olive oil’s distribution of fatty acids, with monounsaturated oleic acid prevailing, comes the closest to the optimum and enhances the many benefits of olive oil.
Better flavor: The aroma and taste of olive oil are more pronounced than those of seed oils, which are quite bland. Although some people are not used to the flavor of olive oil and prefer other oils with a natural flavor, very few, do not appreciate the bouquet of an excellent virgin olive oil. However, many people do know about the life-saving benefits of olive oil.
More natural: Its production process is more straightforward and more natural than that of seed oils. Virgin olive oil does not go through a refining process, and it is not treated with solvents, as most seed oils are. Moreover, olive oil does not contain any trans-fatty acids.
Olive oil is a lot more stable: It contains less polyunsaturated fatty acids, it’s more durable than seed oils. It takes longer before becoming rancid, and it does not produce dangerous peroxides.
It is a better oil for frying: This oil can withstand higher temperatures without disintegrating. For this purpose, it is an excellent oil for frying. Therefore, people that love fried foods can enjoy the medicinal benefits of olive oil as well.
Olive oil health benefits: There is a myth going for quite some time in certain Anglo-Saxon regions suggesting that olive oil raises blood cholesterol. However, studies regarding the Mediterranean diet have demonstrated that olive oil shields your heart more than any other, leading to the Mediterranean diet’s heart benefits.
Medicinal Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is heart-healthy. Consuming olive oil regularly protects against coronary diseases like angina and heart attacks.
- It reduces the threat of thrombosis. One study in South Africa by the famous cardiac surgeon Christian Bernard, the first to perform a successful heart transplant, demonstrated that olive oil is as effective as fish oils in reducing fibrinogen levels in the blood. This protein substance is the primary component of blood clots; the greater its level, the greater the clot formation threat.
Olive oil controls cholesterol. Indeed, this powerful oil does not reduce total cholesterol levels as much as seed oils. It does very little to lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol and overall cholesterol. However, it does raise (HDL) (the good cholesterol) levels.
However, this does not mean that the benefits of olive oil are less than seed oils, as was once thought. Olive oil provides more excellent protection against arteriosclerosis and coronary disease than any other oil because it inhibits lipoproteins’ oxidation.
It inhibits the oxidation of lipoproteins, which is very important among the many benefits of olive oil. The oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, which is a fat that circulates through the blood and contains a great deal of cholesterol, also known by the initial’s LDL, is the primary mechanism in producing arteriosclerosis.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that monounsaturated-fatty acids, like oleic acid from olive oil, are more effective than polyunsaturated-fatty acids in preventing the oxidation of lipoproteins. In other words, olive oil is a lot more useful than seed oils in the prevention of arteriosclerosis, even though seed oils reduce cholesterol levels to a greater degree.
One of the many benefits of olive oil is that It reduces the risk of breast cancer. Investigators from the Spanish National School of Health were the first to propose that olive oil reduces breast cancer risk. Another joint study by the University of Athens, and Harvard University, confirmed that an increase in olive oil consumption (more than once a day) lowered breast cancer risk by twenty-five percent to thirty-five percent. On the other hand, the use of margarine puts you at a higher risk of this disease.
Another one of the benefits of olive oil is that it protects the liver as well. Olive oil promotes liver function and is particularly useful in hepatic deficiency due to hepatitis, cirrhosis, or toxins from other sources. These benefits have been confirmed experimentally with laboratory animals.
Olive oil is also useful for gallbladder disorders due to its cholagogue effect, which means that it helps with bile drainage.
It protects against constipation. Olive oil serves as a mild, effective laxative, mainly when you take it on an empty stomach; this is where the drinking olive oil benefits kick in. Also, the benefits of drinking olive oil in the morning (one to two tablespoons are sufficient) helps keep you regular.
Types of Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil is produced by grinding olives to a paste, then cold-pressing them to squeeze out the oil. Virgin olive oil does go through a refining process. Manufacturers use physical methods to remove suspended solid particles and leave the oil transparent: sedimentation, centrifugation, and filtration.
The fewer the fatty acids the oil contains, depending on the characteristics of the fruit, the higher the quality and delicacy of its flavor:
- Extra virgin olive oil: Acidity lower than one degree. Its flavor and aroma are fruity, very delicate, and exquisite.
- Fine: The same as extra but may have 1.5° acidity.
- Ordinary: May contain up to 3° acidity.
- Industrial: Contains more than 3° acidity. It is not edible due to its strong taste, and it needs refining.
Refined olive oil: This oil contains high levels of free fatty acids; due to the use of hot pressing in its production, or that has come from low-quality fruit, it needs refining to make it edible. After refining,
- Its acidity does not reach 0.2% (0.2°), resulting in almost no flavor;
- It is very pale;
- Contains almost no vitamins, phytosterols, or substances responsible for the aroma.
Pure olive oil: Pure olive oil, or simply olive oil, is produced by mixing virgin olive oil with refined olive oil, whose acidity cannot exceed 1° (1%). It is an intermediate between the first two types of oil and is the most common in the market.
Oil from olive residue: You can produce this oil by applying a solvent, generally hexane, to the residue left after pressing. It is of low quality and needs refining to reduce its acidity to a maximum of 0.3°.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 1. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 118, 119. Print. [benefits of olive oil]