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No idea about Olive oil?Check out this guide,learn its benefits, nutritional facts and its risks.

Including olive oil in your regular diet offers several benefits — such as protecting heart health or cognitive function.This Mediterranean staple might also reduce your risk of dying from dementia by 28% if you eat just a spoonful every day.Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia.


Additionally, replacing a daily teaspoon of mayonnaise or margarine with the same amount of olive oil was correlated with an 8% to 14% lower risk of dementia-related death.


Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Promotes Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death.Diet and lifestyle choices can help lower your risk of heart disease by promoting healthy blood lipid levels, blood pressure, improving blood vessel function, and preventing atherosclerosis.


Additionally, regularly consuming olive oil may help reduce LDL cholesterol, increase levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure, all of which may help prevent heart disease.


High in Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Compounds
One of the main reasons why olive oil consumption is associated with reduced disease risk is because it’s concentrated in compounds that help reduce inflammation and protect against cellular damage.


Olive oil contains more than 200 plant compounds, including carotenoids, sterols, and polyphenols like hydroxytyrosol (HT) and hydroxytyrosol acetate (HT-ac), which act as powerful antioxidants in the body.These compounds inhibit inflammatory pathways in the body and may help reduce markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).


Because olive oil is so high in anti-inflammatory substances, it may benefit those with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


May Help Reduce the Risk of Common Health Conditions
Including more olive oil in your diet may help lower your risk of common diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, and may help you live a longer, healthier life.The researchers concluded that replacing ten grams per day of fats like butter, mayonnaise, and margarine with the same amount of olive oil was associated with an 8%-34% lower risk of death from all causes.


Nutritional Facts of Olive Oil
Olive oil is a healthy fat that’s rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Most of the fat in olive oil is unsaturated, making it a smart choice for heart health.


Here’s the nutrition breakdown for a one-tablespoon serving of olive oil.12
Calories: 126
Fat: 14 grams (g)
Saturated Fat: 2.17 grams
Monounsaturated Fat: 9.58 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.33 grams
Vitamin E: 2.93 mg or 20% of the Daily Value (DV)


Olive oil is mainly composed of monounsaturated fat and is low in saturated fat. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil, especially oleic acid, are beneficial for heart health.


Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient that plays an important role in immune function and protects cells against oxidative damage that may otherwise lead to disease.Including more olive oil in your diet is an easy way to boost your intake of this essential nutrient.


Risks of Olive Oil
Olive oil is considered a healthy fat and is safe to consume for most people. However, people who are allergic to olives should avoid all olive-derived products, including olive oil.


Also, like all fats, olive oil is calorie-dense. Just one tablespoon contains 126 calories and 14 grams of fat. That said, high-calorie, high-fat foods, like olive oil, nuts, and avocados, can be enjoyed regularly as part of a well-rounded nutritious diet.


However, people who are trying to lose weight may want to cut back on their portions of high-calorie ingredients, like oils, in order to create a calorie deficit to promote fat loss.


Tips for Consuming Olive Oil
Olive oil can be added to a number of sweet and savory recipes and is appropriate for low-to-moderate-heat cooking methods, like sauteeing and baking.


Keep in mind that virgin olive oils, including extra virgin olive oils, have a lower smoke point than refined olive oils. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke. The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil lies between 350-410⁰ F, while the smoke point of refined olive oil can range from 390-470⁰ F, making refined olive oil a better choice for higher-heat cooking.


Here are some easy ways to incorporate more olive oil into your diet:

•Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on finished dishes like pasta and roasted vegetables.
•Use olive oil to make homemade salad dressings, hummus, and pesto.
•Sprinkle olive oil over fruit-based dishes, like watermelon, mint, and feta salad.
•Use olive oil in place of butter or vegetable oil for low and moderate-heat cooking.
•Use olive oil to make baked goods like cakes and bread.
•Mix olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make an easy dip for freshly baked bread.


N/B : Try replacing different fats, like butter and vegetable oil, with olive oil in your favorite recipes, and keep high-quality olive oil in your pantry so you always have a healthy fat option to prepare delicious meals.


Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest oils you can eat. This heart-healthy fat is packed with protective plant compounds that may help reduce inflammation and protect against cellular damage.


Diets high in olive oil have been linked to a number of health benefits, including lowering the risk of common health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, olive oil is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.Consider stocking your kitchen with this multipurpose fat for an easy way to better your health.


Article By Suzy Nyongesa.


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