Olives are the traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by crushing and pressing of olives and extracting by mechanical or chemical means. Olive oil is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps.
The main type of fat found in olive oil is MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) which is actually considered a healthy dietary fat. Olive oil is very low in saturated fats, contains omega-6 and 3 essential fatty acids making it as one of the healthiest cooking oils.
Nutritional values in olive oil:
Olive oil is high in calories, so use it only in moderation. Use olive oil instead of butter or margarine and not in addition to it. Also, be aware that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and possibly its health-promoting nutrient too. Extra virgin olive oil, which refers to the first pressed oil, is considered the healthiest. However, it is important to remember that olive oil is a fat and should be consumed in limited quantities, in proper ratio to your balanced diet. Addition of olive oil to unhealthy foods does not make those foods healthy
Nutritional Value of olive oil: 1 tbsp Energy 110 kcal Total fat 13.5g Calcium 18mg Total Omega-3 fatty acids 103mg Total Omega-6 fatty acids 1318mg Phytosterols 29.8mg Vitamin E 1.9mg Vitamin K 8.1mcg
Healthy Benefits of olive oil:
Studies have proven that MUFA and PUFA, and the Phytosterols in olive oil have been beneficial.
- It reduces the risk of thrombosis and atherosclerosis
- Reduces risk of certain cancer
- Beneficial with regard to diabetes
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Regularizes blood sugar levels
- Promotes heart health
- Strengthens the immune system
Myths about olive oil:
Myth: We cannot use olive oil for frying, as it will spoil the nutritive value of the oil.
Fact: Olive oil has better smoking point than other oils, extra-virgin olive oil adds great fruity flavor, and sautéing over high heat doesn’t burn away the oil’s healthful antioxidants.
Myth: Olive oil improves with age / Olive oil is like wine, older the better
Fact: : Olive oil, like other edible fats and oils starts deteriorating as soon as it is made. Olive oil has natural antioxidants but still does not improve with age. It is best to preserve its character for as long as possible. The best way is to store the oil is to keep it away from heat and light, in a airtight container.
Tips to include Olive oil in your diet :
- Use extra virgin olive oil in all salad dressings
- Combine olive oil, oregano, minced garlic and coriander. Spread on bread for homemade garlic bread.
- Add a dash of olive oil to scrambled eggs or to omelet or even frittata.
- Place olive oil and vinegar in a small dish and enjoy as a flavoring for a slice of crusty whole grain bread.
- Top the pasta with extra virgin olive oil
- Add extra virgin olive oil over healthy sautéed vegetables before serving.
- [Corn and tomato salad =402]
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