A GENIUNE Mediterranean Diet – Why You Should Make Olive Oil Section of Your Diet

Olive oil: A major player in the prevention of heart disease
Although the health and longevity of the Mediterranean people are associated with a geniune Mediterranean diet saturated in plant foods and low in animal products, what has really defined this traditional diet may be the abundant usage of olives and olive oil, the main fat source and the culinary foundation of the Mediterranean cuisine.

For centuries, olive oil has been a major player in the low incidence of heart disease among Mediterranean populations. Extensive research shows that olive oil not merely can prevent damage to the arteries but may also reverse high levels of cholesterol in the blood and lower high blood pressure, a major risk for strokes.

In a report conducted by Montoya and associates, the participants followed four types of diets for a five-week period: One diet was rich in saturated fats; one in polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil); one in monounsaturated fat (extra virgin olive oil); and the last one in omega-3 fatty acids from fish. The study showed that whenever people followed the diet rich in extra virgin essential olive oil, their degrees of bad cholesterol went down and their blood circulation pressure decreased 5 to 6 percent.1

We realize that extra virgin olive oil is an irreplaceable way to obtain fat with regards to the heart as the main fat in olive oil is monounsaturated, the fat that does not get stuck in the arteries. We also understand that all olive oils have a comparable proportion of monounsaturated fat. Then, why buying extra virgin olive oil when it is more expensive than refined essential olive oil? Two major reasons:

1. Refined olive oils are loaded with chemicals
Thousands of years back, the olives were crushed by hand in spherical stone basins; today, in an identical method, olives (with pits) are pounded and crushed using mechanical techniques. The oil stated in such a way (cold) is the extra virgin olive oil, the natural juice from the olives. It preserves the unique flavor, smell, and healthy properties of the fruit.

The solid residue that remains following the first extraction is sent back to the press to be beaten again and become exposed to different heat levels and chemical procedures. It really is neutralized with sodium hydroxide, passed through charcoal filters, and extracted with hexane at low temperatures. The resulting oil lacks color and aroma, and contains lost most of its antioxidant properties. That’s why these second extractions are not recommended for consumption. As time passes, the use of oils which have been subjected to chemical agents could have a toxic effect on our anatomies.

2. Extra virgin essential olive oil contains more antioxidants than their refined versions

Countless studies conducted to examine the actions of some minor compounds in olive oil have indicated that they are strong antioxidants and potent free radical scavengers. Free radicals are highly unstable and destructive molecules that subject our cells to oxidative stress, continuous damage that eventually kills the cells. When radicals kill or damage enough cells within an organism, the organism ages and finally dies. The antioxidants in olive oil are found in larger amounts in extra virgin essential olive oil than in refined olive oils. Let’s check out some of them.

o Vitamin E (�-tocopherol). Essential olive oil contains alpha-tocopherol or vitamin e antioxidant, the tocopherol with the highest natural antioxidant activity and one of the very most effective defenders against oxidation in our cell membranes. Consistent evidence shows that people with low levels of vitamin E in the blood have significantly more damage in the arteries than people who have an adequate amount.1 On average, the amount of vitamin e antioxidant in the oil is about 24 to 43 milligrams for each 100 grams of oil.2 A tablespoon of extra virgin essential olive oil contains 1.6 milligrams (2.3 IU [International Units]) of vitamin E, providing 8 to 15 percent of the recommended daily intake.

o Polyphenols: tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Extensive research shows that polyphenols are potent antioxidants and inhibitors of free radical “attacks.” Tyrosol is fairly stable and is able to undo oxidation of LDL cholesterol.3 Hydroxytyrosol is an effective trash picker of free radicals also it plays a part in the shelf life of the oil, delaying its auto-oxidation.4 Based on some studies,5 typically, these compounds in olive oil account for the next approximate levels:

1. Extra virgin olive oil: 4.2 milligrams for every 100 grams

2. EB1 extraordinary ability Refined olive oil: 0.47 milligrams for every 100 grams

As we can appreciate, you will find a big difference between your amounts found in extra

virgin essential olive oil and refined oils.

o Hydrocarbons: squalene. The major hydrocarbon in essential olive oil is squalene, another powerful antioxidant. One study6 shows that the common intake of squalene is 30 milligrams per day in america. The intake in the Mediterranean countries can reach 200-400 milligrams per day. The dose of squalene found in olive oil is approximately as follows:

1. Extra virgin olive oil: 400-450 milligrams per 100 grams

2. Refined olive oil: 25 % significantly less than extra virgin olive oil6

Buying extra virgin olive oil may be a bit more expensive, but in the long term you may save big money and a lot of grief. Let’s follow an authentic Mediterranean Diet with essential olive oil, in particular extra virgin essential olive oil being part of it.