The list of cooking fats is seemingly endless with everything from seed oils to vegetable oils flooding the market. While the options you might see on a shelf are vast, the nutritional benefits are not necessarily equal.
In fact, the nutrition information on olive oil suggests that it is the healthiest cooking fat on the market today. Extra virgin olive oil nutrition data shows that the high levels of antioxidants and fatty acids provide numerous health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease.
The predominant fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil is called oleic acid and it makes up about 73 percent of the total oil content. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that is odorless, colorless and can be found not only in olive oil, but a number of other animal and vegetable fats and oils.
In fact, some oils are processed in a way to increase the oleic acid content – olive oil however, especially those that adhere to strict guidelines, has a naturally occurring high-percentage of the stuff.
The overall benefit of the fatty acid comes from the number of studies suggesting that oleic acid has anti-inflammation effects, an issue that has been linked to all sorts of health problems.
Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to olive oil, you might still be wondering which olive oil to choose.
Extra virgin olive oil is an olive oil that is made from the first cold press of the olives. This ensures that it maintains a majority of the health benefits that help set it apart. Virgin or light olive oil nutrition shouldn’t be confused with the extra virgin so be sure to read the labels carefully.
When we talk about the health benefits of olive oil you might be wondering what exactly we’re talking about. While research continues to be done into the Mediterranean diet and olive oil itself, we’ve highlighted a few of the known benefits below.
1. Contains High Levels of Healthy Fats – As we discussed above, while the oil does contain both saturated and polyunsaturated fats, a majority of the fat that exists in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
Studies have shown that oleic acid can help to fight inflammation in the body, one of the leading contributors to a range of different diseases and health problems.
2. Olive Oil Contains Antioxidants – Olive oil is loaded with powerful antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and also help reduce your risk of heart disease
3. Diabetes Prevention – Even if you have a balanced diet, additional measures to prevent diabetes can always be taken. Studies have found that extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 40%.
4. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure – The phenol-rich nature of olive oil has been shown to help lower blood pressure in several studies. Extra virgin olive oil has been considered so effective for hypertensive individuals that it has officially become a part of the DASH diet.
There are numerous other health benefits that have been noted in relation to consuming extra virgin olive oils. Overall, it’s a wonderful addition to any diet, and all of the nutrition labels for the olive oils that we source and sell can be viewed online.
If you’re wondering how you can add more of this healthy and beneficial fat into your diet then check out our recipe section.