The Mediterranean Diet is still highly regarded incorporating the magic use of olive oil.
An analysis quoted (2014, Wikipedia) showed that an elevated use of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality-cardiovascular events, stroke and type 2 diabetes. That olive oil use cut cancer death by 6% and that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, slower cognitive decline as well as less incidence of Parkinson ’s disease.
One of the keenly cited benefits is the use of olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid. Olive oil protects via polyphenols against the oxidation of blood lipids.
[ii]Regular consumption of olive oil is associated with increased longevity and preventing cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity as well as certain cancers including digestive and breast cancer. Though this article calls for more definitive research, this and another article says that olive oil is seen as being an:
Virgin olive oil is the one rich in phenolic compounds[iv] and is said that daily ingestion of this is beneficial and a key food for protection from cardiovascular issue. It may be that extra virgin olive oil can be problematic because it is extremely perishable and can easily go rancid[v]. Perhaps semi-refined oil is better to use instead. When oil is exposed to light or air it oxidizes and the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates this oxidation. Spoiled oil will do more harm than good (Mercola) .
So keep your olive oil in a cool dark place and close the cap immediately--plus perhaps buy small amounts at a time or transfer to smaller containers to mitigate oxidation.
IMPORTANT TO BE AWARE THAT:
Heating vegetable oil and cooking with olive oil is said to change the oil into an oxidant rather than an anti-oxidant-- because at high temperatures, it burns.
It is recommended to use coconut oil to cook with and olive oil when cold![vi]
To tell if you have olive oil gone bad it:
- smells like crayons or putty
- tastes like rancid nuts and
- has a greasy mouthfeel.
Mercola indicates that corn, soy, safflower and canola oil are highly damaged by heat and can clog arteries. He further warns as well about processed foods like potato chips, pre-made cookies and microwave dinners. They use trans-fats which raise LDL and is linked to heart disease.
Recently[vii] a review of 23 publications was done to see if heating vegetable oil increased the risk of chronic disease. The survey concluded that high use of fried foods is related to weight gain. Our Team is inclined to go with the oxidation theory however--and chooses not to heat olive oil. We recommend that you check with a a qualified nutritionist.
We are using coconut oil for cooking.
We can choose! Choose to Win!
[i] Mediterranean diet Wikipedia
[ii] Br J Nutr 2015 Apr; 113 Suppl 2:S 94-101. Doi: 10.1017/S0007114003936. The role of olive oil in disease prevention: a focus on the recent epidemiological evidence from cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. Buckland G, et al.
[iii] Br J Nutr April 2015; Suppl 2:S94-101. Doi:10.1017/S000711451`4003936. The role of olive oil in disease prevention:a focus on the recent epidemiological evidence from cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. Buckland G, et al.
[iv] Br J Nut 2015 April;113 Suppl 2:S19-28. Doi: 10.1017/S007114515000136. Virgin olive oil: a key food for cardiovascular risk protection Covas MI, et al.
[v] New Warning about Olive Oil Mercola.com Oct 20, 2010
[vi] Coconut oil vs Vegetable oils: What Oil Should You Be Cooking with and Which Should You Avoid? Mercola.com
[vii] Br J Nutr 2015 Apr; 113 Suppl 2:S36-48. Doi: 10.1017/S0007114514002931 Does cooking with vegetable oils increase the risk of chronic diseases?: a systematic review. Sayon-Orea C, et al.Read More