`More Misconceptions About Olive Oil

Health

More Misconceptions About Olive Oil

Feb. 3, 2014
Elena Paravantes

Recent News

Recently there has been an appear­ance of sev­eral veg­etable and seed oil com­pa­nies that have been assert­ing that seed oils have less sat­u­rated fat than olive oil, sug­gest­ing that these oils are health­ier choices com­pared with olive oil.

One of the main points they make is that olive oil has dou­ble the amount of sat­u­rated fat than other seed or veg­etable oils. They con­tinue by claim­ing that by switch­ing to the seed or veg­etable oil you can cut your intake of sat­u­rated fat dras­ti­cally. This is prob­lem­atic for two rea­sons:

1. The main sources of sat­u­rated fat obvi­ously do not come from olive oil, which is 75 per­cent monoun­sat­u­rated fat (known as the good fat). Accord­ing to NHANES (National Health and Nutri­tion Exam­i­na­tion Sur­vey) data, olive oil is not even in the 25 top sources of sat­u­rated fat for Amer­i­cans con­tribut­ing less than one per­cent of sat­u­rated fat, (it was not even on the list).

The top ten sources of sat­u­rated fat in the Amer­i­can diet are: cheese, pizza, grain based desserts, dairy desserts, chicken and chicken mixed dishes, sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs, burg­ers, Mex­i­can mixed dishes, beef and beef mixed dishes, and reduced fat milk. There­fore, the argu­ment of switch­ing from olive oil to seed oil in order to reduce sat­u­rated fat intake is a weak one and deceiv­ing, con­sid­er­ing the main sources of sat­u­rated fat are basi­cally junk food.

If one wishes to reduce sat­u­rated fat intake, it would be much more effec­tive to cut down on cheese, pizza, desserts and other foods.

2. Say­ing that olive oil has more sat­u­rated fat than a seed oil, and is there­fore health­ier, is sim­plis­tic and sim­ply not true. Olive oil is high in monoun­sat­u­rated fats and low in the polyun­sat­u­rated fats asso­ci­ated with inflam­ma­tion that Amer­i­cans and other west­ern­ized nations are already get­ting too much of in processed foods.

Advertisement

What they do not say when they make this claim is that extra vir­gin olive oil has sev­eral other sub­stances, mainly polyphe­nols, that are respon­si­ble for the mul­ti­tude of ben­e­fits. These polyphe­nols are not present in other veg­etable and seed oils, and that means that they do not have any of the health ben­e­fits asso­ci­ated with olive oil.


Related News