`'Upgrade' Your Diet with Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

'Upgrade' Your Diet with Olive Oil

By Elena Paravantes
May. 25, 2012 10:06 UTC

Olive oil is known as a healthy fat because it is an excel­lent source of the good” fats, the monoun­sat­u­rated fatty acids that have been shown to lower harm­ful LDL cho­les­terol lev­els in the blood and pro­tect from heart dis­ease. But it’s more than just healthy fats.

Olive oil con­tains spe­cific fatty acids as well as polyphe­nols, com­pounds with antiox­i­dant activ­ity. These com­po­nents of olive oil inter­act with other nutri­ents and increase the nutri­tional value of a meal.

We know that the pres­ence of fat increases the absorp­tion of fat-sol­u­ble vit­a­mins A, D, E and K, but what about antiox­i­dants?

A num­ber of stud­ies for exam­ple, have shown that con­sump­tion of toma­toes that have been cooked with olive oil improves their antiox­i­dant activ­ity. This was not observed using other types of oil.

Other research shows that com­bin­ing olive oil with fatty fish may be ben­e­fi­cial for your arter­ies. Norwegian researchers observed that when omega‑3 rich fish oil such as the type you find in sar­dines, anchovies or salmon was com­bined with extra vir­gin olive oil it pre­vented the hard­en­ing of arter­ies (ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis) to a greater extent than each of these foods alone.

It is impor­tant there­fore, to view olive oil not only as an indi­vid­ual ingre­di­ent but also as a com­po­nent of the diet that enhances the nutri­tional value of other foods.


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