Many people think all dietary fat is bad for you and can contribute to poor health. Actually, this is not the case. Everyone needs some fat in their diet. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture recommends that adults take in 20-35% of their daily calories from fats. Dietary fat is important for supple skin, for vitamin absorption and as a fuel for our physical activities.
The real issue is that some fats are better for you than others. As it turn out, olive oil is one of the best fats to include in a healthy diet. Why exactly is that? Let’s look at this more closely.
Good Fats versus Bad Fats
Dietary fats come from a variety of animal and plant sources. Fats can be subdivided into two basic types: Saturated versus unsaturated. The distinction is a function of their basic chemical makeup. For us however, the health ramifications are profound. Unsaturated fats are good for you, saturated fats are not.
Additionally, there are artificial trans fats, the most unhealthy fats of all. Found in highly refined and processed food such as potato chips, pastry icings and the like, these culprits are responsible for the development of poor blood lipid profiles, which can lead to all sorts of cardiovascular problems and cancer.
There are two types of unsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated. Both are good for your diet, especially as used to replace the consumption of saturated fat. Of the two monounsaturated fat is the best. This type of fat is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and is associated with low levels of heart disease when it is the primary fat consumed. Olive oil is a perfect example of a health-promoting monounsaturated fat.
The Wonders of Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the most healthy fats you can consume. Long a staple in the diets of traditional Mediterranean cultures, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat with many health-promoting virtues. Here a several:
- Stroke Prevention. Several studies have confirmed that those who consume olive oil as their staple fat have a lower risk for stroke than those who do not.
- Heart Health. The olive-oil rich Mediterranean diet had been shown conclusively to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Cancer Prevention. As one of the leading causes of death across the globe, it is notable that people who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, have low rates of cancer, probably because of olive oil’s rich supply of antioxidants.
- Type 2 Diabetes. Several studies have demonstrated a beneficial effects of olive oil on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
- Alzheimer’s Disease. Olive oil has been shown to remove the build-up of plaques in the brain, a leading cause of cognitive degeneration.
- No Weight Gain. Interestingly enough, a two and one-half year study of over 7000 Spanish college students showed that a high intake of oil was not linked to weight gain or obesity.
Where to Buy Your Olive Oil
When purchasing olive oil you have many choices. We think the best choice is our Viriato Organic Monovarietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as it preserves all the antioxidant and bioactive micronutrients. Visit us @ Olive Made for your olive oil purchases and other healthy items associated with a Mediterranean-style diet.