Olive Oil: Benefits and Drawbacks

Olive oil is a healthy fat that can be used for cooking and in salad dressings. It also has many health benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, it can have side effects such as weight gain or digestive issues.

Olive trees have been present for thousands of years, and olive oil is regarded as one of the essential Bible foods, having a long history going back to ancient civilizations. It’s also a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and has long been a part of the diets of some of the world’s healthiest, longest-living individuals, such as those who live in blue zones.

Why? Because the advantages of olive oil are many.

Anti-inflammatory chemicals, antioxidants that combat free radicals, and heart-healthy macronutrients are all-natural, high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil has the anti-inflammatory, anti-heart disease, anti-depressant, anti-depressant, anti-depressant, anti-depressant, anti-depressant, anti-depress

What Exactly Is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is produced from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea), which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

What is the purpose of olive oil? According to a comprehensive analysis of clinical research published in 2020, diets rich in extra virgin olive oil, such as the renowned Mediterranean diet, are linked to “a reduced incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and some kinds of cancer.”

The physiologically active phenolic chemicals naturally found in virgin olive oils have recently piqued people’s attention.

“There is broad agreement that extra virgin olive oil should, indeed, be the fat of choice when it comes to human health and sustainable agronomy,” according to the Summary of the III International Conference on Virgin Olive Oil and Health Consensus Report.

The phenolics in olive oil have beneficial benefits on several physiological indicators, including:

  • lipoproteins in the blood
  • oxidative stress
  • signs of inflammation
  • cellular and platelet function
  • antibacterial properties

Extra virgin, virgin, and ordinary olive oils are among the many olive oil available today. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware that “extra virgin olive oil” bought at most major grocery shops is often mixed with GMO canola oil and herb flavors.

Many store shelves are packed with imitation olive oil choices, but we’ve put together some buying recommendations to help you choose the finest ones.

Olive oil has been harvested for thousands of years, but today’s commercial olive oil business is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This source of satiating healthy fat was regarded as a valuable item by ancient peoples, who utilized it for its many therapeutic properties.

Olive oil was used in lamps, soaps, skincare products, cosmetics, and cooking.

Olive trees rapidly expanded across the world after first arriving in North America in the mid-1500s. Olive oil is now primarily grown in Italy, Mexico, the United States (especially California), Peru, Chile, and Argentina.

Benefits

More information about olive oil’s many health advantages may be found here:

1. It is suitable for your heart

Many studies have shown that high-MUFA diets can reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and cut triglycerides better than lower-fat, higher-carb diets, including a 2018 review focusing on olive oil’s cardiovascular benefits.

Extra virgin oil is considered an anti-inflammatory diet and cardiovascular defender due to solid antioxidants known as polyphenols. It also contains vasodilatory properties that help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

According to a 2009 research published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, extra virgin olive oil may help reverse inflammatory responses as well as age- and disease-related alterations to the heart and blood vessels. In addition, it helps reduce high blood pressure because it increases the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which maintains arteries dilated and clean, according to research.

Many studies have shown the preventive benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from olive oil. For example, some show that this kind of diet may reduce the risk of cardiac mortality by 30% and sudden cardiac death by 45 percent.

2. Aids in the Battle Against Cancer

Olives and olive oil contain high levels of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, according to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, and “polyphenols are believed to reduce morbidity and slow the development of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer.”

Acteosides, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and phenyl propionic acids, as well as lignans and flavones, are abundant in olives (particularly those that have not been exposed to high-heat procedures). They also offer anticancer drugs (e.g., squalene and terpenoids), the peroxidation-resistant lipid oleic acid, and chemicals that favorably impact the immune system.

Researchers believe that increased olives and olive oil intake in southern Europe contribute significantly to cancer prevention and wellness in the Mediterranean diet.

3. Assists in weight loss and the prevention of obesity

Olive oil intake seems to support good insulin sensitivity and the reduction of excess insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and may cause weight gain.

Satisfying fats assist in curbing hunger, cravings, and overeating. But unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why several studies have shown that low-fat diets do not result in weight reduction or maintenance as readily or often as balanced diets.

Researchers from one study showed that people who followed higher-fat, low-carbohydrate diets lost more weight than those who followed low-fat diets after evaluating five studies with a total of 447 participants. Blood pressure levels did not vary between the two groups, although triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels altered more positively in those who ate the fattier diets.

Similarly, eight-week research published in the Women’s Health Journal showed that an olive oil-rich diet resulted in higher weight reduction than a lower-fat diet. Moreover, following the eight weeks, the participants overwhelmingly selected an olive oil-rich diet for at least the next six months of the study.

4. Promotes the health of the brain

Fatty acids make up the majority of the brain, and we need a reasonably high amount regularly to execute activities, manage our emotions, and think properly. So it’s no surprise that olive oil is regarded as brain food that enhances concentration and memory.

Olive oil may protect against free radicals, which may aid in the prevention of age-related cognitive impairment. In addition, it is a component of the Mediterranean diet and contains MUFAs that are linked to long-term brain health.

5. Fights Depression and Mood Disorders

Olive oil is believed to offer anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing properties that may help avoid neurotransmitter dysfunction. It may also help to protect you against sadness and anxiety.

When the brain doesn’t receive enough “happy hormones” like serotonin or dopamine, essential chemical messengers required for mood regulation, healthy sleep, and thought-processing, mood or cognitive problems may develop.

Higher MUFA consumption was shown to have an inverse association with depression risk in a 2011 research. At the same time, there was a linear connection between trans-fat intake and depression risk, indicating that a greater trans-fat intake and a lower PUFA and MUFA intake may increase the odds of fighting mood disorders and treating depression.

6. Slows Aging Naturally

Extra virgin olive oil includes secoiridoids, an antioxidant that helps activate genes that contribute to anti-aging and cellular stress reduction.

Olive oil’s secoiridoids may also help prevent “age-related alterations” in skin cells by suppressing gene expression linked to the Warburg effect, a mechanism related to cancer development.

According to a 2019 study, “exclusive olive oil use (vs. no olive oil consumption) was substantially linked with better scores on the successful aging index (SAI), especially among individuals over the age of 70.”

Just keep in mind that cooking olive oil at high temperatures may have the opposite effect. Cooking with this oil at high temperatures causes advanced glycation end products (AGEs), contributing to “the multisystem functional loss that happens with aging.”

7. It has the potential to reduce the risk of diabetes

Olive oil may positively impact glucose metabolism by affecting cell membrane function, enzyme activity, insulin signaling, and gene expression.

According to research, consuming MUFAs and PUFAs seems to improve insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Fats assist in maintaining blood sugar levels and control insulin, while carbs raise blood sugar by supplying glucose. Even if you consume a high-sugar or high-carbohydrate meal, using extra virgin olive oil may help slow down the effect on your bloodstream.

Olive oil may also help you feel fuller after meals, which can help you avoid sugar cravings and overeating, both of which can contribute to diabetic problems.

8. Is Linked to a Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

According to specific research, a higher intake of olive oil has been linked to a reduced risk of acquiring some kinds of cancer, including breast cancer. While there are no apparent explanations for this, one possibility is that there is a presumed connection between MUFAs and hormone activity.

Nutritional Information

Monounsaturated fatty acids, the most significant of which is oleic acid, make up most olive oil.

In one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, there are approximate:

  • Calorie Count: 119
  • Fat: 14 grams (9.8 of which is monounsaturated)
  • There is no sugar, carbohydrates, or protein.
  • Vitamin K: 8 micrograms (10 percent DV)
  • Vitamin E: 2 milligrams (10 percent DV)

How to Purchase/Use

How much extra virgin olive oil should you drink daily?

Is it healthy to eat a tablespoon of olive oil every day? While dosages vary based on calorie requirements and diet, anything from one to four tablespoons seems sufficient to get the above-mentioned advantages of olive oil.

Why does the kind of oil you purchase make such a difference? Is “regular” olive oil good for you?

Olive oil is divided into many categories based on how it was collected and processed. When you go food shopping, you’re likely to run across these types:

  • Cold-pressing is used to make extra virgin olive oil, and no chemicals are used in the refining process. It also avoids high-heat processing, which may damage the oil’s delicate fatty acids and nutrients.
  • After extra virgin olive oil is produced, virgin olive oil is obtained via a second pressing. It may also come from riper olives. While extra virginity is preferable, this is still a high-quality product.
  • Refined olive oil and other vegetable oils make “light” olive oil or oil mixes. This usually indicates that they’ve been chemically treated and are made up of a mixture of rancid, low-quality oils that have responded poorly to high-heat production techniques.

According to a CBS investigation, due to mafia corruption in the manufacturing process, up to 70% of extra virgin olive oil marketed globally is watered down with other oils and boosters. (That’s right, you read it correctly.)

Manufacturers do this to make imitation olive oils taste more like a real thing, but they’re many inferior goods with far fewer health advantages than the real thing. Eating this kind of modified olive oil may endanger your health, so you need to know which type to purchase to receive the most olive oil advantages.

Always seek bottles that say “extra virgin” and “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed” on them. Here are some more helpful hints for identifying and distinguishing the genuine article:

  • What you pay for is what you get! Any oil that costs less than $10 per liter is most likely fake. You’ll pay more for a higher-quality product, but it’ll provide you with more olive oil advantages, taste better, and last longer.
  • Look for the International Olive Oil Council (IOC) logo on the label, verifying the kind of oil used.
  • Choose an oil packaged in a dark glass container to prevent light from penetrating and destroying the fatty acids. In addition, the oil is protected against oxidation and rancidity by an opaque container, such as green, black, or blue. Oils in plastic or transparent container should be avoided.
  • To ensure that the oil is still fresh, look for a harvesting date on the label. According to the Olive Oil Times, an unopened bottle of good-quality olive oil may survive up to two years from the day it was bottled if kept away from heat and light. After the bottle has been opened, it should be used within a few months and stored in a cold, dark location.
  • Keep in mind that if your product solidifies when it’s cold and refrigerated, it’s a positive sign. This has to do with the fatty acids’ chemical structure. It will thicken and turn hazy if you put it in the refrigerator. It’s not a pure extra virgin if it’s still liquid.

What should you do with it in the kitchen?

Olive oil has a low smoke point and starts to degrade at approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is one of the most dangerous aspects. In addition, olive oil may oxidize and become rancid or poisonous if heated repeatedly or at a high temperature.

To prevent rancid oil while cooking with extra virgin olive oil, you could use other stable oils or fats instead. Because extra virgin olive oil does not need cooking, it is excellent for sprinkling over meals or utilizing in salad dressings or dips.

What are the best cooking oils? Because olive oil isn’t as stable as other fats, there are plenty of other excellent oils to use instead:

  • Coconut oil (better when cold-pressed and virgin)
  • pastured organic butter/ghee (which contain healthy short-chain fatty acids that have a higher heat threshold)
  • palm oil (red) (stable under high heat and great for cooking or baking)

Ghee oil and avocado oil are two more healthful high-heat cooking choices.

How may extra virgin olive oil be used in raw dishes?

Combine it with several tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a tiny quantity of dijon mustard to create a fast and adaptable dressing for salads, veggies, or whole grains. You may also bake, grill, sauté, or steam veggies, then season and drizzle with olive oil after they’re done.

Another alternative is to use extra virgin olive oil in pesto, hummus, spreads, raw soups, and dips.

Although olive oil should not be used for cooking, it may still make beautiful dishes.

Side Effects and Risks

Why is it possible that olive oil is harmful to your health? Finding the correct type, keeping it properly, and utilizing it properly in recipes are the most significant obstacles to healthily enjoying this oil.

Keep in mind that investing in a high-quality product is well worth the money is, given how helpful it can be. Also, keep it carefully, consume it within a few months after opening it, and avoid using it in cooking.

According to at least one study, using olive oil directly to the skin may cause the skin to dry out. If you’re going to use it as a carrier oil for essential oils, don’t apply it to the same area on consecutive days. It should not be used on children’s or infants’ skin.

Conclusion

  • Olive oil is produced from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea), which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Olive oil advantages include combating inflammation and free radical damage, boosting heart and cognitive health, guarding against depression, promoting healthy aging, and protecting against diabetes and obesity, according to hundreds of research.
  • Olive oil comes in several grades/classes, with extra virginity being the healthiest. However, it’s better to avoid cooking at high temperatures since this may deplete its protecting nutrients and alter its chemical makeup.
  • To prevent consuming rancid extra virgin olive oil, you should cook using alternative stable oils instead. Because extra virgin olive oil does not need cooking, it is excellent for sprinkling over meals or utilizing in salad dressings or dips.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of olive oil?

A: Olive oil is a healthy cooking and beauty product that has many benefits, including preventing heart disease. It can also help with arthritis pain, dental health, and more.

What are the side effects of taking olive oil daily?

A: The side effects of taking olive oil daily are unknown.

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