If only you could do your weekly shopping trip in Italy or Greece instead of your local grocery mart. There’s a reason the Mediterranean diet is so popular — because it works. And you don’t need to count calories. But one of the underestimated tenets of that food plan is easy to come by wherever you may shop — olive oil. And consuming olive oil daily is a great way to really support your health and well-being.
But what are the health benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil daily? Read here to learn the many benefits of healthy fats and regular olive oil consumption.
Spotlight On Diet: What Are The Benefits Of Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil Regularly?
Now, olive oil is the juice of pressed, whole olives. The aroma, vitamins, and flavor of olive oil are preserved in the process, and it’s the only vegetable oil on the planet that can actually be consumed immediately — as it comes directly from the olive fruit.
Filled with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative polyphenols, olive oil is a go-to for many who wish to reap its various health benefits. And speaking of antioxidants and health benefits, here are some of the celebrated properties of olive oil —
- It contains an array of vital dietary nutrients, essential vitamins, and minerals.
- Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fat), but it’s actually low in saturated fat.
- It contains antioxidants to help fight oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.1,2
- The oleic acid in olive oil can help support your heart health.
- Olive oil can support healthy cholesterol levels.3
How Might The Oleic Acid Found In Olive Oil Support Your Health?
Oleic acid is the major fatty acid found in olive oil and it may do wonders when it comes to supporting your health.
As it turns out, reduced insulin resistance plays a pivotal role in the prevention of metabolic health issues. One recent study reports that consuming larger quantities of olive oil (and thereby its oleic acid) positively affects insulin resistance.4
The study also showed that increasing your consumption of extra virgin olive oil daily supported a boost in the dietary management of blood sugar. So, other than supporting healthy cholesterol levels, consuming extra virgin olive oil may also support healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.5
Delicious Ways To Consume More Olive Oil: Cooking Food, Dressings, Sauces, And More
Drinking Olive Oil — One of the easiest ways to consume olive oil is to
drink it. In fact, it’s not crazy to think about drinking olive oil — one capful (or shot) a day. One study showed that participants who enriched their diets with olive oil for 8 weeks experienced more significant weight loss than those on a lower-fat diet.6 However, some people may not find taking a shot of olive oil to be very appetizing. The good news is, there are plenty of other ways to easily incorporate olive oil into your diet.
Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil — You might be wondering how cooking with extra virgin olive oil compares to cooking with canola oil, coconut oil, or other cooking oils. For one thing, olive oil stands up to high heat because of the monounsaturated fatty acid and phenols it contains. It also tastes great, and it can be used as a butter substitute to give your dish an earthy flavor. Butter and olive oil are about the same in calories, but olive oil is generally considered a healthier fat than butter.
Canola oil just isn’t as healthy as olive oil.7 And if you’re looking to create a dish that’s more savory than sweet, you might want to opt for olive oil instead of going for coconut oil due to coconut oil’s slight sweetness. Olive oil has a touch of a peppery bite — great for roasting veggies and protein.
Dressings And Sauces — If you’re preparing a dressing for salad or sauce for cooked veggies, high quality extra virgin olive oil should be your go-to base. You can drizzle it over wild-caught fish or chicken. It’s also great atop steamed veggies and sweet potatoes. You’ll never lack for flavor, and you won’t rack up the same calories you would if you were using a milk-based or mayonnaise-based dressing.
Baking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil — Olive oil is a wonderful ingredient for many baked goods recipes. Though olive oil’s flavor profile is stronger than some other oils, that can work wonders for certain loaves of bread and cake recipes. An olive oil lemon cake is perfect for brunches or with tea. Are you salivating yet?
Daily Olive Oil For Your Diet
So, the question remains: how will you get your daily intake of extra virgin olive oil? Again, you can bake it into your morning muffins, dress your hearty vegetable salads with it, use it as a sauce for your favorite chicken dinner, or pour yourself a shot and drink up.
Enjoy adding more olive oil to your diet. Your body will thank you for taking the extra step in supporting your health.
4. [1479683X – European Journal of Endocrinology] Oleic acid from cooking oils is associated with lower insulin resistance in the general population (Pizarra study).pdf