We have all heard about the benefits of Olive Oil and have figured it has been around for a few years, but that is not really true. Olive Oil has been at the center of Mediterranean diets since more than 3000 years ago, during the era of the Ancient Greeks & Romans. The significance of this oil has been well documented in the epic poems of the famous Greek poet, Homer; where he refers to the oil being “Liquid Gold”.
The Types of Olive Oil
There are 3 main types of Olive Oil:
1) Pure Olive Oil – Little flavor and less than 1.5% acidity.
2) Virgin Olive Oil – Good flavor and less than 2% acidity.
3) Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Superior flavor and low acidity.
The Benefits of Olive Oil
There is a reason that an oil from an olive fruit is legendary in the ancient world and has carried on its legacy through centuries. This high regard for an oil is due to its beneficial effects on the human body.
1). Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fats
One of these fats is Oleic acid, which is considered to be extremely healthy. Oleic acid helps reduce inflammation and has been linked to having positive effects on genes linked to cancer. Monounsaturated fats are significantly resistant to high levels of heat and therefore Olive Oil is widely regarded as a healthy choice for cooking food.
2). Olive Oil may help prevent strokes
According to an extensive study conducted by University of Navarra, Spain, researchers found that people who consumed Olive Oil were at a much lower risk of stroke.
3). Olive Oil does not cause obesity
Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fats, consumption of these fats does not make one fat.
There was a study conducted on more than 7500 students over a period of two and a half years based on the consumption of Olive Oil. There was no evidence to prove that regular or excess consumption led to any kind of weight gain. In fact, it was evident that through a research, diets that were rich in olive oil contained high levels of antioxidants and thus resulted in weight loss.
4). The risk of Type 2 Diabetes can be significantly reduced with Olive Oil
Many clinical studies have found a beneficial link between Olive Oil and its effects on insulin sensitivity and the level of blood sugar. Olive Oil is deemed to be highly protective against diabetes, where a diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes development by 40%. (Source: American Diabetes Association)
5). Olive Oil protects against heart diseases
Coming back to the monounsaturated fats, these help deal with a wide range of heart-related problems and diseases. Extra Virgin Olive Oil especially is known to lower inflammation, prevent unwanted clotting of blood and also help with lowering blood pressure.
A vast number of studies have confirmed that Olive Oil is indeed highly beneficial for the heart.
It comes as no surprise that we have so many cooking oil companies in India with our basic diet so dependent on oil. Olive Oil’s benefits to the human body are undoubtedly significant. Everyday consumption of Olive Oil is highly recommended by many doctors. Its varied beneficial effects have truly supported its claim of being “Liquid Gold”.