Olive oil is one of the popular choices for salad dressing, frying, and other dishes. It contains important antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K, and monounsaturated fats.
Let’s review what this oil can provide to the health and what harmful things (if there’s any) to be aware of.
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Many people, including nutrition experts, agree and believe that olive oil keeps the heart healthy. The monounsaturated fatty acids help reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Oleocanthal is one of the antioxidants present in olive oil. This has anti-inflammatory effect that is very beneficial against muscle pain, joint pain, stiff neck, and other body aches. Although LDL cholesterol is normally bad, this same substance protects it from oxidation to avoid further clogging of the arteries. In fact, it works as accurately as ibuprofen, a famous drug to treat inflammation.
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A more recent study about olive oil is that it helps protect the body from cancer. An extra virgin olive oil consists of high antioxidants that block free radicals (oxidative damage). There’s also oleic acid that reduces the risk of oxidative damage. But ensure the olive oil you’re buying or using should be labeled as extra virgin.
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Extra virgin olive oil is the best one to choose, because it has the highest quality. That said, stay away from olive oil that’s not labeled that way. It is likely adulterated with vegetable oil. This can contaminate the essential nutrients present in it.
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When it comes to cooking, olive oil is also the healthiest and most reliable. Other oils like soybean and canola oils have controversial issue when used in cooking, especially in frying. They contain polyunsaturated fats that are normally unhealthy. These form compounds that are harmful to the body, and linked to cancer. In contrary, extra virgin olive oil doesn’t have it. The bad side is that natural nutrients of olive oil are lessened when heated. Others also say that trans fat is formed. But the effects depend on the degree. The higher the heating degree is and the more time exposed in heating can cause problems.
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In other words, olive oil is undeniably healthy. It has no danger compared to other edible oils used for cooking out there. The only issue is that it depleted nutritional value during over-heating, which must be avoided obviously.
What to remember is that you always buy quality (extra virgin) olive oil. It’s better to verify the source or how the product is manufactured to ensure it’s a great once to pick and not adulterated with other type of oil.
Whether you use oil to drizzle on your favorite garden salad, cook stew, or saute vegetables, olive oil is something you can depend on. All the bad things you hear or read about it is just a minor issue and not really a disappointment or a danger to health. So, regular consumption is still not a bad idea at all.
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