Of all the commonly consumed oils it is “Extra Virgin” olive oil that is most renowned for its health benefits. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an unrefined oil obtained by cold pressing the pulp of olives, without the application of high temperatures normally associated with oil processing. Olive oil contains approximately 14% saturated fats and 85% unsaturated fats (in the form of a monounsaturated fat termed oleic acid) plus plant compounds called polyphenols.
The impressive medical claims attributed to Extra virgin olive oil include: lowering of blood triglycerides and ldl cholesterol levels (lowering the risk of heart disease), improves insulin sensitivity, prevents bone loss (osteoporosis) plus aids in weight control and may assist in the prevention of some cancers.
• For oral consumption or as a dressing to cold meals (salads etc.) use only “Extra Virgin” Olive Oil. This will be more expensive than normal olive oils but the product will contain the full original health benefits of the natural oil.
• In order to gain the full benefits of “Extra virgin” Olive Oil it must be consumed fresh. Thus purchase it in small amounts and store in the dark and away from heat sources.
• Many people find consuming Olive oil orally as unpalatable. Thus in order to receive the full health benefits of the unsaturated oil you can adopt the traditional Mediterranean custom of consuming olive oil as part of wholewheat bread / olive oil dip, which is normally served as an hors d’ oeuvre or mid-morning snack.
• Limit your consumption of Extra virgin Olive oil to 1-2 tablespoons per day.
• Do not use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking or adding to hot foods since the heat will simply degrade many of its nutritional benefits.