An Authentic Mediterranean Diet – WHY YOU NEED TO Make Olive Oil Section of Your Diet

Olive oil: A significant player in preventing heart disease
Although the health and longevity of the Mediterranean people are associated with an authentic Mediterranean diet saturated in plant foods and lower in animal products, what has really defined this traditional diet is the abundant use of olives and olive oil, the principal fat source and the culinary foundation of the Mediterranean cuisine.

For centuries, olive oil has been a major player in the reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease among Mediterranean populations. Extensive research has shown that olive oil not only can prevent harm to the arteries but can also reverse high levels of cholesterol in the blood and lower raised blood pressure, a significant risk for strokes.

In a report conducted by Montoya and associates, the participants followed four forms of diets for a five-week period: One diet was rich in fats; one in polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil); one in monounsaturated fat (extra virgin essential olive oil); and the final one in omega-3 fatty acids from fish. The analysis showed that whenever people followed the diet abundant with extra virgin essential olive oil, their degrees of bad cholesterol went down and their blood circulation pressure decreased 5 to 6 percent.1

We realize that extra virgin olive oil is an irreplaceable way to obtain fat in terms of the heart because the main fat in olive oil is monounsaturated, the fat that does not get stuck in the arteries. We also know that all olive oils have a comparable proportion of monounsaturated fat. Then, why buying extra virgin essential olive oil when it is more costly than refined essential olive oil? Two major reasons:

1. Refined olive oils contain chemicals
Thousands of years ago, the olives were crushed yourself in spherical stone basins; today, in an identical method, olives (with pits) are pounded and crushed using mechanical techniques. The oil stated in such a way (cold) is the extra virgin olive oil, the natural juice from the olives. It preserves the unique flavor, smell, and healthy properties of the fruit.

The solid residue that remains after the first extraction is sent back to the press to be beaten again and be exposed to different heat levels and chemical procedures. It really is neutralized with sodium hydroxide, passed through charcoal filters, and extracted with hexane at low temperatures. The resulting oil lacks color and aroma, and has lost most of its antioxidant properties. That is why these second extractions are not recommended for consumption. With time, the use of oils which were subjected to chemical agents may have a toxic effect on our anatomies.

2. Extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than their refined versions

Countless studies conducted to look at the actions of some minor compounds in essential olive oil have indicated they are strong antioxidants and potent free radical scavengers. Free radicals are highly unstable and destructive molecules that subject our cells to oxidative stress, continuous damage that eventually kills the cells. When radicals kill or damage enough cells within an organism, the organism ages and finally dies. The antioxidants in olive oil are located in larger amounts in extra virgin olive oil than in refined olive oils. Let’s take a look at some of them.

o Vitamin E (�-tocopherol). Essential olive oil contains alpha-tocopherol or vitamin e antioxidant, the tocopherol with the best natural antioxidant activity and one of the very most effective defenders against oxidation inside our cell membranes. Consistent evidence shows that people with low degrees of vitamin E in the blood have more damage in the arteries than people who have an adequate amount.1 On average, the amount of vitamin e antioxidant in the oil is approximately 24 to 43 milligrams for each 100 grams of oil.2 A tablespoon of extra virgin essential olive oil contains 1.6 milligrams (2.3 IU [International Units]) of vitamin e antioxidant, providing 8 to 15 percent of the recommended daily intake.

EB1 o Polyphenols: tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Extensive research shows that polyphenols are potent antioxidants and inhibitors of free radical “attacks.” Tyrosol is quite stable and is able to undo oxidation of LDL cholesterol.3 Hydroxytyrosol is an effective trash picker of free radicals also it plays a part in the shelf life of the oil, delaying its auto-oxidation.4 Based on some studies,5 typically, these compounds in olive oil account for the next approximate levels:

1. Extra virgin olive oil: 4.2 milligrams for every 100 grams

2. Refined olive oil: 0.47 milligrams for each 100 grams

As we can appreciate, there exists a big difference between the amounts found in extra

virgin olive oil and refined oils.

o Hydrocarbons: squalene. The major hydrocarbon in essential olive oil is squalene, another powerful antioxidant. One study6 implies that the average intake of squalene is 30 milligrams each day in the usa. The intake in the Mediterranean countries can reach 200-400 milligrams each day. The dose of squalene within olive oil is approximately the following:

1. Extra virgin olive oil: 400-450 milligrams per 100 grams

2. Refined olive oil: 25 % less than extra virgin olive oil6

Buying extra virgin essential olive oil may be a bit more expensive, but in the long term you may save a lot of cash and lots of grief. Let’s follow a geniune Mediterranean Diet with essential olive oil, in particular extra virgin olive oil being part of it.