Hi, Dr. Meredith Warner here –
I have a very strong opinion about olive oil. I love it and I think you should too. Here are some reasons why:
Olive oil has 6 reasons that it should be the primary fat of anyone’s diet.
1. Virgin olive oil has hundreds of micronutrient constituents; these include polyphenols.
2. Extra virgin olive oil has abundant phytosterols and antioxidants.
3. Olive oil has low levels of linoleic acid; this is the precursor of arachidonic acid.
4. There are no trans-fats in olive oil.
5. Olive oil has a very high content of monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.
6. Olive oil has a lower content of saturated fatty acids.
These 6 features of olive oil combine to make this oil beneficial to health.
In fact, I believe that not eating olive oil and substituting it with other fats can even be detrimental to your health.
The domination of olive oil in the diet is one of the main reasons the Mediterranean diet works.
THE BENEFITS OLIVE OIL OFFERS:
Basically, just about 3 tablespoons (50gm) a day of olive oil will give you the following:
- Phytosterol 100-150mg
- Polyphenol 50mg
- Hydrocarbon (squalene) 50-300mg
This is a benefit of phytochemicals not found in other vegetable oils.
When there is an imbalance in the oxidative and antioxidant systems of the body, oxidative stress happens.
The oxidants, or reactive oxygen species (ROS), are produced during normal bodily functions and soon overwhelm the cells. The outer walls of our cells are destroyed by the ROS and systemic damage occurs.
Oxidative stress will increase the arachidonic acid cascade of damaging chronic inflammation.
This combination of increased inflammation and oxidative stress is the reason that there is so much cardiovascular disease and other lifestyle problems.
Due to its abundance of phytochemicals, olive oil is antioxidant by itself. In my opinion, it should be the primary fat of our diets.
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