January 11, 2016
I was a latecomer to this phenom. The calories and fat counts in olive oil made me reluctant to try it. On salads, I really prefer a thick, creamy dressing – Way worse than a little oil, right? And when dieting, I’d use those God-awful light or fat-free versions. It saved the calories and fat, but it also made the salad pretty dismal. Finally, I did a little research and talked with a nutritionist about it. This is what I learned:
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered “healthy” dietary fat.
It may help lower your risk of heart disease. Here’s how: It lowers your total cholesterol as well as your “good” (low-density lipoprotein) levels. It might also help normalize your ability for blood clotting. And some research even shows that insulin levels are affected, which means better blood sugar control. This is good news for controlling hunger and even better news if you have Type 2 Diabetes. Some studies indicate that olive oil is, indeed, ” brain food.” It has been credited with helping avoid Depression and lessening your risk for breast cancer. The list of benefits is growing every day..
But, because olive oil is high in calories, we should use it carefully and in moderation. For example, choose olive oil in place of other fatty foods, like butter or creamy salad dressing. You can’t make unhealthy foods healthier simply by adding olive oil to them! But try using 2-3 tablespoons on your next salad, along with some balsamic vinegar. I was amazed to learn that it actually enhances the flavors of the vegetables – Who knew? Or, instead of slathering butter or some equally nasty substitute on your next dinner roll, try brushing a little olive oil on it, instead. If you like more of a kick, add a dash of crushed red pepper or some garlic – Be creative!
NOTE: There has been recent controversy about how Extra Virgin Olive Oil is processed. Some brands have failed tests to determine authenticity. For more information, you can read the article: http://cdn.eatlocalgrown.com/10-fake-olive-oil.html
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