Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. If you are starting a new healthy eating program, you will want to make sure to include this oil. It is the basis of the diet of the Mediterranean, who have the world’s longest-lived cultures. Many of the health-promoting effects of the Mediterranean diet are credited to the consumption of olive oil.
What are the health benefits?
The reason why olive oil is on the list of healthy foods is due to the combination of two major health-promoting ingredients. These two nutrients are monounsaturated fats and tyrosol esters.
First, monounsaturated fats help strengthen cholesterol levels in the blood, which reduces the risk of heart disease and improves blood sugar levels, which helps treat diabetes. Another nutrient, tyrosol esters, helps protect against a number of health conditions and infections, relieves pain, supports your vital organs and strengthens your immune system.
Why should you control how much you consume?
Despite the fact that olive oil is one of the healthiest foods, it is a pure fat, so you need to be careful about how much you consume at any one time. One tablespoon contains approximately 120 calories, so adding just a few tablespoons to your meals can really raise the amount of calories in your food and meals.
How can you eat the right amount of olive oil?
To add the health benefits of olive oil to your eating plan without overdoing it, drizzle a tablespoonful amount on your salad. Or, you can marinate the meat before cooking to add flavor and moisture. Adding a tablespoon to a curry, casserole, or other hot dish will give you the health-promoting nutrients of the oil without changing the taste or texture of your dish too much.
Just look at the stats behind the Mediterranean diet to see the health benefits of olive oil. If you want to eat healthy foods as part of your new eating plan, make sure this oil is one of the foods in your new and improved diet. Keep in mind that you cannot make unhealthy foods healthier by simply adding olive oil to them, so you still need to eat a balanced diet. This means eating the right amount of foods from the major food groups which are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, daily fats and sugar.