Olive Oil and Health
Doctors and nutritionists agree that a good extra virgin olive oil can be defined as a "panacea".
Dieticians have long been recommending the replacement of animal fats with unsaturated vegetable fats.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats whose structure is very different from other saturated fats contained in meat, milk and certain vegetable oils such as coconut or palm oil.
As well as triglycerides and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, extra virgin oil also contains antioxidant substances such as vitamin E, polyphenols, phytosterols and carotenoids, which explains how it protects our body by blocking the activity of free radicals responsible for the ageing of cells and bones.
It has been proven that extra virgin olive oil can lower the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol while keeping the level of "good" HDL cholesterol ("good" because it is essential for health) unchanged.
Its antioxidant properties are a perfect support to the body's natural defences and protect against the risk of cardiovascular illness and arteriosclerosis.
Moreover, quality olive oils help the digestive system and prevent the formation of stones.
The fats supply us with the energy we need for physical and intellectual activity. They are also a source of heat and are essential for absorbing some vitamins.
Although olive oil is a very high calorie food (9 Kcal/gram), it has been shown that the people who consume 60 grams daily enjoy a healthy life and that, as part of a balanced diet, the consumption of olive oil as a replacement for other sources of fat does not lead to weight problems.
If we consider this long list of merits and virtues, it should come as no surprise that extra virgin olive oil is considered to be one of the staple foods of Mediterranean cuisine.
Its digestibility and its nutritional values make it an essential ingredient of many diets, especially for those needing a low cholesterol content.
And these wise principles are confirmed by modern science, which in addition to praising the delicious flavors and tastes of Mediterranean cuisine thanks to the predominant use of extra virgin olive oil, recognizes that it satisfies the nutritional needs precisely of our times.
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